10 Negative Side Effects of Zero Calorie Energy Drinks

zero calorie drinks

Zero calorie energy drinks are marketed as being better than energy drinks with calories because you won’t gain any weight from them. However, there are many possible negative side effects to drinking these beverages that you should know about, so you can make an informed decision about whether or not to continue consuming them. Here are 10 negative side effects of zero-calorie energy drinks…

1) Increased Anxiety

Some studies have shown that caffeine can produce increased anxiety and even panic attacks in some people. While not all studies have confirmed these findings, caffeine is still a stimulant that triggers our fight-or-flight response.

If you’re experiencing anxiety symptoms, it might be best to avoid energy drinks altogether or use them very sparingly as a dietary supplement. If you are going to drink energy drinks on a regular basis, speak with your doctor about potential interactions with other medications you may be taking.

2) Heart Palpitations

It’s a common misconception that zero-calorie drinks are healthier than their counterparts. However, many beverages marketed as zero calories have added sugar, which can cause unwanted side effects. For example, taurine and caffeine – key ingredients in popular energy drinks – may induce heart palpitations for some consumers. It’s unclear why these ingredients may cause irregular heartbeats; however, it’s likely because they act as stimulants.

Because an increase in heart rate can lead to cardiac arrest in older individuals or those with preexisting medical conditions like diabetes or high blood pressure, zero-calorie energy drinks could actually be dangerous for some people.

3) Headaches

High sugar consumption can have a dehydrating effect, which causes headaches. At first, you might think that a zero-calorie energy drink is helping—but dehydration is only one potential side effect caused by drinking too many energy drinks. The stimulants contained in most zero-calorie drinks (such as caffeine) can trigger headaches in people who are sensitive to them.

Additionally, if you regularly consume zero-calorie soft drinks and switch to regular soda—which contains much more sugar—you could be prone to more frequent and severe headaches because of your greater intake of glucose and caffeine.

4) Loss of appetite

When you’re drinking one or more zero-calorie energy drinks daily, you might find yourself with a suppressed appetite. And while most people think they can lose weight just by substituting these products for food and water, it’s not true.

As soon as your body senses a loss in calories or an increase in liquids, it slows down its metabolism to conserve energy stores for later and starts telling you that you’re hungry so that you’ll eat more food, negating any effects from consuming a zero-calorie drink in the first place. When your body becomes accustomed to fewer calories, it’s difficult to lose weight over time unless you consume fewer total calories than your body burns every day.

5) Weight Gain

No matter what you may have heard, there is no such thing as a zero-calorie food or drink. The term refers to foods that have less than five calories per serving, but there are still calories in sugar alcohols and other natural ingredients in some low-cal drinks.

This means that drinking too many low-cal beverages can cause you to consume extra calories without even realizing it—and these small amounts of extra calories can add up quickly. In fact, a 2009 study found that people who drank three or more low-cal energy drinks a day were at higher risk for weight gain over time ( compared with those who did not drink these kinds of beverages). So when trying to lose weight, skip zero-calorie drinks and look for water instead.

6) Skin Problems

Skin problems are common in those who consume energy drinks and can include rashes, acne and eczema. It is believed that a zero-calorie drink can leave some people with a chemical imbalance, which could be responsible for these reactions. Try to avoid these drinks if you notice issues developing on your skin as they will likely continue to get worse without treatment.

A zero-calorie drink may also cause your body to go into overdrive trying to balance out all of the caffeine it has been consuming, leading to high blood pressure. When blood pressure is too high it puts stress on organs such as your heart and kidneys, so even though zero-calorie drinks won’t necessarily lead directly to heart disease or kidney failure there’s still cause for concern.

Additionally, high blood pressure can lead to more serious conditions like stroke or heart attack. Finally, many athletes believe that consuming too much caffeine during exercise can lead to dehydration—which leads us right back around again!

7) Dizziness

If you feel lightheaded after drinking one of these energy drinks, it might be because some contain caffeine and sugar substitutes. Coffee, tea and soft drinks with sugar can make you feel a little wobbly—the fact that those same effects may occur with zero-calorie drinks is no coincidence.

Unless they’re flavoured water, these zero-calorie beverages are likely chock full of artificial ingredients like chemicals or sweeteners that could be causing your dizziness. Some people also report headaches or even vomiting after consuming these products in high quantities.

Again, it’s important to note that there is no scientific research to back up these reports and many researchers believe it could be due to contamination in ingredients or processing equipment.

8) Nausea and Vomiting

While regular energy drinks often contain between 10 and 500 calories, consuming zero-calorie drinks can lead to nausea and vomiting in some people, since a lack of calories can make it difficult for the body to process food.

In some cases, drinking too many zero-calorie energy drinks in one sitting has also caused people to go into insulin shock. If you’re sensitive to caffeine or have never consumed energy drinks before, you may want to try sticking with just water or sugar-free diet sodas. Zero calorie doesn’t mean zero consequences.

9) Electrolyte Imbalance

Zero calorie energy drinks have a tendency to disrupt your body’s natural balance of sodium and potassium. Sodium helps your body maintain fluid levels, and if you replace those fluids with zero-calorie energy drinks, your sodium levels can drop dangerously low. In extreme cases, a person might experience muscle spasms and cramps or even collapse from electrolyte imbalance.

If you want to stay healthy when using zero-calorie energy drinks, make sure to drink some water too (or just add regular water to a zero-calorie drink—zero calories is still better than no calories).

10) Increase in Hypertension, Stroke, and Diabetes Risk

Many high-energy drinks contain ingredients such as taurine, guarana and ginseng. These ingredients have been shown to cause elevated blood pressure and increase risk for stroke and heart attack when used long term. Additionally, one study found that consuming just one cup of a caffeinated energy drink per day can significantly raise your risk for Type 2 diabetes in men who are overweight or obese by more than 500%.

With energy drinks being consumed by billions each year, researchers are warning that they may be posing serious health risks to consumers. The average consumer should always be aware that their diet is a key factor in determining overall health and wellbeing.


There’s some debate about whether or not zero-calorie energy drinks are good for your health. Some argue that they provide a boost and help improve mental focus, but there’s also some very scary research that shows long-term use can cause serious cardiovascular issues. If you want to try one, be smart about it: Don’t drink more than a few per week and watch out for signs of caffeine poisoning, like dizziness or palpitations.

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