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Do Energy Drinks Make You Addicted? (Answered)

Short Answer: Energy drinks have caffeine, a mildly addictive substance, but with moderate consumption, you can save yourself from caffeine addiction.

With the rising demand for energy drinks worldwide, the competition among energy drink companies is getting tougher and more challenging with time.

People worldwide are constantly searching for a drink that can fulfill their basic needs with its miraculous ingredients.

The consumption of energy drinks in the US has increased so much, especially among teens.

According to one study, about one-third of the teens in the US consume energy drinks regularly.

This study clearly shows only teens’ consumption; their usage is more than that.

The secret behind the extraordinary effect of energy drinks after consumption is hidden in their nutrients.

These process themselves in the body so that you feel attentive, energetic, attentive, and focused after some minutes of drinking your energy drink.

The wonderful feeling you get after drinking one beverage is caused by some primary elements present in almost all energy drinks, such as caffeine, sugar, Taurine, and electrolytes that take your body to fight or flight situations making you more mentally alert for any task you set out to achieve.

The caffeine in energy drinks is their most crucial nutrient as it is the reason behind every good feeling you get after consuming a beverage.

Caffeine produces this alert and energetic feeling that people crave and long for to make themselves feel good.

If you are still confused about energy drink addiction, keep reading this as we dive into details for specific answers backed up with evidence.

Let’s move on to the more detailed section!

What is Energy Drinks Addiction?

Image of cans of energy drinks placed in ice.
Energy drinks are carbonated water with caffeine and sugar as nutrients

The constant desire to use a substance or be involved in any behavior despite its side effects can be termed an addiction.

The term energy drinks addiction means the psychological condition in which someone craves energy drinks too often and has an extreme desire for them without thinking about the side effects of energy drinks.

Just like all other addictions, energy drinks also make you dependent on them, and after some time, when you can’t control consuming energy drinks, that is the first sign of energy drink addiction.

There is no official definition for addiction to energy drinks yet. But we have described it in the best way we can.

However, energy drink addiction is not as severe as drug addiction, food addiction, or other addictions.

Energy drinks have some substances that make them addicted, such as caffeine, sugar, and artificial sweeteners.

Energy Drinks Ingredients

Energy drinks are marketed as beverages that can speed up your metabolism, enhance your energy levels and make you more focused and mentally active.

For this purpose, the companies add some supplements that play a significant role in backing up their claims.

Caffeine plays a vital role in changing your metabolism and energy levels. Caffeine is included in almost all energy drinks.

We can say that an energy drink without caffeine is incomplete.

Most energy drinks contain sugar. After acknowledging the grave danger of sugar, the energy drinks brand produced a sugar-free version of their products to provide supplements for people with low sugar tolerance.

Vitamins are crucial to our body, and energy drinks add them to their drinks to provide healthy nutrients to their consumer’s bodies.

However, the excessive intake of vitamins can also harm our health.

I have added a table below to share the primary nutrients in energy drinks and their role in our bodies:

NutrientsRole in Body
CaffeineCaffeine increases the release of dopamine which makes us pleasurably high and gives us a rush of energy.
SugarIt is the source of instant energy and our body easily breakdown it getting immense energy in less time. However, sugar does not give us any nutrient benefits.
VitaminsThey are micro molecules really necessary for our body and organs to function properly. However, we need vitamins in small quantities daily for our benefit.
ElectrolytesThey support immunity and promote sleep by enhancing the strength of bones and muscles.
SodiumA little amount of sodium is needed by the human body to convey nerve impulses, tighten and relax muscles, and keep the right ratio of water and minerals.
The ingredients present in energy drinks with their benefits

Is Caffeine Addictive?

Image of coffee beans in a cup.
Caffeine is addictive if used in excessive amounts

Caffeine is a natural or synthetic stimulant found in cocoa beans and other naturally occurring plants.

Caffeine is also produced artificially and is widely used in energy drinks, coffee, and other relaxing drinks to provide consumers with a different blend of energy with a more concentrated mind.

Caffeine consumption is, without any doubt, widely spread worldwide, and people use it to get an extra surge of energy as a day starter for keeping their minds more focused.

According to a study, around 90 percent of the US population uses caffeine every day to stay focused.

When we consume caffeine via a drink, it enters our bloodstream in about 15 minutes and starts showing its effects.

It can take several hours to leave our bodies altogether.

Caffeine increases the dopamine secretion in our body, taking our body into an emergency where the brain activates the fight or flight condition making our body more active, alert, and focused on anything that is about to come.

Although caffeine has many great qualities and makes a person dependent on it, there is still no evidence that caffeine addiction is serious as other addictions.

In fact, according to the National Institute of Health, caffeine does not fit the profile of addictive substances.

Therefore a caffeine-addictive person can easily withdraw their caffeine usage without much resistance, and there will be very few side effects.

Still, the side effects of caffeine can’t be ignored as it is harmful if used in extreme measures.

The FDA limits caffeine intake to up to 400mg per day.

Side Effects of Caffeine

The overconsumption of caffeine will have these consequences if not controlled:

  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Nausea
  • Headache
  • Kidney Disease
  • Rapid heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Frequent Urination
  • Dehydration

I have added a video below covering the adverse effects of caffeine:

This video shows the consequences of excess caffeine usage

Is Sugar Addictive?

