Thursday, 14 March 2013

Energy drinks for me or NOT for me?

The sale of energy drink has been growing in recent years. For the athletes, the potential problem of using energy drink could be more than you have expected. 

What is energy drink?
Energy drinks should not be mixed up with sports drinks. The latter, mainly containing carbohydrates and electrolytes, is designed to help the body to rehydrate. Energy drinks, on the other hands, are meant to ‘mobilize energy’ by stimulating the nervous system. Most of these products contain caffeine, a selection of B vitamins, taurine (an amino acid), glucuronolactone (a carbohydrate) and sometimes herbal substance(s). 

Threats to the athletes
In additional to the listed health risks, the use of energy drink by athlete could also cause serious consequences – a positive drug test. Cocaine, currently being classified as stimulant in the Prohibited List, is prohibited in-competition. Various formulae of Red Bull found in Germany, Taiwan, and Hong Kong have been detected with the presence of cocaine in 2009. The related products were recalled from the market after the incident.
Composition of these energy drinks could be different in different countries even they are named the same. One could contain no cocaine, but the other with the same name could. The situation is further complicated by the possibility of obtaining parallel imported products in the local market. Nobody can be 100% sure that these energy drinks are free from prohibited substance(s).
To use or NOT to use energy drink?
Be a wise athlete!