What a great name, energy drink. Who doesn’t want more energy?
Scientists define energy as the ability to do work. But do so-called energy drinks deliver?
And if so, at what cost? Could water do the energy job better? Let’s get into it.
What Are They?
Energy drinks are beverages that claim to improve your performance and energy level. Their power lies in their ingredients, the most common of which are sugar, caffeine, and even vitamins, like B2, B3, B6, and B12.
What They Aren’t.
Energy drinks aren’t sports drinks which don’t have stimulants, like caffeine and are made for hydration during intense physical activity. But 'it’s a drink, you may be thinking. It’s got to be good for hydration, too... Uhh, nope. Just because you drink something doesn’t mean it’s good for hydration. More on that in a bit.
Who Drinks Them?
Oddly enough, the people tipping back energy drinks are mostly between 12 and 24 years of age. Nearly 1/3 of these humans chug them down. Wait—isn’t that the last time you remember having energy? When you could stay up all night doing crazy things and get to class feeling like a Rockstar? This makes less sense than the term jumbo shrimp in my book, but I digress…
Do They Work?
Let’s say they make an impact. According to the Mayo Clinic, energy drinks provide a temporary energy boost: good. However, it’s often followed by a slew of not-so-good complications. Let’s break them down.
When Too Much is Too Much.
When it comes to sugar, I think we can all agree that less is more when it comes to your health. It’s high in calories, low in nutritional value, and highly acidic. Consuming lots of it puts on pounds which makes moving even tougher, draining your energy. A nasty circle to find yourself in, right?
How about caffeine? That’s a harmless little stimulant, isn’t it? It depends. It works for most of us, helping us stay awake by boosting the effects of our neurotransmitters, serotonin, dopamine, and acetylcholine. But it can lead to insomnia. Especially if ingested after midday. Especially in large amounts. Which seems to be how the people who consume it do so.
It’s addictive, as we coffee drinkers must own up to. Addiction has both psychological and physiological aspects. Everything from nervousness to heart palpitations, from seizures to an increased or irregular heartbeat has been associated with drinking energy drinks too much, too often. Amounts and frequency do matter folks.
Even vitamins have a tipping point for healthy consumption. Watch your Vitamin B intake. Overdosing on these guys can show up like: blurry vision, severe hydration, cramps, nausea, vomiting, and flushed skin, just to name a few things no one wants to add to her already busy day.
A Few Other Terrifying Details.
While studies can’t say drinking energy drinks cause these scary things, they do say they are linked to them, specifically in the young male demographic:
- Substance abuse
- Risk-taking behaviors
- Risk of injuries
And if I haven’t frightened you enough, these curious kids often experiment by mixing energy drinks with alcohol. Newsflash: This doesn’t help sober them up. It just makes them feel less drunk, making it more likely that they’ll drink more alcohol or think they’re okay to drive.
And tragically, if at this point predictably, the energy drink consumers who do mix them with alcohol are 3 times more likely to binge drink alcohol.
On to better things…
Just Add Water.
Does your mom always have to be right? Can simply drinking water be a real solution to your lagging energy level?
The answer is: yes, over time. When you have your sleep under wraps (healthy amounts at regular times), your diet is full of nutritious foods in the right amounts, and you are active enough for your body to be healthy, drinking water will be perfectly energizing.
Because you’re mostly water, replenishing it as you use it by living is required. Electrolytes will rebalance your blood while the water itself can rehydrate your organs. Both things are truly energizing, not just a quick, potentially addictive fix.
Is Moderation a Real Thing?
So, what did we learn here? Are energy drinks the answer, or are they evil incarnate?
Absolutely neither. In a pinch, an energy drink can effectively, harmlessly pull you through a rough morning at the office. But relying on them religiously leads you down a physically and psychologically dangerous path.
Be awake at the wheel of your health. If you find yourself relying on caffeine and sugar for energy, something is wrong with your lifestyle that you can fix. Don’t settle for a magic pill, even in the form of a tasty, well-marketed drink.
The moral of this story is to choose water most of the time. Try MOVE Spring Alkaline Oxygenated Water. It tastes great, has plenty of ionic trace minerals, and will naturally boost your energy with absolutely no crash or nasty side effects. Promise!