Addiction to energy drinks: causes, risks and withdrawal (2023)

Energy drinks have become a popular source of quick energy, but they can be addictive and have many adverse side effects. They can cause crashes, jitters, and withdrawal symptoms when you stop drinking.

Energy drinks have become a popular companion for people who need a little jolt to get through their daily lives. But unfortunately, energy drinks can be like a siren song. They can entice you with the promise of greater agility and productivity, only to make you fall and crave for more.

While you may not become addicted to energy drinks, you can become dependent on some of their ingredients. FYI: Caffeine is the main culprit.

Here's everything you need to know about energy drink addiction — which is basically caffeine addiction — and how to break the cycle.

Simply put, addiction is when someone compulsively pursues a substance despite the consequences. Over time, these substances can change the way the brain and body work.

Energy drinks includedCaffeineand sugar, bothaddicted. Typically an 8oz can of energy drinkcontainsalmost as much caffeine as a 5-ounce cup of coffee or two 12-ounce cans of soda. However, this obviously depends on the brands you are comparing.

(Video) Rethink Your Energy Drink: Beware of Extreme Caffeine

Psst. Not all experts agree that sugar is addictive. However, it's still a good idea to monitor your intake to reduce your risk of other health issues.

here are someSignalthat you may be addicted to energy drinks:

  • You feel like you can't start your day without an energy drink.
  • You find that you need more and more energy drinks to get you through the day.
  • You will knowwithdrawalSymptoms of not drinking an energy drink, such as headaches, fatigue or irritability.
  • You find yourself drinking energy drinks more often than you'd like or more than you intended.
  • They tried to limit energy drinks but failed.

If you are addicted to energy drinks, you mayExperience:

(Video) Energy Drinks Were Killing Me *The Real Side Effects*

  • If you consume too much caffeine from energy drinks, you may experience: Anxiety
  • irritability
  • Mental confusion
  • insomnia
  • Saurer reflux
  • hyper surveillance
  • Saurer reflux
  • Contracted muscles or "tremors"

In the long run, addiction to energy drinks can lead to more serious health problems, such as:

It is important to point out that there is a big difference between drinking a Red Bull once in a while and being aaddictedto energy drinks. They're probably fine if you sip an energy drink every now and then to take a long trip or meet a deadline. As Grandpa used to say, "Everything in moderation."

If you start wanting to fill one of those water bottles with some monster, you're probably abusing energy drinks. If you areAbuseYou usually drink too many energy drinks too quickly and develop a caffeine tolerance and dependence.

But it's not just the caffeine and sugar in energy drinks that can harm your body. Many energy drinks also contain ingredients such asToughnessEguarana, whichit couldIncrease heart rate and blood pressure. However, this is mostly anecdotal and we need more research to show the full effects.

And let's not forget the high doses of B vitamins found in many energy drinks, which can cause a variety of ill effects.Side effects, including skin irritation and acne.

If you have any of these symptoms, it may be time to stop drinking energy drinks. Here are some tips to help you kick the habit:

(Video) Why I Quit Monster Energy Drinks *My Caffeine Addiction*

  • Gradually reduce intake.Instead of losing weight, try cutting back on the number of energy drinks you drink each day.weaningStopping energy drinks can help minimize withdrawal symptoms.
  • Find alternative energy sources.Rather than relying on energy drinks, try getting yourEnergyfrom natural sources such as exercise, good nutrition and plenty of sleep.
  • Maybe you want to go "nuclear".In other words, don't buy energy drinks and don't have them at home. Tough love, but effective in kicking the habit.

Once you've committed to breaking your energy drink addiction, you can try some of them.symptomsof revocation:

  • irritability
  • Mist
  • Depression
  • low energy
  • fatigue and drowsiness
  • Difficulty concentrating on a task
  • brain underneath

You might not have as much fun for a while, but the momentum in your steps will return if you give it some time and effort. Wait and watch your mood return to normal.

But while you're at it, rehab is no walk in the park. These tips can help you:

  • Get some sleep.To relaxit's the best and fastest way to restore your health.
  • Mover.As soon as you wake up, get that body moving.a practiceit's a great way to improve your mental and physical health naturally.
  • Eat a balanced diet.fill in yourPratowith foods rich in nutrients and lean proteins.
  • Find support.It might be usefulto speakwith a friend, family member or healthcare professional about your addiction to energy drinks. They can support you and help you develop a plan to stop smoking.
  • keep busyFinding activities that occupy your time can help you resist the urge to reach for an energy drink. Try to get a new oneHobby, go for a walk or spend time with friends and family.

