In these stressful times you might feel that your energy needs a boost and be tempted to try one of the energy drinks that seem to be taking over the soft drinks shelves in the supermarkets. In spite of hard times globally sales of caffeine energy drinks have apparently overtaken bottled water sales.
You might be thinking they could be good for you when they also contain herbs like Ginseng, Green Tea, Echinacea, Ginkgo Biloba, St. John’s Wort, Kava Kava, Damiana, Mate and Schizandra. But besides caffeine energy drinks frequently contain other legal stimulants such as ephedrine, and guarana.
Beware of the stimulants in energy drinks
Ephedrine, a chemical cousin of amphetamine, stimulates the central nervous system, increasing heart rate and blood pressure, sometimes to dangerous levels. Besides heart attack and stroke and risk of seizures, it can cause nervousness, heart muscle damage, and irregular heartbeat. Guarana and ginseng are often added to energy beverages and can enhance the effects of caffeine, often 80 mg and the equivalent of a cup of filter coffee.
Adverse effects associated with caffeine consumption include nervousness, irritability, sleeplessness, increased urination, abnormal heart rhythms, (arrhythmia), decreased bone density levels, and stomach upset.
Not good for your heart or circulation
Researchers are finding that energy drinks may give you more than an energy boost. They may also boost heart rates and blood pressure levels and increase the danger of blood clots. These results could be significant in people with any heart problems or those taking drugs to lower heart rate or blood pressure.
Many energy drinks are high in sodium and sugar but researchers have found that the sugar-free version of Red Bull could increase the risk of heart attacks or strokes.
Some sugar free energy drinks contain the artificial sweetener Aspartame which has been shown to have multiple neurotoxic, metabolic, allergenic, fetal, and carcinogenic effects.
The toxic chemical bisphenol A (BPA) is used to make the linings of drink and food cans and there have been concerns over the effects of this chemical for some time. New published research has linked this to increased risk of heart disease and diabetes. High body levels of the chemical can damage the liver.
I see mothers giving their children soft drinks in cans from an early age which is worrying. Older children are tempted to buy these drinks not realizing the dangers. If you have an overactive child then beware of these drinks and check out this article for other reasons that your child could be overactive.
Don’t mix your drinks
Mixed with alcohol energy drinks may be even more lethal. Since energy drinks are stimulants and alcohol is a depressant, the combination of effects may be dangerous. Both energy drinks and alcohol are very dehydrating. Dehydration can hinder your body’s ability to metabolize alcohol and will increase the toxicity, and therefore the hangover, the next day.
Like any quick energy boost when the effect wears off you’ll start feeling lethargic again and will want another can to boost your energy once again.
The new soft drink Cocaine is advertised as not causing the jitters or sugar crash associated with other energy drinks but contains 280 milligrams of caffeine and reputed to be 350 percent stronger than Red Bull! Bad news if you value your health.
Energy drinks like other carbonated beverages offer little value to your body. They may contain traces of Vitamin B and the amino acid taurine but this does not make up for the detrimental effects of the caffeine, other stimulants, sugar or artificial sweeteners.
If you would love to boost your energy levels energy drinks aren’t the answer. It is far wiser to address the underlying reasons why you do not have as much energy as you would like.
Generally it’s best to avoid all specialty and soft drinks that contain sugar as they could have an enormous influence on your long-term health. They will raise your insulin levels and contribute to a host of diseases and accelerate your aging process.
How to Increase Your Energy Without Energy Drinks
Lack of energy is a common complaint of modern day living and stressful lifestyles but is not normal.
If you lack energy it is likely to be due to a combination of factors including:
- Poor food choices
- Low-quality food
- Toxicity – causes blocks in the energy production cycle
- Stressful lifestyle
- Not enough sleep
- Lack of exercise
- Negative emotions
Frequently these factors will help increase your energy:
- Avoiding sugar and foods containing it that trigger insulin
- Eat slow releasing carbohydrates instead – whole grains, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, fruit
- Always eat breakfast and regular unrushed meals
- Take time to eat and chew food properly.
- Get enough sleep
- Get some regular exercise even if it only brisk walking or rebounding
- Reduce stress – re-balance stress hormones with Yoga, Tai-Chi, Qi Gong
- Take a good multi vitamin and mineral supplement that contains at least
25mg of each B Vitamin, 100 mg of Magnesium and 50 mcg chromium.
- Detox regularly to remove toxins that interfere with energy production
My new Recharge and Energize Detox Guide gives you a modern detox plan that won’t take over your entire life.