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.