Due to my work I often receive a lot of health and fitness related questions. Lately many questions are about some of these new so-called energy drinks that advertisers are pushing into stores all over the place. If you watch TV you have probably seen all the different ads that promise unlimited energy when you need it. The marketing message is clear and “easy” – drink one of these super duper energy drinks and nothing is going to stop you now. But these claims raise questions.
Are these so-called “energy” drinks really any good for you? Do they actually increase your energy or is it just a sugar rush combined with caffeine? Does an energy drink really have some sort of magical energy formula? Will an energy drink help you lose weight?
To answer these questions, let’s look first at what most of these new energy drinks are usually made of. In general, most of these drinks are based on carbonated water. While that is not bad by itself, these carbonated water drinks are loaded with gut-fattening high fructose corn syrup, loads of caffeine, some amino acid taurine, and usually some vitamins. In most cases B-vitamins are used as they are cheap to produce, provide some health value (even though it does not really make a difference due to the low amounts being used) and in the end it is all a marketing trick to fool you into thinking that it’s healthy, too.
Now let’s look at one of the worst offenders that is used in so many foods: High Fructose Corn Syrup. Well, if you want belly fat this product is the best way to get it. Empty calories, hard to process by your body and simply just bad. Ever since soft drink makers switched to high fructose Corn Syrup America’s populated literally “expanded”. Sugar is much less worse than high fructose corn syrup.
Artificial sweeteners are suspected of having several health impacts. Besides under suspicion to cause cancer they also are suspected lead people to eat more of other foods and eventually gain more weight that weight “because they saved so many calories before”.
Another ingredient we need to look at is caffeine. Caffeine does not provide energy, it only stimulates your central nervous system. Also, if you already consume caffeine several times per day, an energy drink will not really have any caffeine based effect on you as your body is already accustomed to the substance anyway and you would need to take way more than one energy drink to feel the effect of caffeine.
Artificial vitamins coming from energy drinks are not worth the effort. They are hard to absorb by your body and the amounts provided are useless. Rather increase your vitamin intake from fruits and veggies.
You can tell, I am not giving a good rating to all these energy drinks. You are better off by adding more fruits and veggies to your diet. If you want to have some caffeinated drink, consider green tea. Green tea is very healthy and provides lots of antioxidants, too. It has a fairly healthy level of caffeine and is simply a much better drink. You can enjoy it hot or cold, too. Green tea is also a recommended drink in case you want to lose weight due to the high level of antioxidants. It helps to cleanse your body which in return allows for faster weight loss results.