Energy drinks are becoming more popular nowadays. In fact, instead of reaching a cup of coffee, people are drinking Red Bull for a quick buzz. Teenager is actually the biggest fan of energy drink. A highly active teen’s schedule may be filled up with school, sports and other extracurricular activities. The routine can be even more challenging during examination time when burning mid night oil is the norm. To make it through the night, having a can of energy drink is an easy way for the energy boost. Now, you know why energy drink companies have made the flashy aluminum cans slender with design targeting male teens and young 20s.
The sale of energy drink has been banned in Australia and New Zealand. France, Denmark and Norway have also banned it for sale in supermarket and it is only sold in pharmacies. Today, let’s look at what energy drink is and why we should not drink too much of it.
How Does Energy Drink Give You The Boost?
- All energy drinks contains caffeine. Caffeine may be legal, but it is a stimulant drug. It works by blocking the chemical that makes us naturally drowsy when you are tired. The chemical is called adenosine and it is used to dilating the blood vessels. Without this chemical, caffeine causes the brain’s blood vessels to constrict (to become tighter and narrower). Your body will then increase heart rate to increase the blood pressure so that blood can flow to our brain and muscles. You will get the boost.
- Most energy drink, except those are labeled as “sugar free”, are high in sugar. The sugar contained in each can ranges from 5 to 8 teaspoons. The recommended sugar is no more than 6 to 7 teaspoons a day. Sugar gives you a quick bump of energy. However, this boost is short lived because your body will quickly release insulin to lower the blood sugar level. When this happens, the energy level will be lowered too.
Most of us do not know how much caffeine we are getting through soda, coffee or energy drink because the amount of caffeine is seldom stated on the container. Now, here is the table exposing the information of these caffeinated beverages:
|Drink||Amount of Caffeine|
|16oz. Grande cup of Starbucks Coffee||330mg|
|16 oz. Rockstar Punched||240mg|
|16 oz. Burn||199mg|
|16 oz. Rockstar||160mg|
|16 oz Monster||150mg|
|16 oz. Full Throttle||142mg|
|8.3 oz Red Bull||80mg|
|1 oz. Starbucks Espresso||75mg|
|8 oz. Organic Black Tea||65mg|
|12 oz Diet Coke||38mg|
|12 oz. Coca-Cola||29mg|
|16 oz. Starbucks Hot Chocolate||25mg|
For an average person, I mean adult, up to 300 mg of caffeine a day is considered a safe amount to consume. I am not saying Coke is a better choice, but when it comes to caffeine, it is still much less, in fact only 10% than what you get from a Grande cup of Starbucks coffee (16 oz.) which gives you more than enough caffeine for a single day. As for the popular Red Bull in the typical packaging (8.3 oz), it gives you about 80 mg of caffeine.
Why You Should Not Drink Energy Drink Too Often?
- The short term benefit may seem good, but once this stimulation goes off, you will be back to the previous tired stage. It can even drag you down. If you take caffeine for long period, you may develop osteoporosis. Too much caffeine intake may affect sleeping pattern, heart rate, and blood pressure.
- The other effect is that caffeine is diuretic (promoting fluid loss). It takes along calcium with your urine.
- Apart from that, I need to point out that energy drink is not sports drink (like Gatorade) which replenish minerals that the body loses in sweats. Energy drink provides brief feeling of increased energy with the not so effects I just shared. Remember caffeine is diuretic? So, if you have already lost essential fluids during your exercise, do not attempt to re-hydrate yourself with energy drink which that actually promotes even more fluid loss.
When you buy a can of energy drink next time, do not be only attracted by the big words of boosting your athletic performance, you may want to check whether that is a fine print recommending you not to drink more than 2 cans a day. Be critical when reading labels. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Some discotheques are selling alcohol drinks mixed with energy drink. Alcohol is a depressant and caffeine is a stimulant. Both are diuretics that lead to dehydration. Mixing them is a just a bad idea.
In short, energy drink just gives you a temporary fix. Don’t drink it often. After all, energy drink is just a stiff dose of caffeine and sugar. It may not be harmful, but it just does not live up to most of the claims it makes. You don’t need energy drink. Drink water, fruit juice and milk instead. If you are tired all the time, make sure you get enough rest and sleep each night. People who eat well and exercise regularly will have plenty of energy, the natural way.
Category: Other Fitness/Sports Articles
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