Do you know what energy drinks are? And what is in them?
Energy drinks are beverages like:
- Red Bull
- Adrenaline Rush
They claim to give you an extra boost, but do you know what is in them?
- 80mg of caffeine (equivalent to a cup of coffee & twice the amount in a can of coke. A high intake of caffeine can result in dehydration during exercise.
- Ephedrine-derived from the plant Ephedra & used for weight loss and as a energy booster but, consuming large amounts may result in high blood pressure, increased heart rate, restlessness and tremors.
- Guarana-a caffeine containing extract from a South American plant.
- Ginseng-a Chinese herb that is used to enhance memory, boost energy, improve performance and stimulate the immune system. If you ingest too much it can lead to headaches and high blood pressure.
- B vitamins (such as B6 & B12) are food in food sources extra amounts unneeded.
- Sugar (10-12%) Provides a quick source of energy, but high levels slow the body's absorption of water and this makes these drinks unsuitable during exercise.
- Taurine-an amino acid found in foods and additional amounts from supplementation are not necessary.
- Do not mix with alcohol! It could be dangerous!
Now that I know the scoop on these drinks... What should I do?
Think about why you are drinking this do you need it? If you are looking for a boost during exercise, this may not be the drink for you. Instead consider:
- A sports drink such as Gatorade or PowerAde, these replace fluid and electrolytes lost during exercise.
- Fresh fruit such as a banana, apple or orange.
- Eat a balanced diet that contains complex carbohydrates (i.e. pasta & rice), these will give your muscles energy during exercise.