Fit for Our Lives Blog by Leanne Bateman

Running for Our Lives Blog

Energy Drinks: Good, Bad or Dangerous?
Posted 6/10/2013 4:42:00 PM

Danger! Energy Drink HazardIt used to be that a convenience store had a small refrigerated section for dairy products, soda and sandwiches. Now the typical convenience store has a full wall (if not two) of just refrigerated items, the vast majority of which are drinks. Take out the water and soda and you have a dizzying selection of “energy” drinks (not to be confused with sport drinks used to rehydrate the body).

As I have gotten older and my job continually has me sitting in front of a computer for 8 hours each day, my energy level has definitely seemed to dip compared to how I felt in my 20s. I’ve always been a moderate coffee drinker and that has certainly helped, but I have often been drawn toward the colorful and flashy cans of the energy drinks that have flooded the market in the past 10 years in particular. The manufacturers of these energy drinks claim that their products increase your energy and mental alertness, but they fail to enlighten you on the side effects caused by some of the ingredients.

In 1985, Jolt soda was the first cola-based energy drink, followed by Red Bull in 1987. While Jolt was basically just a highly caffeinated, high-sugar cola, Red Bull also included high amounts of caffeine and sugar while introducing the newer “energy-boosting” ingredients of taurine, B-group vitamins, glucuronolactone, sucrose and glucose. More on these ingredients later.

The success of Red Bull kicked off a multi-million dollar energy drink industry whose greatest success is its marketing. Designed primarily to attract males in their teens and 20s, some energy drinks also try to seduce athletes by promising greater performance and endurance. And some even claim to help you party longer and still avoid a hangover, a lure for many college students.

So what’s the big deal? Are they helpful in boosting energy or not? And are they dangerous? Once you look past the flashy marketing claims, you can finally get to the real deal which confirms the age-old adage, “If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.” So let’s start by breaking down the main ingredients, and then I’ll go through the typical side effects.

Energy DrinksThe primary ingredients in most energy drinks include caffeine, taurine, vitamins, glucuronolactone and sugar (refined sugar, corn syrup, sucrose and glucose). Caffeine is a mild diuretic that stimulates the nervous system and increases the heart rate. Taurine is an amino acid that increases the effect of caffeine and serves as a cardiac stimulator. The most common vitamins included are the B-group, which serve various energy-boosting purposes. Glucuronolactone is a chemical made naturally in the body that may fight fatigue. Sugars are a common ingredient that significantly boost the calorie level of the drink, though some drinks are now marketing sugar-free drinks that use artificial sweeteners instead (never a good thing). Other ingredients often include additional amino acids, additional caffeine-based ingredients, herbs and other plant-based or proprietary ingredients.

When examined individually, none of the ingredients are a cause for concern in moderation. When combined and offered in high amounts, however, many of the drinks that contain them pose serious health risks, particularly for those people already taking medication or combining drinking or additional caffeine on top of these ingredients. Add the high caloric value of most of these drinks and you’ve just added weight gain to the mix.

The physical and mental side effects of these ingredients are many. In order of frequency, here are the top 10 side effects:

1. heart palpitations
2. physical tremors/shaking
3. agitation/restlessness
4. upset stomach
5. chest pain/tightness
6. dizziness/lightheadedness
7. skin tingling or numbing
8. insomnia
9. difficulty breathing
10. headache

Sound like fun? I didn’t think so. That’s not quite my idea of “energy” either. So here’s my plan for myself which I guarantee will give me far more energy than any energy drink on the market—past, present of future: 8 full hours of sleep, moderate caffeine intake, no or very limited refined sugars and white flour-based food (white bread, pasta, deep fried food), lots of fruits and vegetables, regular exercise, a daily dose of sunshine and fresh air, and a reduction of anything that causes too much stress in my day. Those are the things I’d want an “energy drink” to help me with but ironically, the side effects would disturb my sleep and make me an anxious, jittery mess, unable to focus and get anything done. No thanks. So just by sticking to the list of healthy options above, I will have a far more consistent and higher level of energy overall, without the unpleasant side effects. There’s no way I will fall for the empty promises of those flashy and colorful cans in the convenience store. I hope you don’t either. It’s just not worth it.

Important: For anyone with a family history of high blood pressure, enlarged prostate, glaucoma or any cardiac issues, you will always need to consult a physician before using any energy drinks.