Image of a spoon of sugar.
Sugar May Cause Several Health Issues Like Obesity

Sugar belongs to the carbohydrates family and is present in everything with a sweet taste.

Humans crave sweet foods because they please their tastebuds, and when they continue consuming sweet foods, they become sugar addicts.

According to another study, sugar affects hormone secretion like any other drug.

The experiment on rats supported the hypothesis that sugar will make them dependent on it.

The same case is with a human because extreme sugar intake can make us compelled to eat sweet foods.

Dopamine is a Neurotransmitter hormone that plays a crucial role in the brain’s addictive behavior.

You receive a pleasurable “rush” that makes you want to repeat the behavior when a particular behavior results in an excessive dopamine release.

Your brain adjusts to release less dopamine as you continue to repeat that activity.

Repeating the behavior more frequently and in larger doses is the only way to achieve the same “rush” as previously, and that’s what a sugar-dependent person does to adjust the dopamine quantity.

Due to these underlying side effects of sugar, the AHA has determined the corrected dosages for men and women. So the maximum intake on a daily basis for men is 36g, and for women, it is 25g.

Side Effects of Sugar

The consumption of sugar in extreme measures has these side effects:

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Heart Disease
  • Sugar dependency
  • Cavities
  • Tooth Decay
  • Inflammation
  • Obesity

What Happens When you Stop Drinking Energy Drinks?

Energy drinks have caffeine in them, and when you are someone who consumes energy drinks regularly, it becomes hard to live a single day without drinking an energy drink.

Energy drinks make you dependent on caffeine intake, and then you become addicted to them, which makes it hard to stop consuming more and more beverages.

To continue the secretion of dopamine, you must increase your intake to get the pleasurable high feeling.

So if you stop drinking energy drinks, your body will probably experience withdrawal symptoms if you stop using energy drinks.

These include potential symptoms including exhaustion, headaches, low mood, and difficulties focusing.

You can make stopping them easier by substituting energy drinks with lower-caffeine options like tea or juices.

How to Get Rid of Energy Drinks Addiction?

A shelf is full of energy drinks.
Energy drinks addiction may be hard but with a strong will and determination, it is possible

You can eliminate the addiction to almost anything in several ways.

Although some drugs are tough to leave, with a strong will and discipline, you will be able to stop these drugs once and for all.

However, the dependency on energy drinks is not very strong, and anyone worried about his/her health can stop it without going through rehabilitation procedures.

The symptoms you will face will be minor, and almost anyone can bear them for the sake of a greater purpose.

There are two methods by which you can get rid of energy drinks addiction:

Quit Cold Turkey Method

In this method, you stop the intake of energy drinks all at once and make a firm determination never to retake them.

The process will result in some withdrawal symptoms, and the urge to drink energy drinks will be immense, but once you pass through the complex phase, it will be easy to cope with coming events.

This process is better than lowering your intake because it helps the body recover faster

You will be able to stop the addiction in the early times before it gets worse.

Lowering You Intake

The second method of stopping energy drink addiction is tapering your intake.

In this method, you reduce the amount of consumption slowly over time.

This way, the withdrawal symptoms will be minimal, and you will be able to stop the consumption in a well-planned manner.

However, the tapering intake method takes much time and discipline because you will constantly strive to reduce the intake to make your body feel normal, even with small inputs.

Energy Drinks with Low Caffeine and Sugar

Although energy drinks have caffeine and sugar, which can make you dependent on energy drinks.

Several energy drink brands care for their consumers, and they add less caffeine and sugar for the safety of their consumers.

So if you want to use the lowering intake method, then it is better to lower the intake of sugar and caffeine.

Therefore, choosing energy drinks with low caffeine and sugar will be the starter so that you can avoid withdrawal symptoms and stop your addiction with time.

Moreover, these energy drinks will give you an extra surge of energy without any side effects to make you ready for the day and more focused and alert.

Here are a few suggestions for energy drinks with zero caffeine and zero sugar:

Xtend Carbonated: It is a non-caffeinated energy drink. It has a combination of BCAAs and vitamins to meet your energy needs.

Xtend carbonated accelerates muscle growth and regeneration.

G Fuel Hydration Formula: It combines vitamins and amino acids to keep you feeling energized.

Although the energy boost may not be as substantial as coffee’s, it will be sufficient to keep you rolling.

XS Energy DrinkAmino acids, necessary vitamins, and herbs make up the components.

Try one of these tasty fruity varieties if you’re looking for a caffeine-free energy source.

Bottom Line

  • Energy drinks are an excellent choice to start your day in a better way, but moderation of consumption is necessary in this regard to save yourself from caffeine dependency.
  • Caffeine and sugar are some of the primary elements in any energy drink; they are the reason behind all those pleasurable feelings after consuming energy drinks.
  • Sugar can affect your body very badly, and it can even make you dependent on sweet foods and drinks. Sugar has grave dangers when it comes to overconsumption; therefore, it is better not to cross the 36 grams and 25 grams limits.
  • If you want to avoid the energy drinks addiction, either quit it all at once, which can cause some withdrawal symptoms, or you can lower your intake with time.

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