The other day we were in town checking on one of our house sitting duties and doing some shopping. It had snowed quite a lot the two days prior; roofs and driveways were piled high with snow. Over the next fifteen minutes, I saw six or seven men come out of the grocery stores carrying multiple “energy drinks”. Since their pickups had ladders and shovels in the back, I assumed they were doing snow removal.
With 24/7 advertising being the norm, most people probably believe that energy drinks are the panacea for intense physical activity and quick recovery times. Personally I found that not to be true, along with carbo-loading, and neither ever worked for me. My experiences come from being tuned into my body, hard physical labor, having been a professional endurance athlete and an alternate on the US Olympic team.
When you’re pumped up, and that can be from hard physical work of any sort, your blood pressure is raised in order to more quickly supply necessary oxygen and nutrients to your muscles and brain. Energy drinks, and fat burning supplements including sugar free types, contain compounds similar to methamphetamine, that’s how they make a person feel energized. But, it’s like overdrawing your bank account, you pay it back with interest or your body files bankruptcy. Both translate to disease and premature old age. The compounds can also contribute to an addictive state which increases repeat energy drink sales percentages. (Smart those chemists). Those same compounds, like meth, stiffen and constrict brain arteries which can cause the arteries to collapse. A stroke is a brain seizure due to a clot, a collapsed artery or bleeding in the brain which causes brain cells to die. It was found in an Australian study that as little as 8-ounces of energy drink could stiffen blood vessels and make clot forming cells stickier.
Under those conditions, stiffer arteries, etc., a stroke is much more likely to occur even in young people. Multiple energy drinks exacerbate the problem and may be a contributing factor in the increased percentages of younger stroke victims in recent years. Young people are more likely to downplay or disregard the symptoms of a stroke or a transient ischemic attack (a small stroke that causes only temporary symptoms) than older people. The most common symptoms of stroke are, but not limited to, headache, muscle weakness in the face, arm or leg, (generally just one side) numbness or tingling on one side of the body, decreased vision, double vision, or total loss of vision, slurred speech, trouble speaking or understanding others.
Some other contributing factors that lead to a higher possibility of stroke are, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, illegal drug use and excessive alcohol consumption. All studies researched pointed toward a balanced diet, higher percentages of HDL compared to LDL cholesterol and exercise without reaching a point of exhaustion being contributing factors to lowered stroke risk.
Sports injuries, particularly injuries that involve stretching or twisting of the neck, cervical (neck) manipulations, (which can occur or be replicated when you lean back over the salon sink for a shampoo) aggressive pressure point massage, improper neck massage, repeated massage (including with electric massagers) in the area of, or pressure on, the carotid artery all may contribute or cause small tears or ruptures in the wall of the carotid or vertebral arteries, known medically as a carotid dissection, allowing blood clots to form. These same actions may dislodge clots, which can then travel to the brain, causing a blockage and stroke.
According to a French study, carotid dissection accounts for twenty-five percent of strokes in people of young and middle age. The carotid artery lies between the base of your neck and the carotid bulb, the part you can feel pulsing just below the jawbone.