Energy Drinks: Real or Rip-Off?
Energy drinks have hit the market within the last few years, and seem to be all the rage. You've seen the ads, and maybe you even bought some energy drinks. They claim to give you super energy and the best way to turn those pooped-out feelings into a super-charged experience. No more afternoon slumps, just hit the floor running! Did they help you? Did you really notice a big difference?
But, are these "energy" drinks good for you? Do they really increase your energy level? And, will they actually help you lose weight? Before you stop by the first quick-stop and grab a bottle of this miracle elixir, you need to know just exactly what you are drinking. The ads sound great, the packaging is eye-catching, but do these “energy” drinks really rev up your system without making you feel wired?
Most of these energy drinks are simply made of carbonated water that is loaded with gut-fattening fructose corn syrup, caffeine, amino acid taurine and, of course, a few B-vitamins thrown in to make you think it's a healthy drink.
So, just what is fructose corn syrup? Virtually, high fructose corn syrup is just a whole lot of empty calories that go straight to your belly fat, and are actually worse for you than regular refined sugar! Oh, what's that you say? You've got the sugar-free variety. Well, that's good, but what about those harmful chemicals strewn throughout within the artifical sweetners?
Another pconcern about artifical sweetners is that many researchers suggest they lead people to consume more calories and are rewarded with additional weight gain in the long run.
What about the caffeine? Did you know that caffeine in itself does not provide "energy?" The only real substances that provide energy are calories; calories from carbs, protein, and fat.
But, caffeine can aid to liven or wake up some people because it stimulates the central nervous system. But, if you are a regular coffee drinker, you're probably already addicted to caffeine and won't get much of a benefit from the caffeine in any energy drink. If you're gonna get caffeine, it's just as good to get it from a natural source, like green, white or oolong teas. Beside great taste and the caffeine boost, these teas are loaded with healthful antioxidants!
Yeah, but those "energy" drinks are giving you taurine and B-vitamins, right? Not a big deal ... taurine can be found in almost any protein source. And, you are gonna pee most of those B-vitamins out of your system without getting any benefit. The best way to get vitamins is through eating natural real food sources, not artificially added to a carbonated drink. The body just does not use fake vitamin sources as well as real food natural sources.
If you really want an "energy" drink, the best concoction is a homemade energy drink made with iced unsweetened green, white and oolong teas. Add in a bit of 100% pure berry or pomegranate juice and a dash of non-denatured whey protein, and you'll have the best energy drink available! Nothin' says lovin' from the oven (oops, sorry, wrong commercial!)