Do you leap in a single bound to the fridge for a monster energy drink anytime you get the urge for something to wet your whistle? Or do you feel a little more comfortable with the idea of filling your glass with H20 to quench your thirst?
So the question that comes up is “why are energy drinks bad for you, and what’s wrong with drinking them”?
There’s a large crowd of people visiting the supermarkets that will gladly stand in line to purchase monster energy drinks and a whole slew of other sugary brands, than settle for anything they feel will bring them less value.
What is the value you are looking for when purchasing one of these energy drinks? Is it the jolt of adrenaline you get when downing a can? Is it the sweet flavor, the catchy brand name or all of the above?
We’ll, whatever the reason may be, we will cover what exactly is in a can of energy, if it is actually doing you any good, or more harm than good, and what are some better alternatives.
Why the craze?
There have been reports showing that young people who are becoming overly obsessed with drinking high energy drinks to boost their workout production have had negative effects from drinking these energy drinks, such as Monster Energy drinks or Red Bull just to name a couple.
Some cans of these energy drinks contain as much as 13 teaspoons of sugar and the equivalent of caffeine that two cups of coffee have. There is much growing alarm from what these drinks are doing to young people and their health.
There are people campaigning to get legislation to urgently put age limits on these drinks. Something obviously needs to be done about these products because often parents have little idea that their children are consuming these energy drinks or to a high level that they are.
What’s in a can?
The main ingredient in these high energy drinks that is causing alarm and much concern is the high caffeine content which is a drug that can be found in many everyday products such as sodas, coffee and a numerous amount of energy drinks.
Their effect that people are looking for, especially young people and people that are sports enthusiasts and weight trainers looking to get a high from its effect are, alertness and a better ability to concentrate. A person may also experience insomnia, irritability, headaches and nervousness.
Below is a list of ingredients that you will find in a typical can of Monster energy.
*L-Carnitine: an amino acid
*Caffeine: It is a stimulant that is naturally occurring in many plants such as coffee, tea and cacao beans.
*Sorbic Acid (Preservative)
*Benzoic Acid (Preservative)
*Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)
*Sucralose: this is added sugar. Sucralose is sold as Splenda, and is roughly 600 times sweeter than table sugar.
*Salt: sodium is found in energy drinks to help replenish electrolyte loss.
*Inositol: this is also known as vitamin B8. It is a naturally occurring sugar.
*Guarana Extract: when combined with caffeine from other sources, guarana can provide additional stimulation.
*Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6)
*Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
*Maltodextrin: this is a sugar that’s made from starch and a carbohydrate supplement to provide energy.
*Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12)
Monster Energy caffeine has 80 milligrams per serving, or 160 milligrams per can. This is the same amount of caffeine found in Rockstar ingredients.
Does it matter what I drink?
Researching a little on the topic, there may not be much of a difference in the caffeine content between a high energy drink and coffee, but being a coffee drinker myself, coffee is typically consumed over a longer period and sipped, but I think you will find that sports drinks, especially with younger people are consumed at a faster rate.
Incidents involving young people consuming high energy drinks to boost their workout performance, the beverages were likely downed in a short period and possibly consuming more than one in a relatively short time.
I am not to say that you should cut out consumption of energy drinks, but I believe that more people should be aware of the dangers of consuming energy drinks, especially high consumption and in relatively short periods.
What are better alternatives?
There are various great alternatives to downing sugar loaded, high caffeinated energy drinks. Below is a list of some healthy alternatives to give your energy a boost and may help with improving your overall health.
Dehydration is one of the biggest reasons we experience a drop in energy. Many people think that drinking water is boring, just spruce it up by adding strawberries or blueberries. The fruit will provide carbohydrates and B vitamins for that extra energy boost.
Green Tea contains a smaller amount of caffeine than coffee does. There’s also evidence that green tea helps improve mental clarity and performance which makes it a great alternative.
Dark green vegetables like spinach, kale and parsley are used in green drinks and are a great source of B vitamins. Our body requires these vegetables for the metabolism to run at its peak. If your metabolism is high, your body will be able to produce enough energy at a faster rate.
A good quality protein supplement can help your body reach its nutrient level. Lack of protein can be a common cause for fatigue, but don’t simply rely on just mixing a protein powder with water or milk. You will need carbohydrates mixed in with your shake to help give you that extra punch of energy. Add fruit or wheat germ to your shake with 10 grams of protein powder. You can also add yogurt or milk for a higher energy punch.
In conclusion, if you are someone who drinks high energy drinks on a regular basis, I am not saying that you have to quit drinking them or you are going to have a heart attack, like most anything else, “everything in moderation”.
Coffee drinkers generally don’t have a tendency to slam their coffee one cup after another, coffee is generally sipped and consumed at a much slower pace. The people that experience complications due to caffeine intake are those that take in a high amount of caffeine in a relatively short time.
I’m sure that if you take advantage of at least one of the options listed above as a good alternative to drinking those caffeinated energy drinks, you will find that there is plenty of flavor, they will increase your energy and they will also benefit your health further down the road.
If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to leave a comment in the box below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.