Energy Drinks: Are They Your Friend or Enemy?
Energy drinks are everywhere, and they cause a lot of controversies. While many people regard their can of Red Bull as a necessary pick me up, others ask what these drinks are doing to their body. Once we understand how energy drinks work, we can decide if they're our friends or enemies.
How Energy Drinks Work
Energy drinks do what they say, they boost your energy, by combining ingredients such as sugar and caffeine. There are many varieties available, including large cans, shot sizes and bottled drinks. One of the main draws for people is the extensive range of flavours and advertisements that claim athletes use the drinks to boost their performance.
The most common ingredients you'll find in energy drinks include:
- Vitamins B, Caffeine, Sugar: Energy boosting ingredients
- Ginseng: Asian herb that is believed to improve energy levels and boost cognitive function.
- Guarana: South American plant that is also used to increase your energy levels and make you more alert.
- Taurine: Nervous system boosting amino acid that also improves your energy and mental functioning.
As you can imagine, that's a heavy dose of caffeine, sugar and energy-boosting ingredients.
Why Are Energy Drinks So Popular?
Most people use energy drinks because they make them feel more alert and fight fatigue. With so much to do and so little time, people always look for ways to help them function.
Perhaps the most significant factor we can attribute to the rise of performance-boosting drinks is stress.
According to Perkbox, 79% of UK workers experience workplace stress, which is a 20% rise from 2018. Our lives are more hectic, and it's only natural to seek out ways in which you can feel less tired and more capable of completing their everyday tasks.
When people consume an energy drink, they receive an immediate high. While the adrenaline boost seems like a good idea, it makes you believe that you can push your body to extreme limits.
It's common for people to begin to rely on the drinks and feel sluggish when they don't use them.
The True Dangers of Energy Drinks
Although some of the ingredients in energy drinks are beneficial, it's the combination of them that makes them dangerous. Massive levels of caffeine, sugar and energy-boosting plants can be a lethal combination.
Regular consumption of energy drinks can cause irreparable damage to your body. One of the most significant risk factors is suffering a heart attack. In the UK alone, there are stories about how the ingredients can have a fatal effect on a consumer's body. The Mirror published a harrowing story about a father that lost his life due to his daily energy drink.
It's important to note that the ingredients in energy drinks when combined, can be overwhelming for some people, and even one-time consumption can have devastating consequences.
Statistics from the NHS show that over 50% of 12-24-year-olds suffer from adverse side effects when they consume energy drinks. The youths reported headaches, nausea, dizziness, difficulty sleeping, a racing heart and in some cases, even seizures.
Is There an Alternative?
With energy drinks causing so many side effects, it's clear that people need to find alternative methods to improve their daily functioning. Let's examine them.
See a Doctor
If you're feeling sluggish all the time and eight hours a night just won't cut it, then you should see a doctor. There could be an underlying medical issue such as underactive thyroid, which is very treatable with the right medication.
Insomnia can also cause extreme tiredness because not sleeping has a remarkable impact on your cognitive functioning. Once you know what's causing your lethargy, you can take steps to improve your sleep patterns.
Exercise is one of the best ways to wake yourself up and remain motivated. While some people struggle to get started with a routine, they find that it offers many benefits once they do.
A healthier body means a stronger system, and combining one of your favourite activities such as swimming or tennis can make a world of difference.
Try Meditation and Yoga
Meditation can relax your mind by helping you to tune out the daily stresses and focus on your breathing. Yoga's also ideal for conditioning your body, but it's less intense than heavy cardio.
It's tempting to use coffee and energy drinks, but there's nothing like water to rejuvenate your system. Water regulates your temperature, and it's essential for your cells, tissue and organs.
Lose the Electronics
Every evening, the majority of people switch on the TV, or their mobile device and watch their favourite shows before they go to bed. The problem with this is it doesn't help you to switch off and prepare for sleep.
We recommend turning off all your devices two hours before bed and reading a book instead. If you struggle with getting to sleep every night, then it's the best way to relax and switch off for the evening.
Guess what? Junk food doesn't give you energy. It can make you feel even lazier. Processed foods have no benefits, and they work similarly to energy drinks. When you eat burgers, fries and cakes, you might feel an initial energy spike, but it will fall quickly, and you'll want to 'refuel'.
But when you focus on a diet that is rich in nutrients, you naturally fuel your body and keep it on an even keel. Many people choose to consume a paleo diet because it focuses on whole foods and rules out anything processed.
Another fantastic way to make the most out of your diet is by purchasing organic food. Organic farming practices focus on using natural agricultural methods, which means they contain higher levels of nutrients and minerals.
The Bottom Line
The health benefits of organic food are undeniable, but many people find it challenging to make time to prepare healthy meals each day. If you struggle to consume a nutritious diet, but you'd like to improve your lifestyle, then Skim offers organic meal delivery UK wide.
Our extensive range of delicious meals caters to vegans, gluten-free, paleo and keto diets. With our help, you can change your body, improve your health and live a better life.