Do Energy Drinks Cause Kidney Stones?
The kidney is an important part of the human body. However, ailments such as Kidney Stones can make life worse because of the intense pain and discomfort associated with such ailments. Let us understand what kidney stones are and what causes such kidney stones to form? Do energy drinks also cause kidney stones?
What Are Kidney Stones?
Kidneys, two bean-shaped organs in the human body, helps in removing waste and fluid from the blood which can then be excreted out of the body through urine. However, when such toxins and waste increases in the blood and fluid content in the body, kidneys cannot dissolve them to form urine; such wastes tend to stick to the kidney. Such an accumulation of wastes in the kidney are called kidney stones.
Smaller kidney stones that can pass through the urinary tract often go unnoticed and the individual might never know about such stones. The larger kidney stones though can have various symptoms such as;
- Sharp pain in the back or lower abdomen
- Pain while urination
- Blood in urine
Causes Of Kidney Stones
Kidney stones can be a problem for almost anyone given the kind of dietary intake and sedentary lifestyle we follow. However, the occurrence of kidney stones in some individuals is more likely than others such as;
- Men have a higher chance of getting affected through kidney stones than women
- Individuals who have a prior history of kidney stones
- Individuals who have an ancestral history of kidney stones
- Individuals not drinking enough water
- Individuals consuming high sodium, high potassium, or high sugar diet
- Individuals who are obese or overweight
- Individuals who have had any intestinal surgery or gastric bypass surgery
- Individuals suffering from polycystic kidney disease
- Individuals taking certain medications such as diuretics or calcium based antacids
- These are some of the major causes of kidney stones, though the list is not all-inclusive.
Do Energy Drinks Cause Kidney Stones?
Kidney stones, as already mentioned above, are formed due to the build-up or accumulation of certain substances in the kidney such as uric acid, cysteine, or calcium oxalate. Energy drinks commonly available in the market contain the following energy substances;
Among all the above ingredients, the most important ingredient as far as kidney stones are concerned is Taurine. Taurine is a type of amino acid usually found in various sources of protein including meat, milk, and fish. Taurine is the most common ingredient of any sports supplement and is known for its benefit in increasing athletic ability. The presence of high levels of Taurine in the blood of human beings have been found to affect human health, the most common effect being the occurrence of chronic kidney disease such as kidney stones.
[Also Read: Drinks That cause kidney stones]
Most of the energy drinks, including caffeinated drinks such as tea, coffee, and normal soda based drinks, are also known to contain oxalate which also plays their role in forming kidney stones. While some researchers have linked the consumption of energy drinks to be one of the causes of the formation of kidney stones, further validations are required to establish the number of energy drinks beyond which such issues of kidney stones can occur. Further, while there is evidence that certain elements present in the energy drinks can lead to the formation of kidney stones, but the extent of such cause and effect needs to be validated.
Another interesting fact about kidney stones is that individuals suffering from diabetes have a higher tendency of facing issues of kidney diseases including the formation of kidney stones. The energy drinks available in the market are high on sugar content. Therefore, while on the one hand, consumption of such drinks increases the risk of becoming a diabetic, on the other hand, frequent consumption of such energy drinks, especially for individuals suffering from diabetes or about to suffer from diabetes, can indirectly lead to complications related to the formation of kidney stones.
Various researches have provided ample evidence that consumption of energy drinks are not healthy and can cause serious ailments including the formation of kidney stones. While people are still confused about whether energy drinks cause kidney stones or not, it is advisable to limit the consumption of such drinks including the consumption of other caffeinated drinks.