The latest market data show a continued rise in demand for energy drinks—beverages that promise things like increased energy, improved mood, and sharper mental acuity. Medical records show adverse events related to these drinks are on the rise as well, according to the Health & Nutrition Letter of Tufts University.
Typical Ingredients: Most energy drinks contain caffeine, and many contain multiple stimulants. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn’t define the term “energy drink,” which means manufacturers can decide whether to label their products as dietary supplements or beverages. For beverages, manufacturers must abide by the FDA’s safety limits for ingredients like caffeine. Dietary supplements are not regulated, so there are essentially no safety guidelines.
A couple of things to lay out before we start here. First, I don’t drink coffee with caffeine as I try to keep drugs of any kind out of my system. Second, I am a regular bicycle rider and always on the lookout for new sources of energy.
The other morning I had a new situation. I had a date for early afternoon to attend a play. In addition, we had reservations for brunch at noon. From this schedule, I was not going to have a lot of time to get in a bike ride. So, I thought I would rise at first light and take out the bike for a ride ahead of walking the dog and my social schedule for the day.
Normally, I start the day with what I call my rocket fuel. It is a smoothie that contains all my vitamins. You can read about it in A super breakfast smoothie.
On the morning in question, my reservation about my smoothie was that it takes 15 minutes to make and another 15 minutes to drink. I didn’t want to spend 30 minutes doing that. I wanted to be riding my bike. On the other hand I was concerned that having just awakened from a night’s sleep, my energy reserves were low. I sure didn’t want to black out. I hadn’t eaten in over nine hours.
So, what to do instead to give me a quick shot of energy. I like my coffee in the morning, but since it is decaf, I don’t expect a boost from it. Here is the beginning of a light bulb going off in my head. As recently as April, I got turned on to coconut oil as a wonderful source of nutrition. Check out Why should I try coconut oil? for more details. Since that time I have been using coconut oil in every way I could think of to cook in, shave with, etc. Coconut oil has a lot of healthy fat in it which provides energy. I decided to add a tablespoon of coconut oil to my coffee. Continue reading →
I found this on the web and thought it worth sharing. Regular readers know I am not a fan of soda drinks, sugared or chemicalled up. You can check out my Page – What’s Wrong With Soft Drinks? for details.
This has a ton of good information in it regarding the amount of sugar in various foods and drinks we consume. If you take nothing else from it, take the four grams of sugar = one teaspoon full. You can use that every time you check the nutrition label on food or drink.
Can you believe the Dr. Pepper Slurpee? – 225 grams of sugar!
I just ran across this superb infographic and had to share it with you. It shows you popular soft and energy drinks with the amount of sugar in each. Did you know that Mountain Dew had 19+ teaspoons of sugar in a 20 ounce bottle? I sure didn’t. There are 4.2 grams in a teaspoon full of sugar. If you carry that away with you, you will know a very valuable little factoid. So, when you look at the ingredients panel and it says 30 grams of sugar, you will know that you are thinking of drinking seven teaspoons of sugar. Maybe it will give you pause.
Sugar, like other damaging white powders, salt, cocaine, can often be found in the most unlikely places. Locking down the top of your sugar bowl isn’t enough to save you from consuming too much of this sinful sweet.
WebMD has a super quiz that tests our “Sugar Smarts” which I recommend that you take as soon as possible.
“Soda, fruit drinks and juices, sports drinks, energy drinks, and other sugar-sweetened beverages are the No. 1 source of added sugar in American diets. (Emphasis mine) A recent study found that drinking one or two sugary drinks a day raises the risk of Type 2 diabetes by 26 percent compared with those who limit sweet drinks to just one a month.
“But sugar alone isn’t to blame for diabetes. Diets that are high in calories from any source, like sugar or fat, lead to weight gain — and being overweight raises your chance of Type 2 diabetes,” the quiz says in answer to its fifth question – where do added sugars hide? That’s all the spoilers I’m going to give you.
The American Heart Association recommends a total of six teaspoons of sugar a day for women and nine for men. In fact, Americans consume an average of 22 teaspoons a day. Those teaspoonsful have little nutritional value but load you up with empty calories. For more on empty calories, check out my Page – A Love Letter to Hostess Ho Ho’s – NOT.
Is it any wonder that 60 percent of us are overweight and 30 percent obese?
Please take the WebMD quiz and learn more about this very damaging ‘nutrient’ in our daily diet.
Examples of drug and supplement combinations that can decrease the effectiveness of either are taking supplements that stimulate the immune system such as zinc, Astragalus and Echinacea with corticosteroids intended to suppress the immune system, as they are working in opposite directions. Also, remedies with a hyperglycemic (blood sugar raising) action such as celery seed, Bupleurum, rosemary and Gotu kola can counteract the hypoglycemic (blood sugar reducing) work of diabetic drugs. High doses of vitamins A, C and K can all decrease the anticoagulant activity of Warfarin.
In the past several decades, the number of people taking herbal, dietary and energy supplements has increased exponentially. Whereas, prior to the late 1980s, most patients were unlikely to be supplementing with anything other than multivitamins, now a doctor must expect the majority of the population to have read about their condition on the Internet and be using whatever complementary remedies they think might help, with or without expert guidance. Once seen as natural and harmless, it is now clear that herbal supplements, dietary supplements and energy supplements can interact with conventional medications just as conventional medications can interact with each other.
It is important to note that many complementary medicines are quite safe to take alongside most forms of pharmaceutical drugs, and a cup of nettle or chamomile tea together with your morning pill of whatever form is not going to have any deleterious effect. However, a…
I write about healthy eating all the time. Also, most folks think about what they are eating – to some extent. But, we have 60 percent of us overweight and 30 percent obese. Another 10 percent has Type 2 diabetes, a preventable and ruinous disease that stems from inactivity and poor nutrition. Obviously, we need help with our eating, whether routine or on a special diet.
Harvard Medical School offered the following two tips:
“To really optimize your diet, keep these two additional tips in mind.
1. Limit liquid sugars. Soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, and other sugar-sweetened beverages can deliver up to 12 teaspoons of sugar in a single serving, with no other useful nutrients. These beverages offer no health or nutritional benefits. Worse, regular consumption of these drinks can increase your chances of becoming obese or developing diabetes — both of which raise your risk for heart disease and other chronic conditions. Unsweetened coffee or tea or sparkling water are better choices.”
I have written repeatedly about the dangers of sugary as well as diet sodas. Love hearing it backed up by Harvard. Also, regarding the 12 teaspoons of sugar mentioned above. Remember, a teaspoon of sugar amounts to just over four grams. I offer that conversion because the amount of sugar is usually listed in grams and if you don’t know how many grams in a teaspoon, you might not realize how much sugar you are getting.