The Illusion of Energy Drinks

The Illusion of Energy DrinksAs age increases, vitality and vigor declines. It’s a fact of life. So the allure of energy drinks, energy shots, and even the new energy melt-away strips can be hard to resist. But before you order another vodka and Red Bull, consider how much more harm you’re doing than good.

In general, energy drinks boost your energy levels through caffeine or sugars. These are short-lived solutions that offer a temporary fix and a big-time crash once it has been depleted. Most people are surprised to find that energy drinks often contain twice the caffeine of a regular-sized cup of coffee. Even those beverages labeled as sugar free often have artificial sweeteners that can still leave the body feeling spent after they’ve been fully digested. Ah, but you drink only the vitamin-enriched energy beverages, you say... Look a little closer at your list of ingredients. Sure, you’ll see an impressive array of vitamins on display, but you might miss things like aspartame, sucrose, sucralose, or several natural sugars found in fruit juices. Again, you’re just setting yourself up for a fall. And those vitamins? You probably don’t need most of them unless you’re deficient in some way. Yes, it’s true that B Vitamins can give you a lift in energy, but you don’t need to get them from a sugar-laden energy drink. Over the counter B vitamin supplements from the pharmacy or health food store are just as effective. In other words, you’re just not getting all that you bargained for from the vast majority of energy drinks; far less actually.

Now, consider the negative side effects that come with energy drinks being used in combination with other substances like alcohol. The depressant qualities of alcohol contradict the energy lift that should come from the energy drink. This conflict can mask the body’s ability to perceive when it’s had enough alcohol, leading to alcohol poisoning and acute respiratory distress. Add energy drinks to over the counter decongestants or allergy medications and heart rates and blood pressures can spike to dangerously high levels. If your original concern was not seeming “old” then imagine how elderly you’ll look if you have to be rushed from the club to the hospital because you made some bad beverage choices. Your best bet to feel more energetic naturally, is a supplement based on real-food nutrients; not sugar or caffeine; coupled with a balanced fitness routine that keeps you active and between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night, or a quick nap in the afternoon if you know you’ll be out late that evening.