Alternatives to energy drinks

(Video) What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Drinking Alcohol

Believe it or not, there are ways to get energy and focus without all the sugar and caffeine. Here are some healthier energy drink alternatives:

  • Water.It won't give you wings or make you fly, but it will keep you hydrated and that's always good. And it's probably a lot cheaper than your favorite energy drink.
  • Tee.A little more exciting than water, tea comes in decaffeinated varieties and is rich in antioxidants. They can also be fancy with different flavors and stuff.
  • Fruit.Good old Mother Earth comes with a natural boost of energy thanks to all the sugars and nutrients. Plus, it won't make you jittery like those energy drinks.
  • nuts and seeds.These little guys are packed with protein and healthy fats that will keep you full and energized. And they're portable, so you can take them anywhere.
  • Snack bars.This can be a convenient way to get some energy on the go, but read the label! Choose ones with whole ingredients that are low in sugar.
  • Smoothies.This is a great way to get lots of nutrients and energy in one tasty drink. Just throw some fruits, veggies, nuts, seeds, and maybe some protein powder in a blender and voila, instant energy.

If you need a steady stream of energy drinks to get you through the day, you may be addicted or dependent on the caffeine in energy drinks. Energy drinks provide a quick and intense energy boost, but too much caffeine and sugar can cause a crash.

Realizing that you might be drinking too many energy drinks and taking steps to cut back on all that caffeine and sugar can be difficult. But the health benefits are worth it!

There are many healthier ways to boost your energy like: B. Regular exercise, balanced diet and enough sleep. Plus, you'll save a lot of money on energy drinks while improving your overall health.

So go ahead and ditch the energy drinks! Your body (and your wallet) will thank you.


What are the withdrawal symptoms of energy drink addiction? ›

Withdrawal symptoms you may experience with an energy drink addiction include headaches, fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and a depressed mood ( 6 ). Often, these withdrawal symptoms are related to quitting caffeine, and they may last 2–9 days ( 6 ).

What are the withdrawal symptoms of caffeine addiction? ›

The researchers identified five clusters of common withdrawal symptoms: headache; fatigue or drowsiness; dysphoric mood including depression and irritability; difficulty concentrating; and flu-like symptoms of nausea, vomiting and muscle pain or stiffness.

What makes energy drinks addictive? ›

Energy drink is addictive because it causes the brain to release dopamine, the feel-good hormone. Energy drinks are beverages that contain high amounts of sugar, caffeine, and other stimulants. The most common uses of these drinks are to increase physical performance, improve mental alertness, and boost energy levels.

Can energy drink withdrawal cause anxiety? ›

While consuming caffeine can cause feelings of anxiousness, cutting it out can cause this side effect as well. Anxiety is a commonly reported symptom in people who withdraw from regular caffeine consumption ( 3 ). The body can become mentally and physiologically dependent on it, causing feelings of anxiety.

Is caffeine withdrawal life threatening? ›

According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), caffeine withdrawal is not dangerous. However, you may feel withdrawal symptoms like headaches and fatigue for two to nine days.

What happens to your brain during caffeine withdrawal? ›

More specifically, acute caffeine abstinence increased brain blood flow, an effect that may account for commonly reported withdrawal headaches. Acute caffeine abstinence also produced changes in EEG (increased theta rhythm) that has previously been linked to the common withdrawal symptom of fatigue.

Can caffeine withdrawal make you feel sick? ›

Nausea and stomach upset are much more common caffeine withdrawal symptoms than vomiting, but both are recognized as possible symptoms. Nausea is that unpleasant sensation of queasiness or feeling as if you are about to vomit.

What happens when you drink energy drinks everyday? ›

Excessive or regular consumption of energy drinks can lead to heart arrhythmias, headaches, high blood pressure, and anxiety, Popeck says. In the US, more than 20,000 emergency room visits in 2011 were associated with energy drink use.

What are 3 negative effects of energy drinks on the body? ›

Energy drinks have been known to dehydrate your body, especially if used while exercising. High levels of sugar and caffeine may produce symptoms including irritability, anxiety, sleeplessness, and nausea severe enough to require hospitalization.

