Exercise is Medicine by ACSM

May 2, 2019 // Archive

Date based archive
02 May


A pick me up, wake me up, pre workout, pre event, you name the need for an energy drink. They started out so innocently with Red Bull and what a Starbucks fancy drink could do. They have now evolved into a market of their own. They’re widely promoted and claim to improve performance. They have actually become the most popularly consumed dietary supplement next to multivitamins. Men between the ages of 18 to 34 years consume the most amount while 1/3 of teen between the ages of 12 to 17 have them on a regular basis. Suddenly sitting through class requires a drink, going to the gym require a drink, heading out for a night on the town means starting with a drink, or just to get through the tail end of a day.

There are basically two types. There are the typical 16oz can or bottle type or the 2 to 3oz energy shot. Caffeine is the main component of these drinks, totaling up to 240mg in that 16oz or about 200mg per shot. A typical 12oz canned soda has about 35mg and a standard 8oz cup of coffee has about 100mg. Caffeine overload certainly provides that alertness and spike. Other ingredients might include guarana which is a Brazilian caffeine source, sugar, ginseng, vitamin B, and carnitine.

Science is showing that there are a number of poor health effects when it comes to these drinks. Energy drinks have actually resulted in hospital visits. About 25% of college students mix them with alcohol. Those who do this have been found to report higher rates of drunk driving, unprotected sex, and other alcohol related injuries. The CDC reports that a person is four times more likely to report binge drinking when they also have an energy drink.

A person might feel might alert or feel that their performance has improved, but excessive intake of caffeine takes its toll. It can lead to poor sleep problems, increased heart rate, increased blood pressure, can cause dehydration, can lead to anxiety, and can also upset the stomach. The bottom line is that we live in a world that favors excess. I won’t work out as well, I won’t have as much fun, or I will be tired are all reasons energy drinks can lure a person in. Then this become a habit and then this becomes part of the routine. The excess sugar goes to the waistline and the poor decision making leads to a bad recipe just for a drink. Better off with just coffee. Better off with just getting good sleep. Better off with keep in it simple and clean.