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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

Stay Slim During Football Season

Football season is in full swing and you know what that means…chips and dip, loaded nachos, and beer. Every Sunday brings about a plethora of diet busting foods that can be hard to resist week after week. Don’t let the family and friends fun filled day ruin all that you’ve worked for. To avoid packing on pounds use these strategies to resist those pigs in blankets.

1. When you’re picking a seat for the game, try and choose somewhere that is as far away from the food table as possible. This way it won’t be easy to go for seconds or be temped by the aroma.

2. Always remember to eat before you leave for the game to keep from over-eating. It’s not necessary to show up completely full, just a light snack like an apple, or a handful of almonds are a great snacks to keep you from becoming famished and end up filling your plate with more food than you need. Often times when you let yourself get too hungry you tend to eat faster and your body takes longer to realize its full.

3. Instead of lounging for more than three hours on the couch, get up during commercials and move around. Gather up friends and pass the pigskin outside during halftime. A game of flag football can burn up to 526 calories an hour. That can slash a lot of those chips and dip calories. If you plan to have a full day of football games galore, make sure you are staying active in between games by going for a walk or a bike ride.

4. Portion control is key! You don’t have to stick to veggies and water to stay slim. Instead of filling your plate with unhealthy foods, pick a couple things and have one each to get your fill. Don’t deprive yourself, just make sure your portions are small and you aren’t hitting up the appetizers table over and over…make a plate and leave. For an estimate of portions, use the size of your fist.

5.  If you want to be sure that there will be healthy foods to munch on, contribute your own dish to the party. Try a healthy yogurt based dip or grilled buffalo chicken.

6. Stick with your regular work out routine to avoid packing on extra pounds during this food-eating season. The holidays are right around the corner so lets try not to stretch out the bad eating habits from September to February.

 

Fitness | Health | Football | Nutrition