Are energy/sports drinks really helping you? Energy drinks give you that burst of energy to get up and go. Weather it be to get through the day, stay up all night, or to do well in a workout or game. Energy drinks taste good and give you the feeling that you can do anything. Red Bull states that “It gives you wings”. Gatorade says that you can be a better athlete if you consume it. This to me sounds a lot like a drug or something everyone should be drinking. So then why don’t you see an energy or sports drink in every hand. The answer might be that some people know what it really does to you.
First lets begin with energy drinks. When I say energy drinks I am referring to 5 hour energy, Monster, Red bull, and Rock Star. In the past 5 years the energy drink market has sored. But so has the amount of trips to the emergency room because of these drinks. The related visits due to energy drinks has doubled, from 2007-2012 there has been 20,000 visits and 18 deaths. Also hundreds of cases of illnesses are linked to these drinks. Things like diabetes, heart murmurs, and heart attacks have been some affects on people. You may be thinking ok but how do we know it is because of these energy drinks they are getting hurt, ill, and dying. We know this because of the affects the sugar, caffeine, and hazardous chemicals in large doses consume quickly can have on our body. The component that makes them so lethal is the amount of sugar and caffeine in them. Companies like 5 hour energy and monster promote there products as safe, fun, and healthy. Telling you that they have vitamins, minerals, and it’s no worse then coffee. These energy drinks are also banned in a handful of country’s, for example France and Italy. Coffee and all these drinks have caffeine but the amount of caffeine they have is about as much as 24 ounces of coffee or 6-7 sodas. I said before in another of my blogs that coffee isn’t bad if done right, but there gets to be a point of too much of a good thing can be bad. Two things caffeine does is speed up the heart rate and contract blood vessels. Too much caffeine can lead to difficulty concentrating, irritability, and abdominal pain. Coffee is meant to be sipped over a period of time unlike all of the energy drinks out there they are encourage to be chugged or drank faster than usually. Doing this doesn’t allow your body to process what it’s taking in and in a sense over loads the system. This is a reason why you feel so jittery and energetic. These drinks also aren’t very good if you want to loose weight or keep your figure. They hurt your thyroid which controls your metabolism and these drinks will slow it down. Also they have tons of un healthy sugar and carbs that don’t look good in a bathing suit. Even buying the monster with zero carbs and sugars you are still consuming things that your body was never meant to consume and you are putting stress on some systems that if you continue to do so will start to break down in some way or form.
Along with telling you how bad these drinks can be I am also going to help you by giving you some healthy alternatives. Water is the best thing you can put into your body. Being dehydrate is the number one reason why we feel sluggish, get rid of this feeling by drinking water or maybe instead have a juicy piece of fruit to give you some flavor and fill you up a bit along with in taking all the vitamins that come with it. Green tea is a great supplement to energy drinks. It has less caffeine then coffee and enriches you body with anti oxidants. A table spoon of honey has 17 grams of healthy carbs and has plenty of natural good for you sugar. So if you need something quick, small, and to give you energy reach for some honey. But if you need that punch of caffeine and are rebellious about eating healthy have a piece of dark chocolate. Dark chocolate is one the top three healthiest food you can have. It also contains a natural source of caffeine. Just make sure you buy an all natural dark chocolate bar and not a snickers. Last but not least sunflowers seeds. One serving of these contain as much caffeine as a few cans of coke and is a natural source of raw energy. Seeds are also jam packed with vitamins that will help boost your energy levels.
In the second part I will be explaining the same thing but with sports drinks like Gatorade and PowerAde. I hope this helped explain why energy drinks aren’t as glorious as everyone makes them seem and hopefully you can kick you habit and use the healthy alternatives. Stay healthy my friends.