5 Reasons Harvard Warns Against Drinking Energy Drinks

Does energy feel like a scarce commodity in your body? Do you struggle to meet the demands of your day because you’re just so dang tired?

If you answered “Yes!” to these questions, you’re dealing with a personality energy crisis, and you’re not alone.

A 2020 poll found that only 14 percent of Americans feel refreshed and energized daily. That means most of us wake up feeling fatigued — no matter how much sleep we get — at least a few days per week.

There are healthy, more effective ways to solve your body’s energy crisis (like eating less sugar, moving more, and slashing stress), but most of us look for a quick fix. This band-aid solution makes us feel better temporarily but worsens things in the long run.

Like energy drinks.

The market for energy drinks has exploded in the past 20 years because so many people are looking to boost their energy levels. In fact, since 2004, energy drink sales grew by a whopping 240 percent! But this energy drink explosion has caused collateral damage to our health.

The latest research from Harvard shows that energy drinks hamper our mental and physical health in not one, not two, but in an astounding five different ways. Time to find healthier ways to restore personal energy? I think so.

Do you remember the media coverage several years ago about the dangers of combining energy drinks with alcohol? Well, a recent review of the available research conducted by Harvard researchers confirms once again that mixing alcohol and energy drinks destroys your body.

However, Harvard researchers also concluded that you don’t need to combine energy drinks with alcohol to make them dangerous. They’re pretty good at hampering your health all on their own. Based on the current research, Harvard researchers say that energy drinks could be:

  1. Provoking mental health problems. Studies show energy drinks are tied to an increased risk of stress, anxiety, depression, and suicidal thoughts. They’re also tied to an increased likelihood of substance abuse.
  2. You are harming your heart. One recent study found that drinking 355 mL of an energy drink (less than a 16-ounce Monster) strains the heart by increasing blood pressure, heart rate, and cardiac output. Several other studies confirmed that energy drink consumption raises blood pressure, which puts you at a higher risk for heart disease.
  3. They are putting you at risk for obesity and diabetes. Energy drinks contain massive amounts of sugar. So, just like other sugar-filled beverages, they increase your risk of high blood sugar, insulin resistance, weight gain, and type 2 diabetes.
  4. You are damaging your kidneys. Studies show that sugar-sweetened beverages, like energy drinks, are tied to kidney damage and a worse outcome for chronic kidney disease.
  5. It is causing dental problems. You already know sugar isn’t great for your teeth. Drinks that contain a lot of sugar, like energy drinks, boost the harmful bacteria in your mouth, contributing to tooth decay and cavities.

The truth is this list is just the beginning. Researchers say energy drinks are also tied to sleep dissatisfaction, fatigue, headaches, and stomachaches. But why are energy drinks so bad?

Well, it primarily comes down to too much sugar and caffeine.

Energy drinks contain up to 100 mg of caffeine per fluid ounce. That’s eight times more than a cup of coffee! It’s generally considered safe, and even healthy, to drink up to 400 mg of caffeine per day. But the worst energy drinks out there contain 207 mg per 2 ounces. That means if you drank a 16-ounce or even an 8-ounce drink, you’d be substantially surpassing your recommended caffeine levels.

The typical energy drink also contains 54 grams of sugar – more than you’ll find in most sodas. And the sugar used in these drinks tends to be the worst kind — high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, and artificial sweeteners.

Even worse, energy drinks are often marketed as health drinks because they contain an herb or two (like guarana and ginseng) and a few B vitamins. Of course, the benefits of these herbs and vitamins in energy drinks are counteracted by all the sugar, caffeine, and artificial ingredients.

So, how can you solve your personal energy crisis without harmful energy drinks? Well, the best long-term plan is to address the lifestyle habits draining your energy — especially if you’re eating a nutrient-poor diet and not getting enough exercise. Those two factors alone are behind so many people’s energy problems.

You can also turn to safer sources for a quick energy lift, like tea and coffee. They may not have the same kick as some of those intense energy drinks, but they have health benefits that will do your body good while still giving you the energy boost you crave.

If you’re looking for other sources of immediate relief from sagging energy levels, you can also try:

  • Nutrients that restore energy include alpha lipoic acid, carotenoids (like lycopene, lutein, zeaxanthin, and B carotene), CoQ10, glutamine, omega-3 fatty acids, curcumin, and Ribo-Fuel.

For more information about energy drinks, call Doctor’s Nutrition at 228-897-0070. Ask about Ribo-Fuel.

Ribo-Fuel Supports:
• Energy via the production and recycling of ATP
• Exercise tolerance
• Cardiovascular output
• Muscle strength and recovery
• Oxygen utilization and physical stamina
• Athletic performance and endurance


Serious health risks associated with energy drinks – MedicalXpress.    

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