We live in the age of “too much to do and not enough time.” Our lives revolve around appointments and time restrictions. Many of us do the work of two or three people and get little thanks for it. Is it any wonder we experience fatigue at all times? Even when we are resting, we often are not resting. Our mind is constantly going about the things we have to do next. Fatigue is described as weariness that increases over time. Energy levels are lower, mental acuity is diminished, and our sense of emotional stability is compromised. Fatigue is different from sleepiness, though many of us would like to take a nap when we experience it. It is usually a product of our lifestule, though it may indicate a potential medical condition. Factors that influence fatigue are too much physical activity, mind exertion, bad diet, alcohol consumption or the use of medications with antihistamines.
It’s no surprise one of the best-selling products on the market today is energy drinks. The primary ingredients in energy drinks usually include copious amounts of sugar and caffeine, which can be two to five times the amount found in soda, depending on the brand of energy drink. Other ingredients that may appear are ephedrine, taurine, ginseng, guarana seed, creatine, ginkgo biloba and B-vitamins. These drinks offer a little boost of energy to help you trudge through your day. The problem is we can become dependent on these drinks and consume far more of them than we realize.
Unfortunately, the dangers associated with energy drinks are rapidly outweighing the benefits. The stimulants tend to interfere with sleep, which in the end amplifies fatigue. Sleep deprivation has a significant impact on our mental faculties, causing emotional distress and lapses in judgment that could lead to costly mistakes. On a physical level, energy drinks elevate blood pressure and heart rate, which greatly increases feelings of anxiety in people prone to panic.
More drastic adverse reactions have been reported to the poison control centers, including hypertension, dizziness, tremors, numbness and vomiting. A recent trend involving combining energy drinks with alcohol has resulted in an increase in vehicular accidents since the stimulants tend to counteract the drowsiness most people experience when intoxicated. The consumer feels they are alert enough to get behind the wheel when the truth is they are intoxicated enough to still have slow reaction time and compromised judgment. Emergency room visits have doubled in four years with 58% percent involving problems resulting from energy drink consumption. Concerns include anxiety, migraines, tachycardia (rapid heart beat), tremors and seizures.
Physicians recommend adjustments to diet and sleep habits to counter fatigue. If you experience prolonged periods of fatigue, it is recommended you speak with your doctor to ensure there is not an underlying medical condition involved. There are healthier alternatives to energy drinks. Juice It Up on 1st Street in the Burbank Town Center offers an array of all-natural juice mixes and smoothies with antioxidants and energy-boosting vitamins.