Do energy drinks really energise your mind and your body or are energy drinks bad for you and not much else?
Almost all of us have our very favourite energy drink, which we consume probably more because we like the taste than our belief that it’s going to infuse us with energy. My particular favourite is Monster, others love Red Bull or maybe Rock Star, and I grew up with Lucozade, the list could go on and on.
The promise of popping open a can and slurping immediate energy has really caught on. You see so many people doing this. Many seem to have replaced their soda drinking now with an energy can.
One member of my gym used to tell me how she would turn to energy drinks in the morning because she felt sluggish and had no get up and go. It wouldn’t be unusual for her to have drank three or four cans of Red Bull before 10am.
My daughter at the time of her A Level exams, would be revising through the night. She would consume many a bottle of lucozade to help her stay up and keep going.
The world over energy drinks are popular beverages that are widely promoted by their manufacturers as energy enhancers and their popularity is for ever rising. Yet in many cases other than a brief caffeine rush, energy drinks pose no additional health benefits, and they certainly don’t help give us a long term energy boost.
Most energy drink contain a variety of stimulants and chemicals, and in most cases, ‘tons’ of sugar. With approximately three to five times more caffeine than a traditional soda, energy drinks may give momentary help in alleviating fatigue but they can also lead to poor health. Heavy doses of caffeine may increase your heart rate, cause nervousness, sweating, nausea, chest pain and stomach upset. Regular consumption of energy drinks may lead to insomnia and subsequent health problems associated with sleep deprivation. High levels of caffeine are not recommended for children, women who are pregnant, diabetics, or people with heart problems. Your body’s response to energy drinks largely depends upon your tolerance to caffeine and sugar. All in all the message is drink energy drinks with caution, don’t consume large quantities at any one time.
Individual responses to caffeine vary, but with the fact that they can boost the heart rate and blood pressure, dehydrate the body, and prevent sleep it is really important not to consume to many. When used occasionally, energy drinks are not necessarily bad for you, but they shouldn’t be seen as “natural alternatives” either. If you are lacking in energy, needing a pick me up there are far better alternatives which we bring to you through this blog frequently.
A better name for the energy drinks would be “caffeine in a can”. Most of the popular energy drinks are simply filled with caffeine and sugar and not a lot else So just as coffee and its caffeine can give you a temporary spike the same will happen with energy drinks. After this spike where insulin passes through your body, you need to be prepared for a drop in energy levels, sluggish feeling, possible mood changes and dehydration.
So for those of you using it to load your body with energy, maybe you should be looking at more importantly lifestyle changes to bring this about.
One of the biggest problems with energy drinks is that they taste so good. I hold my hands up and admit I love the taste of Monster, and on the rare occasion I drink alcohol I have been known to add Red Bull Energy Drink to my Vodka, and it tastes great.
Alas this is a very common trend in society now, particularly with the young people. It is now most common to use energy drinks as a mixer for spirits. Since energy drinks are stimulants and alcohol is a depressant, the combination of effects may be dangerous. The stimulant effects can mask how intoxicated you are and prevent you from realizing how much alcohol you have consumed.
Both energy drinks and alcohol are very dehydrating (the caffeine in energy drinks is a diuretic). Dehydration can hinder your body’s ability to metabolize alcohol and will increase the toxicity, and therefore the hangover, the next day. SO the two together may taste great but they really aren’t a good combination when you look at it in the cold light of day.
So back to the question, are energy drinks bad for you? The answer is, “they can be”. The fact is high amounts of sugar and caffeine are bad for you, so if you consume too many energy drinks filled with sugar and caffeine, then IT IS BAD FOR YOU!!
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