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Energy Drinks…Good or Bad?

Lately energy drinks have been popping up everywhere. Different flavors, different sizes, ones claiming to be healthy and natural, others claiming to give you 8 hours of energy without a crash. With every new drink comes a new health concern. Many are speculating  that energy drinks have caused fatalities among youths. You always have to be careful drinking energy drinks and always know what ingredients they contain, and don’t forget all the other alternatives for energy besides caffeine loaded drinks.

Everyone knows that feeling when you hit a wall but still have so much to accomplish in the day, whether that be your afternoon workout, or a big project at the office, you need a quick pick me up to stay energized and alert. Many of us are guilty of going straight to the vending machine for a monster, red bull, or maybe you’ve stashed some 5 hour energy’s in your drawer. But the question is, are they really that bad for you?

The Bad

Energy drinks generally have high levels of caffeine and taurine, an amino acid found in protein-rich foods like meat and fish that can affect heart function and blood pressure. High amounts are never good if you suffer from any heart issues or have high blood pressure. Energy drinks can also increase dehydration. During exercise the last thing you want is to be dehydrated. These drinks are also considered dietary supplements which means the FDA does not approve or review the products before they are sold and are not required to list all ingredients. Another reason you should not drink energy drinks in excess is because most contain a large amount of sugar which is never good for you.

The Good

Although you should never depend on energy drinks, they do provide caffeine that does act as a pick me up when your late afternoon workout starts to become a distant thought. But it is always important to drink these in moderation and pay attention to the serving sizes of each.

If you are always in need of some extra energy before your workouts, try choosing alternative energy sources other than energy drinks, like, coffee or a piece of whole grain toast with some almond butter.

 

Nutrition | Diet | Health

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