LindaRD has been getting many adolescents and young adults asking her the real truth about energy drinks. These young people live in many of the surrounding towns such as Lafayette, CA, Walnut Creek, CA, Danville, CA , San Ramon, CA and Alamo, CA. They are mostly college students who have part time jobs to help pay for their education. They certainly feel stressed trying to balance studying and working several hours a week.
Clients tell me that the allure is that energy drinks are suppose to improve concentration and alertness and also help with both physical and mental performance. Most of my clients are consuming Red Bull and Monster which are sold in convenience stores and bars where alcohol is served. You will see these energy drinks sold at bars where young people frequent in Walnut Creek, Ca as well as in Lafayette, Ca.
Energy drinks are flavored beverages containing varying amounts of caffeine, and most contain similar ingredients. Here are some ingredients that they contain and what energizing benefits they have if any. You will see the best selection of these drinks in Safeway in Walnut Creek, Ca as well as in Lafayette, Ca.
Bee Pollen: It contains small amounts of vitamins, minerals and amino acids. It has not been proven to increase mental or physical energy. This supplement has been touted as a cure for allergies, stomach problems and even alcoholism but these are not proven.
Carnitine: It is a vitamin like compound that plays a role in energy production in our body. Our body makes enough carnitine so there is no need to supplement. There is no evidence to support that it improves mental or physical performance.
Taurine: It is an essential amino acid that we eat in meat and fish. It you eat enough protein you are covered. It also is produced in the body and there is no need for supplementing. Some research indicates that in combination with caffeine it can produce minor improvements in attention and verbal reasoning.
Ginkgo and Ginseng: Studies show the gingko extract may cause modest improvements in memory and cognitive processing. It has been proven to negatively affect blood sugar and people with diabetes and can make bleeding disorders worse.
Milk Thistle: Silymarin, an antioxidant is the active component of milk thistle seeds. Research indicates that milk thistle may protect against kidney live and prostrate disease. Again there is no evidence that it improves mental or physical performance.
Sugar: Most energy drinks are loaded with sugar. Some brands have 60 grams in one can which is equal to 14 teaspoons of sugar. ( 1 teaspoon of sugar equals 4 grams) After we ingest a large amount of sugar we do get a quick energy high but it does not last long. Energy levels drop after the initial sugar rush wears off. Many of my clients now realize the headache that they get after one of these drinks is caused by the drop in blood sugar.
Vitamins: Many drinks say that they provide 8 times the amount of our daily B and C vitamins. Vitamin B helps you produce cellular energy and metabolize your food and Vitamin C is extremely helpful for immune function. But, what you need to know is that the body is not able to absorb these vitamins in such excess and you will end up excreting them in your urine.
Cola Nut, Guarana, Mate: These ingredients sound like exotic superfoods but they are fancy names for caffeine. Some drinks contain caffeine that is comparable to 2-3 cups of coffee. After this amount of caffeine the adverse effects kick in as described above. My college students will pound down several energy drinks in a single study session and the crash hard later on.
I want to mention that I do see my young people mixing energy drinks with alcohol. It is their belief that the caffeine will help alleviate the affect of the alcohol so they can study or go to work the next day. I often will tell my clients that energy drinks will give them a false sense of physical and mental performance if taken after having a few drinks.
I hope after you have reviewed this article it is obvious to you that energy drinks do not really contain energizing ingredients. Most of the magical herbs have not been proven to increase energy at all. I hope you will now look at the drink you buy in Walnut Creek, CA or Lafayette, CA and see what you are drinking.
It is my job as a nutritionist to teach my college students that if they want to do well in their life proper nutrition will be the answer to get good grades and be successful in life. I am working with many students from Walnut Creek, CA, Lafayette, CA and the surrounding towns that are interested in weight loss and need the motivation to keep to a consistent healthy eating regimen.
I am glad to inform you that I am working with many college students via phone and e-mail. I interact with them most days and hold their hand and educate and support them to eat healthy and still enjoy quality food. Please feel free to look at my website for more information about my approach. http://LindaRD.com