Are Energy Drinks Safe?

By on 10/09/2015
energy drinks

If someone could truly find a way to safely bottle and sell pure energy, they would be a billionaire!

When we are kids it seems our energy is limitless… we can run and play outside all day, climbing, jumping, riding, swimming, etc. And we never get tired!

Fast forward to adulthood: sitting in front of a desk at work and trying your hardest to keep your eyes open, and its only 2pm! Where did our endless energy go?

Most adults would happily take a dose of pure energy!

So what about energy drinks? Are they really safe? Are they even effective?

In short: no, not really.

There are at least 100 different types of energy drinks out on the market today, from Red Bull to 5 Hour Energy, to a bunch of lesser known brands that claim to offer boundless energy daily. It’s a huge market and there are tons of brands trying to cash in!

The problem is most energy drinks contain high amounts of caffeine, taurine, or sugars to give you that buzz that feels like energy. They can also contain a large amount of artificial sweetneers, colors, preservatives and other unregulated supplements like green tea extract, guarana, and yerba mat. However, all of these ingredients do not give you actual “energy.” They simply spike up your body’s metabolism with a large rush of these “drugs,” but then you crash and you crash hard. The health effects ingesting too much of these ingredients are also rather negative.

Oh, and here is a scary fact: The FDA does not regulate energy drinks at all! That means the type, quality and amount of active and inactive ingredients in these drinks are unknown, not monitored and can actually be dangerous!

The top side effects of most energy drinks are:are energy drinks safe

  • Disrupted sleep (which zaps your real energy reserves!)
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Anxiety
  • Weight gain
  • Pre-diabetes/diabetes
  • Addiction to some of the ingredients/withdrawals if you don’t get your daily dose

 

So…Are there ANY energy drinks that are OK?

Yes. But chances are they aren’t popular and don’t market themselves as some miracle energy drink. Anything that comes from natural, organic ingredients, has no artificial preservatives, colors or sweeteners, contains extracts from real foods like veggies, fruits, ginger, etc… are probably safe, but they aren’t giving you huge boosts of energy. They are simply providing your body with a drink full of whole nutrients and micro-nutrients… all of which are dearly needed for your metabolism to stay strong and healthy long term… but you’ll never get that artificial “zing!” that the big brands offer.

Additionally, make sure any organic drink you buy doesn’t contain more than 10g of sugars, and no more than 300mg of caffeine.

So what CAN I do to boost my energy levels?

  • Get predictable sleep every night; at least 8 hours.
  • Exercise. It releases endorphins that actually boost your energy levels.
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day.
  • Eat clean foods: real fruits, veggies and lean meats. Stay away from processed carbs and sugars as they are liars! They give you a small boost of energy but then suck the rest out of you, leaving deposits of fat behind!
  • Find a good vitamin supplements to help fill in any nutritional gaps.
  • Reduce the time you spend on your computer and watching TV. Studies show that when we are in front of these devices, we mentally “check out” and this actually zaps our energy levels. Studies also show that writing in a journal, creating art, working in the yard, or taking the dogs for a walk stimulate us mentally which actually boosts energy levels.

About modernhealthproject

Hi there! This is my little blog project where I am trying to learn more about health, wellness and living a balanced life, while also sharing a bit of my silly side as well. By "silly" I mean sarcastic. And by "a bit" I mean way too much. Sorry about that.♥ - Anna

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