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I usually drink a few energy drinks during a week, because it really helps my productivity, I can focus on tasks easily, even on those boring ones. I'm better in processing information too. I prefer it over coffee. Days without energy drinks are by me less productive.

Are there some downsides of drinking it regularly? Are there some chemical compounds that I should rather avoid? It usually contains caffeine, taurine, vitamin C, niacin, B6, B2. This constitution usually does not seem to be so unhealthy.

Caffeine is not necessary to explain, because it's amount is comparable with a cup of coffee, similarly taurine is in tea. There is usually a lot of sugar in energy drinks but I don't sweeten at all other foods and beverages. So, I'm interested if there is something special unhealthy that should be avoided.

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closed as off topic by Belisama, Jeanne Boyarsky Jun 23 '12 at 0:38

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As a general health question, this is off-topic for Personal Productivity. –  Belisama Jun 21 '12 at 11:10
    
I'm not sure this is on-topic for PP. If you don't mind the large quantity of empty calories, IMO there's nothing fundamentally wrong, although many of these drinks have a lot more caffeine than an average cup of coffee. If it's artificially sweetened, it's potentially a different set of issues. –  Dave Newton Jun 21 '12 at 11:10
    
@Belisama It's largely OT there as well. –  Dave Newton Jun 21 '12 at 11:10
    
@Belisama Coffee is largely believed to help boost productivity and apparently xralf is using energy drinks as a replacement. I guess a question that requires a medical diagnosis or drug recommendation would be off-topic but in this case a peer-reviewed paper on the long term effects of the common compounds of energy drinks could answer the question. –  Renan Jun 21 '12 at 11:46
    
Is the question "what downside on productivity is there from energy drinks?" –  Gaʀʀʏ Jun 21 '12 at 16:30

2 Answers 2

up vote 1 down vote accepted

if there is something special unhealthy that should be avoided.

Beside the problems with sugary drinks and the whole thing with caffeine tolerance? I guess you could make a point that the ingredients include artificial flavors which I personally don't really like that much. As for the "special ingredients" like taurine: I think thats marketing bs.

As a result I avoid energy drinks because of the artificial taste and the ridiculous costs. Sometimes, however I really enjoy a bottle of a certain caffeinated black soda...

If you care about living healthy, think about getting a diverse diet (then you don't have to worry about a shortage of vitamins) and switch to green tea with the amount of sugar you like/need to stay focused. Brewing some tea is also a nice ritual where you can get up from your chair and relax your eyes (if you work in front of a screen).

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The problem with energy drinks is that they are usually loaded with high sugar content. That gives you a short boost of stimulation followed by a crash.

An alternative to energy drinks would be taking the vitamins or herbal supplements directly: i.e. Caffeine pills, Complex B vitamins or Ginseng supplements. I have noticed a mental focus boost from doing it over energy drinks. The downside is, you don't get to have a tasty drink.

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Actually, I'm a slow drinker. I drink one can about 4-6 hours and enjoy every drain (it's kind of ritual and I have a feeling I can work when I smell and see this drink next to me). So I don't feel the crash. This time I can fully concentrate and than I go usually out or with bicycle. –  xralf Jun 21 '12 at 17:27
    
It's good idea to try to prepare it from caffeine and vitamins and mix rather with ordinary water with lemon. I'm on this way (have to google it and research it yet) –  xralf Jun 21 '12 at 17:31
    
xralf, that is a good point to bring up. I had an extra stanza discussing the mental stimulus of having a drink while working on the computer, but cut it out from the answer. I feel the same effect (I have a drink on me during the entire workday!) –  Gaʀʀʏ Jun 21 '12 at 18:23

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