The Truth About Energy Drinks With Alternate Solutions
Energy Drinks, they’re all over the place. They come in all shapes, sizes and flavors. You can even get them in chewing gum form. It’s common these days to stumble into a gas station and find more quantity and variety of these energy drinks than you’ll find of drinks meant to hydrate you.
A couple of years ago I was working a series of super late nights and in an effort to stay “with it” I turned to energy drinks. I drank one Monster Energy drink a day for a couple of weeks. This turned me into an addict and slowly the effect the drink had on me was less and less potent. I did some basic research on this, which I’ll be sharing with you, and this helped me to decide to quit energy drinks cold turkey. Unfortunately, directly following my abstinence I had a physical and emotional crash. I was going around being lethargic and very depressed, with no apparent cause.
When you see an energy drink that has “Zero Carbs!” don’t get too excited. Carbohydrates are the least of your worries. Caffeine is the most prevalent offender throughout all energy drinks. Under the microscope, caffeine looks like tiny needles. It stimulates blood flow, increases alertness, etc. The downside to caffeine is that is also gives you headaches and can give a sense of anxiety as well as it being addictive.
Caffeine, in my opinion, falls into the drug category. Other drugs, used in their respective dosages, can be used to create different effects. In general, they are: stimulants, sedatives and poisons. If you were to have a small amount of, say, cocaine, then it would have the effect on you of being a stimulant. Take more and you’d feel sleepy. Keep this up and it will act as a poison and could kill you. This is true for caffeine and other drugs as well. So, caffeine is a lesser drug.
The vast majority of energy drinks contain an insane amount of sugar. And not just good old cane juice either, we’re talking about high fructose corn syrup. Not only is sugar not great to have in your diet but these forms of sugar are particularly hard for your body to deal with. It does, however, shoot your energy way up but it is followed by an imminent crash.
This cocktail of ingredients give you an energized, even euphoric state. However, this is synthetic and it does not last, putting aside the damage it does to your body. Factually, you do get a “high” or boost of energy. Once this high wears off your energy is at a lower level than it was originally. Each time you take another drink, little by little, you hit lower and lower peaks of energy -- you’re gradually deteriorating. Sound familiar? You may have thought of cocaine or other such street drugs. It is wholly my opinion that these energy drinks can be a stepping stone from “drug free” to “drug user.” Why not? When the drink doesn’t give you the buzz you need and you’re feeling somewhat depressed, you get the next stronger drug. I have no proof of that nor have I seen it occur but it is just a theory.
One thing to do when you’re getting little sleep is to increase your water intake. You should drink enough water regardless but you want to drink even more on little sleep. The reason for this is: your body sort of “self cleans” and gets rid of toxins while you sleep. If you’re not sleeping enough the body doesn’t have a chance to properly do this. Drinking water will help flush some of the toxins out though it does not, by any means, replace sleeping.
Eating right. Yes, your mother was onto something. Eating right in general is a good idea but if you’re going to be working late shifts or studying late in college, then eating right can do worlds of wonder. This means eating your greens, fruits, etc., a balanced diet. It goes without saying that you should cut all sugar and junk food. Sure, you might have a withdrawal coming off of sugar and junk but that will pass and, after a time, you’ll find that if you try those foods again, they taste gross and are unappetizing. Eat balanced meals that are right for your own body type. This will give you extra energy, vitality and well being even if you are getting plenty of sleep. Also, don’t eat less. If anything, eat more while you’re getting less sleep. I find that I get more hungry when I’m up late. Dieting is not for burning the midnight oil.
Vitamins are your secret weapon in both feeling energized and in coming through a late night period with somewhat of a smile. Take all your basic vitamins A, B, C, etc., along with minerals and all those great supplements. B vitamins are sugggested as they are used in energy drinks for that boost of energy. One tip on this though: try to lean toward organic or natural vitamins. Many of the vitamins you get these days are synthetically made and while they do have short term value, there has been slight controversy of their actual long term value. Besides, the natural vitamins absorb better into your body and they work so much better. I’ve noticed a huge difference myself in using these types of vitamins. I suggest getting Dr Shultz’s “Superfood”. You can mix it in juice and drink. I might be the only guy my age who eats that and I’ve been called different things like “grandpa” for drinking it but it is worth the ridicule.
That’s all I have for you. Hope you can use this information. Didn’t think you’d get a health lecture from somebody who’s younger than you, did you? Enjoy.