Avoid Energy and Sport Drinks if you have Eczema?
Energy and Sport drinks are gaining interests as growing rates of consumption is proven to be significantly profitable but raising health concerns (Burrows, Pursey, Neve, & Stanwell, 2013). Similarly to the fat-free industry, the Energy Drink industry (ex. Red Bull, Monster) has made some unlikely health benefits claims such as an increase in self-perceived muscle power than those who do not drink it.
On the other hand, Sport drinks (ex. Gatorade, PowerAde) have a different formulation that promotes wakefulness and productivity since it has carbohydrates (including sugar/glucose and fructose). This enhances athletic performances when engaging in long physical activities.
Consumers of Energy drinks have a higher prevalence of side effects (insomnia, nervousness, activeness) (para. 2). The biggest customers of energy drinks happens to be men between the age of 18-34 year olds and those in the younger category is still significantly high (Burrows et al., 2013). According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Emergency visits that involves energy drinks has nearly doubled or increase to 20,000 or more from 2007 to 2011 (Anderson, 2015).
Is it Okay for Eczema Sufferers?
It is no surprise that energy drinks usually contains more caffeine than regular cola by 5 folds and is usually very sugary. Aside from that, Caffeine and Sugar are two common factors that can stimulate our eczema, so it is something we should be very concern about. The high consumption of caffeine alone is a big concern to children, pregnant women or those of us who are sensitive to caffeine (YES including US!!).
For more information on sugar/caffeine and its effects on Eczema, please read my article -> Top 3 Common Food/Drinks to look into for your Eczema Diet.
Although it does improve mood and alertness, it has the ability to increase the heart beat abnormally. Along with the additive sugar and active ingredients, it is a concern in terms of health concerns. According to some news report, it can even cause death in extreme cases of over consumption.
Labeling issue in different Countries
Energy drinks can mean many things to different countries. It can either labeled as a supplement, formulated caffeinated beverages/non-alcoholic water-based beverages (containing caffeine, carbohydrates (sweeteners), amino acids, vitamins, and other substances to achieve physiological effects), and was at one point banned due to the unknown effects of taurine (Burrows et al., 2013)
My Final Thoughts
My take on this is to strictly avoid drinking energy drinks leisurely as it contains two of the eczema-stimulating factors (Caffeine and sugar) AND the fact that many of us are sedentary due to Eczema and our problems with sweat. Sport energy drinks is still questionable for us Eczema sufferers, since it does normally contain glucose/sugar (simple carb) as a main ingredient; a fuel for muscles which is lost during long physical activity. I personally never liked the taste of sports drinks, but studies have shown that carbohydrates in general does improve exercise performances in athletes. When I plan to do long physical activities I just mainly eat carbohydrates in forms of real food.