How many of you after a long day at the office attend the gym via a petrol station to get your energy drink fix before you undertake your training? You may enjoy the taste and get a short term buzz but how many of you actually look at the ingredients list? Energy drinks such as Red Bull, Monster and Relentless to name but a few are becoming more and more popular and with advertisement slogans promising to ‘give you wings’ it’s easy to see why.
For the purpose of this article we will steer clear of specific pre-workout supplements such as N.O Xplode and Jack3d and instead concentrate on our fizzy can friends. So how good are these energy drinks for you and your body? Ignorance is bliss, so if you enjoy your energy drinks and don’t necessarily want to know the truth, look away now!
Let’s start with the sugar levels. Cans of Red Bull, Monster and Relentless all contain excessive sugar levels, none of which are really needed by the individual and ultimately leads to it being stored by the body. With similar levels to other soft drinks, such as Coca Cola, these energy drinks can contain up to a whopping 60g sugar per drink.
The next main ingredient that makes an energy drink an energy drink is the caffeine content. For your information, caffeine within standard cans of fizz is normally limited to 65mg. The same regulations are not applied to energy drinks. So how much can you expect to find? Many of the leading brands pack up to as much as 280mg caffeine per serving. No wonder the slogan promises to ‘give you wings’!
General health guidelines suggests adults should not consume more than 300mg caffeine per day, so if you enjoy an energy drink as well as a coffee or tea, you could soon be bypassing the recommended allowances. Excessive caffeine can cause diarrhoea, anxiety, nervousness, insomnia, muscular tremors and irritable bowel syndrome to name but a few.
Although the article has drawn particular focus on the excessive sugar and caffeine levels found in energy drinks, this should not move attention away from the various other ingredients of which their long term effects on the body are still relatively unknown.
As with everything in life, the occasional energy drink every so often won’t produce any long lasting unwanted effects. However, if you’re relying on these drinks each and every time to get you through your training sessions and simply cannot train without them then it might be time to consider your long term health and assess your dietary requirements.
Here at FitnessBeans the best advice we can offer you with regards to these energy drinks is the same advice you’ll find on most bottles of alcohol; drink in moderation and drink responsibly.