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Carbohydrate Energy Drinks: Myths and Facts — an article on the Smart Living Network
April 9, 2008 at 6:17 AMComments: 3 Faves: 0

Carbohydrate Energy Drinks: Myths and Facts

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Energy drinks are everywhere. You see ads on TV and billboards, in newspapers and magazines. People in bars order energy drinks with their liquor. Carbohydrate energy drinks are now an established part of the American culture. But are they good for you? This article will address some of the myths and facts surrounding energy drinks to allow you to make an informed decision.

Fact: Energy drinks can destroy your diet

The main carbohydrate in most energy drinks is some form of sugar. Many contain glucuronolactone, which is found in red wine and plant gum. The sugar will give you energy, but it will also give you a bunch of empty calories that you have to burn off. Most energy drinks are like soda with herbs. If you are monitoring your calorie intake, the added sugar will probably ruin your diet for the day. Another thing to consider is the amount of sleep you get. Energy drinks are often taken to make up for lost sleep, yet losing sleep can cause weight gain. If you are tired on a regular basis, you would be better off taking a nap or going to bed earlier.

Fact: Energy drinks can have harmful effects

Energy drinks may perk you up at first, but you may suffer the consequences. Too much caffeine can cause fatigue due to dehydration. It may also cause jittery feelings, nausea, upset stomach, hyperactivity, sleep problems and difficulty concentrating. When you consume energy drinks, it is important to know your limits.

Myth: Energy drinks are good when mixed with vodka

Mixing energy drinks with vodka or any other alcohol can be harmful because they are both diuretics and can cause dehydration. This will give you a worse hangover. The stimulant effect of the energy drink may also fool you into thinking you are more sober than you actually are, kind of like drinking coffee to sober up. Mixing energy drinks and alcohol may also make you feel sick because energy drinks contain stimulants and alcohol is a depressant.

Myth: Energy drinks are good to take when you are tired

Many people take energy drinks when they are tired. Before turning to an energy drink, you may want to consider your options. If you are tired, you may just need more sleep. The caffeine in energy drinks will make it harder for you to get the sleep you need. If you need energy, you would probably be better off consuming carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables, whole grains or dairy products. These foods have more nutritional value than the sugar found in energy drinks, and won't cause the same "crash." Make sure you are eating meals on a regular basis; skipping meals can definitely affect your energy levels. You may also consider how much you exercise. Exercise increases energy and feelings of well-being and fitness. Always make sure you are drinking enough water. Fatigue is one sign of dehydration.

Myth: Energy drinks will kill you

By now you probably think that energy drinks are all bad. Actually, there's nothing wrong with having an energy drink now and then, especially on long road trips. But if you have to drink them on a regular basis, you probably need to make some adjustments in your lifestyle.

Sources:

http://fcs.tamu.edu/HEALTH/Health_Education_Rural_Outreach/Health_Hints/2006/spring06/energy-and-sports-drinks.php http://www.healthcastle.com/energy_drinks.shtml http://www.mamashealth.com/access/edrink.asp http://www.webmd.com/diet/guide/whats-the-buzz-about-energy-drinks

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3 Comments

  • I love energy drinks but after reading this I realize the impact they have on my diet, thank you for this article.

  • This is too all you people who dont believe the website!!! Energy drinks are only ohk if your a professional athlete, who burn crazy amounts of calories.

  • so I have a tip on sleeping. When I was exercising the other day the instructor mentioned SLEEP and she said it's better to go to bed an hour early then it is to sleep in an hour later! I just thought I would share this knowledge!

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