Energy Drinks, Brain, and Weight Gain or Loss

Energy drinks are made of different ingredients which are believed to increase energy in the body. However, studies have revealed that energy drinks are mainly comprised of carbohydrates and stimulants, majority caffeine and ephedrine, which is a stimulant that works in the nervous system. Ephedrine is a major component of weight-loss products and also in decongestants, but it has negative effect on the heart. Most energy drinks also contain taurine, which is natural amino acids which is produced in the body and helps in regulation of the heartbeat and in contraction of muscles.  They also contain ginseng, which is a root believed to harbor a number of medicinal properties, including its ability to reduce stress and increase body energy levels. Energy drinks can make individual loses or gain weight depending on whether it is sweetened with sugar or not.

The main ingredients in energy drinks include sugars and stimulants. Sugars are mainly in form of carbohydrates and they increase amount of glucose in the blood hence making one feel energized. Energy drinks also contain number of stimulants which stimulate the body and create an emergency situation in the brain hence leading to release of hormones which stimulate release of stored energy in the liver.   The release of energy in the body is stimulated by catabolic stress initiated in the brain. As a result, sugar molecules are broken and produce energy required to respond to emergency situation. For example, adrenaline, released from the pituitary gland stimulates release of energy from the liver and increase amount of energy available for the body.

Caffeine, the main stimulant included in most energy drinks work in the nervous system by blocking effect of adenosine.  Adenosine is a chemical in the brain that is involved in sleep. This means that when caffeine blocks adenosine, it cause brain neurons to fire and creates a situational emergency in the brain. The brain responds to emergency through the pituitary gland. Once the brain thinks the body is in emergency, pituitary gland produce adrenaline which initiates a fight or flight response.  Adrenaline also increases heart beat and also dilates the eyes. In addition, adrenaline also makes the liver to release some extra sugar into the blood stream and increases the amount of energy in the body.  This increases energy output in the body and an individual will feel energized.  Caffeine is also known to stimulate the release and increase of dopamine levels in the brain. Dopamine is a chemical in the brain released in the brains pleasure center.  All these physical Reponses in the brain when one takes energy drink makes one feel to have more energy while it is actually stimulation alone.

This means that through stimulation of the brain, energy drinks can lead to weight loss since they lead to increased catabolic effect. Adrenaline will lead to catabolic reaction that breaks downs sugar molecules to increase energy supply in the body. However, most energy drinks are also sweetened. This means that depending on the sugar content, they may also lead to increase weight. When the brain creates an emergence situation in the body, it makes the body more alert leading to increased energy demand. In consequential energy use, the body most likely use the readily available before it breaks down the stored energy. This means that the body first use readily available energy supplied by the energy drinks and will rarely touch on the stored energy. Additional energy in energy drinks which is not used in the body will be converted to fat and stored in adipose tissue leading to weight gain.


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