Posted By: Leanne Bateman  

Leave a comment:

showing all comments · Subscribe to comments
  1. skyouts posted on 08/26/2014 04:56 AM
    If you wear glasses {then it is|then its|then it's|it's} cheap womens north face jackets {important for|essential for|very important to|necessary for} {you to|you to definitely|one to|that you} cheap north face womens jackets find out about sunglasses {that will be|that'll be|which will be|that is to be} {compatible with|suitable for|appropriate for|works with} your prescription. mens north face jackets for cheap
  2. skyouts posted on 10/13/2014 03:14 AM
    He said he heard the man order a bank employee to open the drawers, don't do anything stupid and "put it in the bag." ugg boots sale uk Nigra said as the man was leaving the bank's front doors, the man said, "Have a nice day." Nigra estimated that about five customers and several bank employees were in the building at the time, and the ordeal lasted about three minutes. cheap ugg boots uk "He was so calm and cool about," Nigra said. "No one was screaming or scared to death. It seemed to me like he'd probably done it before." The Tehama County Sheriff's Department and the FBI are conducting a joint investigation into the case, according to the release. No injuries were reported. ugg boots clearance Anyone with information about the robbery is asked to contact the Sheriff's Department at 530-529-7920 or 22840 Antelope Blvd. in Red Bluff.
  3. youngy posted on 10/20/2014 03:49 AM
    the north face outlet Prince looked north face outlet online cheap trembling legs and a sharp contraction of the pupil coldly. cheap, I warn you, now thirteen Prince Street in my control, with your own simply mantis trying to stop the car, you the north face outlet can now get out I can spare you. Prince is a small man, the villain is owned by the despicable the north face outlet nature, ungrateful and bullying. the north face outlet Prince, I warn you, get out of thirteen Street, do not provoke cheap, or you will die miserable. cheap Prince grabbed the collar, the next second he has thrown the north face outlet into the corridor. Prince felt his organs to be out of the throat, heart very frightened. cheap north face factory outlet when it has such a big effort. cheap, how you want. Prince struggled, like a dead dog like crawling around the north face outlet on the floor.
  4. skyouts posted on 10/21/2014 05:52 AM
    They all know the songs that are on classic rock radio today and this is how they were written and where they north face jackets sale uk were written and the stories behind them. I’m getting great response to the whole DVD and CD. The DVD has the stories but the CD just has the music that you can play in your car. I’ve done it off and on for a couple of years but it just so happened with this new band, doudoune moncler femme pas cher my stories took on more of a streamline cause I’ve done them so many times. You’re like a comedian: you know what to leave in and what to leave out (laughs). cheap asics running shoes for women And they put together this visual montage behind me that is going on while I’m telling the stories and that is quite amazing.
  5. youngy posted on 03/27/2015 03:04 AM
    cheap nike free 5.0 running shoes sale hear cheap nike free 5.0 womens the word thief immediately excited. nike free 5.0 running shoes sale Can not do cheap nike free 5.0 mens anything cheap yet good man pretending to cheap crowded space, then sweat, indescribable pain. cheap, there are thieves. cheap suddenly nike free 5.0 running shoes sale whispered nike free 5.0 running shoes sale in the ear cheap. Where it is. Number of years seen a thief.
  6. sarahdanielf posted on 04/22/2015 03:13 AM
    You will discover some inexpensive and (not-so) cheerful eBay solutions – with infamous reliability challenges – while at the other end with the spectrum, one particular has the various hundred to numerous thousand dollar segment – an quantity quite a few would rather devote on watches themselves. And but, regardless of all that ロレックス レプリカ , I was searching forward to giving the Barrington Single Watch Winder and Double Watch Winder a shot, as they promised to obtain right most basic requirements. As we will see, while they are not devoid of their minor faults, they do offer a extremely recommendable choice for all those searching for a decorative and useful new winder in the value-segment montblanc replica . Barrington Watch Winders can be a British company that – as opposed to some other people who make safes and in some cases even watches – is involved only in selling watch winders. Their selection in the time of this critique goes from single by way of double winders, each of the way up to bigger containers, with four, six or 12 spinning watch holders. In our overview, we will be looking at the most well-liked, single and double winders, so let's start with the additional compact of your two. The single watch winder is obtainable in seven unique colors, which includes the obligatory black and white solutions, and also green, panerai replica watches blue, red, orange, and yellow.
showing all comments