Need a little boost in the middle of the day? If you\u2019re like many people, you may reach for an energy drink for much-needed stamina.\nRELATED:\u00a04 Ways to Get an Energy Boost Without Caffeine\nEnergy drinks that contain a mixture of caffeine and other stimulants are formulated to quickly enhance alertness. For many, they\u2019re an alternative to coffee for an afternoon pick-me-up. Studies have shown, however, that these drinks can pose an overall health risk.\nFor more information, or to find a primary care doctor, visit www.UPMC.com\/primarycare or call 1-855-676-UPMCPCP (8762-727).\n \r\n \r\n\t Learn why you should always have a Primary Care Provider \r\n \r\n Enter your email to subscribe\r\n \r\n \r\n\t \r\n Sign Up \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n \r\n I understand that by providing my email address, I agree to receive emails from UPMC. I understand that I may opt out of receiving such communications at any time.\r\n \r\n \r\n \nWhat\u2019s in That Energy Drink?\nEnergy drinks contain large amounts of caffeine, added sugars, and vitamins. Some contain legal stimulants, such as guarana, taurine, and L-carnitine, often in much higher quantities than are found naturally in food.\n\nGuarana is a bean from South America that has nearly twice the caffeine as coffee beans.\nTaurine is an amino acid found in meat and fish. Your body uses taurine to regulate energy levels.\nL-carnitine is an amino acid that helps your body turn fat into energy.\n\nSide Effects of Energy Drinks\nYou may experience the negative effects of energy drinks after your first sip.\n\nYou may notice your heart rate increase and stress levels rise. Consuming excessive amounts of caffeine can cause anxiety, restlessness, and trouble sleeping.\nEnergy drinks also may cause stomach irritation and muscle twitches.\n\nIn extreme circumstances, the ingredients in energy drinks can prevent your arteries from dilating properly. In some cases, an otherwise healthy person can go into cardiac arrest after consuming an excessive number of energy drinks.\nShould You Give Up Energy Drinks?\n“When it comes to energy drinks, my advice is to please use caution,\u201d says\u00a0Philip Iozzi, DO, Absolute Primary Care-UPMC.\n\u201cIf you need a pick-me-up in the morning, a cup of black coffee would be a better choice. Better yet, wake up 30 minutes earlier and do aerobic exercise,\u201d suggests Dr. Iozzi.\u00a0\u201cIf you develop a morning exercise routine, you will likely have more energy, stamina, and focus throughout the day. Taking a short brisk walk at lunch is another a great way to boost your energy.\u201d.\nIf you aren\u2019t drinking energy drinks now, don\u2019t start! If you have them occasionally, try other options. If you can\u2019t live without them, limit the number you consume. Most importantly, pay attention to the way they affect your body and talk to your primary care doctor if you have concerns.\nFor more information, or to find a primary care doctors, visit www.UPMC.com\/primarycare or call 1-855-676-UPMCPCP (8762-727).