Everybody has a busy life these days, and sometimes a boost is needed, but is that energy drink filled with artificial ingredients you find in every store something that you should be considering drinking? Energy drinks are a billion-dollar industry, but so many of them use ingredients that are harmful to the body with prolonged use. With many side-effects that can make energy drinks trouble for your body, consider the benefits of using all-natural energy drinks to get the focus and energy you need to be creative and productive throughout the day.
An energy drink is a type of drink containing stimulant compounds, usually caffeine, which is marketed as providing mental and physical stimulation (marketed as “energy”, but distinct from food energy). They may or may not be carbonated and may also contain sugar, other sweeteners, herbal extracts, taurine, and amino acids. They are a subset of the larger group of energy products, which includes bars and gels, and distinct from sports drinks, which are advertised to enhance sports performance. There are many brands and varieties in this drink category.
Coffee, tea and other naturally caffeinated drinks are usually not considered energy drinks. Other soft drinks such as cola may contain caffeine, but are not considered energy drinks either. Some alcoholic drinks, such as Buckfast Tonic Wine, contain caffeine and other stimulants. According to the Mayo Clinic, it is safe for the typical healthy adult to consume a total of 400 mg of caffeine a day. This has been confirmed by a panel of the European Food Safety Authority, which also concludes that a caffeine intake of up to 400 mg per day does not raise safety concerns for adults. According to the ESFA this is equivalent to 4 cups of coffee (90 mg each) or 2 1/2 standard cans (250 ml) of energy drink (160 mg each/80 mg per serving).
Energy drinks have the effects of caffeine and sugar, but there is little or no evidence that the wide variety of other ingredients have any effect. Most effects of energy drinks on cognitive performance, such as increased attention and reaction speed, are primarily due to the presence of caffeine. Other studies ascribe those performance improvements to the effects of the combined ingredients. Advertising for energy drinks usually features increased muscle strength and endurance, but there is no scientific consensus to support these claims. Energy drinks have been associated with health risks, such as an increased rate of injury when usage is combined with alcohol, and excessive or repeated consumption can lead to cardiac and psychiatric conditions. Populations at risk for complications from energy drink consumption include youth, caffeine-naïve or caffeine-sensitive, pregnant, competitive athletes and people with underlying cardiovascular disease.
Artificial Energy Drink Issues
There are a ton of different brands of energy drinks throughout almost every store that sells drinks, from the grocery stores to gas stations, resulting in the billions of dollars of business they get every year.
All of those drinks have something in common, though, and it is their high amount of caffeine and sugar that can wreak havoc with your body. All energy drinks claim to boost your alertness and physical energy, but there are many side effects that can end up being far worse than the benefits when you grab a non-natural energy drink.
Many people, after drinking energy drinks, especially multiple per day regularly, end up having problems getting to sleep, which is a very important part of your body’s natural rhythm and upkeep. As well, some can end up with heart palpitations and chest pain from the high amount of caffeine affecting their blood pressure. Irritability and digestive upset are also common side effects from artificial, non-natural energy drinks.
The number of additives added to energy drinks to make them more appealing to the masses are often in such small amounts that they result in no real benefit (such as small amounts of added B vitamins, Taurin, ginseng, and guarana.) While most artificial, non-natural energy drinks include 10mg of caffeine per ounce, energy shots can have up to 100mg per ounce, which is very dangerous if multiple are taken in a short period of time. Caffeine also has a dehydrating effect, which can exacerbate other issues in your body.
The All-Natural Energy Drink Alternative
If you need an energy drink to keep your energy level up throughout the day, you should consider a more natural alternative. There are options, like coffee and tea, that are all natural, and then there are natural energy drinks that are made exclusively from a mix of tea, herbal extracts, and superfoods to give your body an energy boost—and a huge boost in essential vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
Natural energy drinks taken in moderation actually can help your body because the included nutrients can help nourish your body in many different ways, from your brains to your organs. Natural energy drinks can boost neurotransmitter levels in the brain, improving moods and motivation, as well as phytonutrients to increase brain cell production and blood flow. Antioxidants are also present in natural energy drinks, and some even have anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties.
All-natural energy drinks are a much better alternative for your body than artificial energy drinks, with many health benefits, as well as the ability to keep you hydrated throughout the day. Keeping you alert, productive, and in a good mood, you’ll be looking forward to your natural energy drink of the day.
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