How do energy drinks affect your brain? ›

The concentrated amounts of caffeine in energy drinks, however—often much more than in coffee or soda—can cause anxiety, insomnia, and twitching, which can keep you from writing or doing other tasks that require fine motor skills.

How do energy drinks affect you mentally? ›

The mood fluctuations and irritability caused by caffeine overdose or withdrawal may account for high levels of perceived stress, depressive mood symptoms, and suicidal behavior in the adolescents who frequently consumed energy drinks.

Do energy drinks change your brain? ›

Simply consuming an energy drink won't cause brain damage. There are a number of other factors that come into play. However, the high levels of caffeine in these drinks can alter a person's behavior, which is why many teens have sustained injuries.

What are withdrawal behaviors? ›

Withdrawn behavior is avoiding or not seeking out social contact. People who withdraw may actively avoid spending time with other people. Or, they may not put any effort into seeking out social interactions. Some withdrawn people don't mind being with other people but don't feel particularly driven to seek out others.

How long do withdrawals take? ›

The precise duration of withdrawal is influenced by which substance someone used as well as the magnitude of their dependence on the substance. It may take days, weeks, and—in some cases—months to reach complete resolution of all withdrawal symptoms, depending on various factors and individual differences.

Can caffeine withdrawal cause panic attacks? ›

He said the majority of people who have severe withdrawal symptoms are those that quit caffeine cold turkey. It could mean something as small as a headache or as serious as a panic attack. "It can affect their sleep, it can affect their concentration, attention, sometimes even job performance," said Dr.

What are the withdrawal symptoms of anxiety? ›

Dizziness. Tiredness. Irritability. Flu-like symptoms, including achy muscles and chills.

How many energy drinks is too much? ›

Up to 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine a day appears to be safe for most healthy adults. That's roughly the amount of caffeine in four cups of brewed coffee, 10 cans of cola or two "energy shot" drinks.

Why does caffeine withdrawal hurt so much? ›

Reducing or quitting caffeine suddenly will allow the blood vessels to suddenly grow, increasing blood flow. This dramatic increase in blood flow can cause painful, throbbing headaches similar to those of migraine. Headaches due to caffeine withdrawal can vary in length and severity.

How long does caffeine addiction withdrawal last? ›

In general, the more caffeine you are used to consuming, the more severe the withdrawal symptoms are likely to be. Symptoms of withdrawal begin 12 to 24 hours after the last caffeine intake and can last two to nine days.

How long does it take to recover from energy drinks? ›

It takes an average of 12 hours for the body to completely remove the caffeine from the bloodstream, though this does depend on individual factors.

What happens to your body when you drink energy drinks everyday? ›

Large amounts of caffeine may cause serious heart and blood vessel problems such as heart rhythm disturbances and increases in heart rate and blood pressure. Caffeine also may harm children's still-developing cardiovascular and nervous systems.

How long does it take to burn off an energy drink? ›

5-6 HOURS 5. This is the half life of caffeine, meaning it takes 5-6 hours for your body to reduce the content of caffeine in your bloodstream by 50%. Women on birth control tablets require double the length for their body to reduce it. The time that it takes most people to fully remove caffeine from their bloodstream.

How do you beat caffeine withdrawal? ›

Replace caffeinated beverages with herbal teas to soothe symptoms and counteract dehydration, which can worsen headaches and withdrawal symptoms. Get extra sleep to combat fatigue and grogginess. Go for a morning run or fit in a quick workout to naturally boost your energy without caffeine.

What are the side effects of energy drinks long-term? ›

Several previous studies have shown that energy drinks may affect heart rhythm and blood pressure significantly. As energy drinks are sugar-sweetened beverages, long-term use may also affect the body's metabolism, including cholesterol, blood sugars, and weight.

Is Quitting energy drinks good for you? ›

Sugar-free energy drinks and sodas contain artificial sweeteners that also can negatively affect your heath. Cutting these out of your diet can be beneficial to your overall long-term good health.


1. Coffee addiction: Caffeine intoxication and withdrawal is a real diagnosis
(CBS News)
(Addiction Mindset)
3. Alcoholism - causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, pathology
(Osmosis from Elsevier)
4. Dangers of Energy Drinks
(Ryan Taylor)
5. I was in opioid withdrawal for a month — here's what I learned | Travis Rieder | TEDxMidAtlantic
(TEDx Talks)
6. What Caffeine Does to the Body
(Institute of Human Anatomy)
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