November 1, 2011 — Energy drinks are one of the fastest growing beverages in the U.S., with sales expected to reach $9 billion by the end of 2011.
The huge multimillion dollar marketing and advertising budgets go to extremes to convince the public to achieve increased performance and sharper concentration benefits and not to mention the “coolness” factor, by drinking energy drinks.
All it takes is a quick look at the ingredients to realize that if you are low in energy, the last thing you should put into your body is an energy drink.
The first reason you should steer clear of energy drinks is the mind-blowing amounts of sugar they contain. Some energy drinks can contain as much as 102 grams of sugar. To put this into perspective, consider the fact that the USDA recommends that if you eat 1,600 calories per day, your sugar intake should be limited to 22 grams per day. In a single drink, you have overshot the recommendation by almost four time.
The second reason you should avoid energy drinks is because of the stimulants manufactures add to give you that “boost in energy.” Typically you will find guaranine, taurine, caffeine, and/or ginseng added to these drinks, in addition to sugar. All these ingredients have been known to cause insomnia, high blood pressure, tachycardia (rapid heart rate), difficulty breathing, seizures, anxiety, arrhythmia ( irregular heart beat ), heart palpations, and various allergic reactions. Also, each of these stimulants is extremely addictive.
Although energy drinks are wildly popular here in the U.S., other countries aren’t so keen on them. One energy drink in paticular was banned in France after an 18-year-old athlete died from drinking four cans? That energy drink exceeded the amount of caffeine French laws allow in a consumable product. Denmark and Norway have also followed suit and also banned the drink.
The third and final reason you should put down the energy drink is because it is a diuretic. What this means is it causes fluid loss. In fact most nutritionists are most concerned with this side effect because the typical American doesn’t drink nearly enough water as it is. Only 34 percent of Americans drink the 64 ounces of water per day recommended by the USDA. However, any healthcare practitioner will tell you that you actually need much more water than that.
Do you know what the first sign of dehydration is? Fatigue. If you are tired all the time there is a good chance one reason is you are just not getting enough water into your body.