Archive for January, 2011
Energy Drinks and Food Bars often have flashy packaging that you need be able to look beyond. If you are using energy drinks to give you that boot of energy to keep you awake and alert or using an energy bar to get you through to your next meal it’s imperative that you be aware of what you are consuming. In this article, we’ll be looking at some important factors you should consider regarding energy drinks and food bars.
Caffeine is the primary source of the energy in most energy drinks. Of course you know that caffeine is the same stimulant that motivates us to drink coffee. Most of these energy drinks however contain much more caffeine than your average cup of coffee. If you are using energy drinks to quench your thirst you are likely to drink more of them in a shorter amount of time. This equates to a caffeine overdose which can also cause other health problems like insomnia, headaches, heart problems and anxiety to name a few. At the very least you should switch to a caffeine free drink during exercise, preferably water, and get your regular caffeine doses the old fashioned way. Many of these drinks claim to be “fortified” with herbs and vitamins or amino acids in addition to the sugar and caffeine we already know exists in most of them. It’s no surprise to find Taurine, guanine, and Gingko Biloba among those items listed on the drink’s label. Allot of these supplements are generally known to be good for you but there are some who’s status is really unknown as to overall health risk. Stimulants like ginseng and guarana, when combined with sugar and caffeine can have some nasty side effects if you overdo it which is easy to do. For the most part it’s better to isolate these stimulants and take them separately to avoid these side effects.
When you rely on energy drinks or food bars for energy before or during exercise, you may be risking dehydration. Most energy drinks are high in calories and the sugar in them is a natural dehydrator so it’s best to avoid them during exercise. The best fluid for hydration purposes during exercise or in general is plain water. Stick to plain water and avoid energy drinks as well as waters and other thirst quenchers with sugar added. Water, Water, Water, just plain water is the most energizing drink available to you.
If you are looking to lose weight you should instead avoid energy drinks and food bars and look at our weight loss tips post. You might also want to take advantage of the many benefits of green tea which can help you lose weight.
Energy drinks and food bars, then come in a range of forms, and some are a lot better than others. Nevertheless, you should keep in mind that even the best among them are not designed to be consumed all day, as a swap out for water and real foods. It is of no matter how natural a packaged item says it is it can’t be as unaffected as whole foods or a glass of pure water. In summary, it is okay to drink energy drinks infrequently or to eat a food bar as a snack, but don’t insist upon them providing you with all of your nutritional needs.
Have you heard about biotin vitamin? Here is a post on biotin vitamin that I found that explain some of the media/marketing hype around this vitamin which has been said to help with hair growth and of course many other ehealth benefits that might interest you.
Biotin vitamin which his commonly referred to as Vitamin H is actually the water soluble B-complex vitamin B7. It is necessary for cell growth, the metabolism of fats and amino acids and the production of fatty acids.
It also plays an important role in other functions including the transfer of carbon dioxide, aiding in a number of metabolic reactions, and helping our body release the energy from the foods we consume.
Some of the benefits we see from biotin vitamins are:
- Healthy hair and skin
- Healthy sweat glands nerve tissue and bone marrow
- Aids in relief of muscle pain
- Promotes blood sugar control and helps lower fasting blood glucose levels
- Helps prevent neuropathy associated with diabetes
- Reduces tingling and numbness caused by poor glucose control
- Helps improve certain skin conditions such as sebborheic dermatitis more commonly known as cradle cap in children
Because deficiency is so rare, a recommended daily dose has not been assigned by any regulatory organization however a suggested recommended intake for adolescence and adults is 30 to 100 mcg. Intestinal bacteria produce more biotin than our bodies require. Bioavailability of biotin in food products is highly dependant on availability in our bodies of organisms to break the biotin-protein bonds from food. Biotin exists in food as protein bound form or biocytin.
There is a wide variety of food sources for biotin, but very few are particularly rich in it. Those higher in content are raw egg yolk, liver and some vegetables however the raw egg yolk source ironically is counteracted by egg whites which minimize its effectiveness within the body. Other foods with biotin bioavailability include salmon, cauliflower, bananas, carrots, soy flour, cereals and yeast.
Biotin can also be obtained from supplements for those who suffer from deficiency usually caused by metabolic disorders. Normal doses can be found in 10 mcg, 50 mcg and 100 mcg.
Because hair loss is a possible sign of biotin deficiency, there are hair care products on the market which contain biotin, but it is not absorbed well through the skin, so the effectiveness of these products is questionable.
Most people who eat a relatively good diet will not need to worry about deficiency as it is rare but if you are taking a good multivitamin already, you are probably receiving a proper supplemental dose.