Energy Drinks

There sure are a good deal of energy drinks out there nowadays. I went to the shop lately and relied on 17 different energy drinks. And this is most likely just of fraction of the entire number of energy drinks on the market today.

And only the sound of the titles of those energy drinks is enough to wake up the stupidest person: Venom, Amp, Red Bull, Full Throttle, Rush, Shark, Piranha, Fuse, Hype, Rear Mamba, and Atomic X, just to mention a few.

There also appears to be lots of controversy nowadays about the health effects of energy drinks. Dead Animal in AC Vent

Close-up Photography of Red Bull in Can

So out of curiosity I recently did a bit of research on the ingredients within those energy drinks and their health consequences.

The ingredients within the different brands of energy drinks are many. The ingredients common to the majority of energy drinks are taurine, glucuronolactone, inositol, B vitamins, sugar, caffeine, carbonated water, natural flavors, and organic ingredients.

Taurine is a derivative of this sulfer-containing amino acid cysteine. Taurine is often found in baby milk formulas. Additionally it is an antioxidant and is considered to steady irregular heartbeats.

Glucuronolactone is a naturally occurring carbohydrate created by the human metabolic system. It’s thought to increase memory and concentration. It may have stimulant and anti-depressant consequences.

Inositol is instrumental in the way the brain uses serotonin, a chemical that’s the exact same that is fostered by the anti-depressant drugs prozac and zoloft.

B vitamins are essential for an assortment of things. Vitamin B-3 (niacin) metabolizes energy from carbohydrates and fat and will help the body utilize energy by releasing it from food. Vitamin B-5 (pantothenic acid) enhances mood and promotes energy.

The sum of these natural ingredients varies among energy drinks, and is typically a proprietary blend.

An individual can do a Ph.D. dissertation on the components in energy drinks. Because of time constraints, this report focuses on the ingredients which get the most attention regarding health consequences: sugar and caffeine.

Caffeine

Caffeine doesn’t provide true energy. It injects adrenaline in your system, which provides you a temporary increase but leads to a sense of fatigue after it wears off.

Cortisol is great when needed, but may have harmful effects if high pressure is always present. A number of the damaging effects include a suppressed immune system, impaired cognitive performance, higher blood pressure, and a reduction in bone density and muscle tissue. Increased levels of cortisol contribute to more powerful cravings for carbohydrates and fat.

Much like adrenaline, it makes you feel great after it gets into your system. However, like adrenaline, after dopamine wears off, feelings of having low power and even mild depression take over.

Caffeine does have some positive aspects. A small amount at the start of the day may supply you with good concentration and attention. A small amount before exercise may actually improve physical endurance and performance. It can help the body break down fat about 30 percent more efficiently if taken prior to exercise.

The normal energy drink contains approximately 80 mg of caffeine per 8.4 ounce. The average cup of black coffee also contains 80 mg of caffeine.

Sugar

When sucrose is taken into the body, it’s broken down into equal amounts of glucose and fructose.

Insulin from the pancreas allows the body to burn glucose to make energy.

If there’s too much sugar in the blood for the body to use as energy, then it’s converted to glycogen and put in temporary storage. When the temporary storage capacity is exceeded, the rest of the glucose will be converted into long term storage (fat).

Fructose is broken down by the body SLOWLY to glycogen, which can be put into storage in the liver and muscles. When sugar levels get low in the blood, the liver can easily convert the stored glycogen to glucose. Insulin is then required to burn the sugar. The requirement for insulin when it’s required to burn sugar is reasonable.

Conversely, a huge dose of sucrose supplied by candy, soda pop, or cake, puts a significant strain on the pancreas, particularly on an empty stomach. The pancreas has to supply a whole lot of insulin FAST to stabilize the blood sugar level caused by the cake or candy.

If the pancreas does not offer enough insulin to manage a massive influx of sucrose, a parasitic condition exists. If the pancreas provides a lot of insulin, a hypoglycemic conditions is different. Blood glucose levels either too high or too low may result in serious issues.

Fructose acquired by fruit is beneficial for diabetics as it doesn’t place a massive demand on the pancreas to get insulin in a small quantity of time. The pancreas can take care of the insulin requirements imposed by fructose being converted SLOWLY into glycogen subsequently sugar.

Excess fructose that maynot be utilized by the body is readily converted into fat. Many experts think that fructose is the most important source of Americans getting fatter. Fructose in concentrated types (e.g. high fructose corn syrup) is particularly bad. Excess fructose may also increase the level of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol).

Energy drinks have really created quite a stir, particularly regarding health effects. A few countries (Denmark, Malaysia, and France) have prohibited the sale of Red Bull due to high caffeine levels. I wonder what the caffeine content is at the coffee sold in these countries.

So far as generating energy, energy drinks do provide at least some energy since they have sugar and other energy producing ingredients. The “kick ” for these beverages are famous comes not from the energy, but from the huge doses of caffeine offered by consuming none, but multiple energy drinks in a brief time period. You would find the same kick drinking four or five cups of coffee.

Too much caffeine and too much sugar consumed day after day during a long time period will increase the odds of some terrible health effects. Common sense.

Too much caffeine increases the probability of dependence, which will create the stress hormone cortisol to be always within your body. Too much cortisol contributes to increased chances for a suppressed immune system, higher blood pressure, and less bone mass.

Too much processed sugar day after day and year after year will place a large strain on your pancreas, which may increases your odds of getting diabetes. Your odds of getting fat will also be much greater.

I don’t believe energy drinks are harmful if you don’t just plain drink too many. I would suggest using them sparingly.

I’m also concerned about good health.

And so, I am a bit more selective these days in regards to energy drinks. I now search for energy drinks that have minimum refined sugar. I look for one that tastes great and gives real lasting energy, the sort of energy that helps me focus and stay focused. I really don’t want a “kick” supplied by stimulants.

I’ve found an energy drink specifically that satisfies the above criteria. It’s made from all natural ingredients, among which is the acai berry. Additionally, it contains other antioxidant-rich fruits, which also offer the sugar. This energy drink can also be lightly carbonated.

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