Are Energy Drinks Bad For You?
Over the past few years the number of companies that have entered the “energy drink” market has skyrocketed but are energy drinks bad for you? These drinks seem to be all the rage, especially with the younger crowd, as they have outrageous claims of unlimited energy that will have you at your best.
With these claims a couple questions must be asked:
- Are energy drinks good for you?
- Will they give you more energy?
- Are energy drinks bad for your health?
- Can you lose weight with them?
The first thing we need to look at are the ingredients in these so called power drinks. Most of these drinks are just carbonated water that are filled with gut-fattening high fructose corn syrup, caffeine, taurine, and a few b vitamins that are thrown in to make them appear to be healthy. Many companies have also replaced sugars with artificial sweeteners.
High Fructose Corn Syrup
Let’s talk about high fructose corn syrup. Well, high fructose corn syrup is filled with empty calories that will increase your belly fat and is actually WORSE than plain sugar. High fructose corn syrup also increases your risk of Type-2 diabetes, and can elevate bad cholesterol levels.
Low Sugar Alternatives
Ok, but what about the sugar-free or low-sugar varieties they sell as an alternative. True, some may not contain sugar only to have it replaced with artificial sweeteners, so now you have to worry about the harmful chemicals that are in theses artificial sweeteners.
One of the problems with artificial sweeteners is that they can have people consuming more calories and gain more weight with frequent use. A Yale University study in 2010 showed these artificial sweeteners can actually enhance human appetite. Trust me on this one, artificial chemicals and sweeteners are the last thing you want in your body!
How about caffeine? Many may be wondering why I am listing caffeine here.
We all know that caffeine is great for stimulating the central nervous system and giving people that kick they need. So if you are an avid coffee drinker, chances are that you probably already have that addiction to caffeine so adding it to these energy drinks is only going to lessen the effects of caffeine.
Getting caffeine from a natural source like white, green, or oolong teas will also give you antioxidant benefits compared to getting it from a carbonated chemical cocktail.
Taurine and B-vitamins
How about taurine and the B-vitamins in these energy drinks? Taurine can actually be found in many protein sources so having more of it is not needed. The truth about the B-vitamins in the drinks is that they will most likely end up in the toilet the next time you go to the bathroom. Vitamins are best absorbed by the body when they are obtained naturally from real food sources not from artificially added power drinks. Our bodies just don’t absorb fake vitamin sources as well as they do from food.
So, are energy drinks bad? Well if you haven’t noticed yet I am not a big fan of these energy drinks. An increase in weight gain and many other health problems can all occur from frequent use. A nice alternative to these drinks could be adding lemon to water. I also included a video of other alternatives at the top of this post.
Again this article is just my opinion about these energy drinks as I feel many people are wrongly believing that they are doing some good for themselves when in turn they may be doing just the opposite.