What You Don’t Know About Energy Drinks

The US energy drink business is a yearly $5.4 billion industry. Energy drinks are marketed to many students who may need “wings” to help stay awake during class or study.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve or review energy drinks since they are marketed as dietary supplements. Therefore, many drink claims have not been proven, the amount of added ingredients is neither standardized nor identified on the label and their safety is not known. The best way to feel energetic remains by eating healthy foods, regular physical activity, and getting enough sleep.

Common “Energy” Ingredients

Caffeine

A a chemical compound that stimulates the central nervous system. Safe in smaller doses, caffeine in larger amounts may cause blood pressure spikes, headaches, nausea, sleeplessness or tremors. Caffeine in larger doses will act as a diuretic and may lead to dehydration.

Sugar

the same thing as sucrose, glucose, fructose, corn syrup or high fructose corn syrup. Sugar is known to give an instant boost but after very little time will cause a crash in both energy and alertness. Additionally, sugar has 4 calories per gram, a 8.3 ounce Red Bull has 27 grams of sugar; that’s 108 non‐nutritional calories!

Guarana

A South American plant that produces seeds with 4‐5% caffeine content, while a coffee bean has the caffeine content of 1‐2%. Guarana in a 16‐ounce energy drink ranges from 1.4 mg to as much as 300 mg. It is unclear how much guarana is in each drink because many companies do not list a milligram amount. The safety of guarana in higher levels remains unknown, but these high levels could be easily achieved by consuming multiple drinks.

Ginseng

An extract made from the root of the ginseng plant. Ginseng may increase brainpower but since ginseng is not regulated by the FDA it is difficult to know what else you may be getting in your drink! The amount of ginseng in most drinks is minimal and therefore harmful effects are unlikely but check with your doctor first if you are taking any medications.

Taurine

One of the most abundant amino acids in the brain, which can act as a neurotransmitter, a chemical messenger that allows cells to communicate with one another. Most energy drinks have anywhere from 20 mg up to 2,000 mg of taurine in a 16‐ounce beverage. When taurine is dumped into the bloodstream, via consuming an energy drink, it cannot pass through the membranes that protect the brain. But even if it could, scientists believe taurine would behave more like a sedative than a stimulant. Taurine is likely safe in small doses, but currently, there is little research on taurine consumption in humans.

Did you know?

According to the FDA, soda manufacturers cannot have more than 71 mg of caffeine per 12‐ounces; currently, there is no regulation for caffeine content in energy drinks

Many “energy drinks” do not state their caffeine content; some have as much caffeine as 14 cans of soda

Norway, Uruguay and Denmark have banned Red Bull because of its negative health effects

Caffeine is a stimulant, alcohol is a depressant and both are diuretics; combining the two may lead to dehydration and ultimately drinking more alcohol because the burst of energy from the sugar and caffeine misrepresent the state of inebriation

Consuming an energy drink before exercise could increase blood pressure or over‐stimulate the heart or nervous system

How Do I Stay Energized Naturally?

BREAKFAST

A balanced breakfast of carbohydrate, protein, and fat causes a more gradual release of energy over the entire morning, which maintains blood sugar levels and delays hunger

SOY

Compared with other beans, soybeans are a rich source protein that contains as much complete protein as meat. Soybeans are a good source of B vitamins and essential fatty acids, including some omega‐3s and contain isoflavones that may help lower risks for some diseases

GREEN TEA

This hot drink is known to aid in stress reduction and promote mental alertness. Green tea also contains polyphenols that may help lower risks for some diseases. Remember tea contains caffeine, so look for a decaffeinated version or monitor the number of cups consumed. Read about Kou Tea

WATER

The ultimate drink for hydration ‐ water aids in physical performance and prevents muscle cramps.

Source: Villanova University

More Read

The Simplest Paleo Diet Food List

You’re probably on this page because you’re interested in the paleo diet. Maybe you know a lot about it or maybe you don’t know much. If you’re curious about what you can eat, and what you need to avoid, this page is going to lay it out for you in ...

Health Habits to Lose Weight and Improve

Intro How do you lose weight that stays off and build muscle that stays on? Many people try crash diets or low carb diets that are hard to sustain, but for consistent results, the best strategy is to make changes in your daily routine to reap ...

Drinking Diet Soda Makes You Gain Weight

It seems to contradict the laws of physics. Regular sodas are full of calories, 140 per can and up. Diet sodas have zero calories. So it seems logical that replacing one with the other should help you lose weight, or at least stay the same weight. ...

The Real Reason Why Everyone Raves About The Mediterranean Diet

OksanaKiianGetty ImagesThey really seem to have it figured out in the Mediterranean: gorgeous weather, primo vino, and an iconically healthy eating style.The Mediterranean diet—modeled after the Italians and the Greeks—has been around since the ...

Effective Motivation Tricks for Losing Weight

Intro Sometimes, the main thing that is required to lose weight is the motivation to do so. There are many people who want to lose weight, but after following a weight loss regimen for a few days, they lose the motivation to stick with it. ...

What is an Organic Diet?

Intro When you hear someone say they’re eating organic in the United States, what they mean is they’re choosing only to eat agricultural crops that are grown without any genetically-modified strains or pesticides that are synthetic, ...

dietneat.com

All product names, trademarks and registered trademarks are property of their respective owners

Be a part of Notification