2 energy drink dangers and 3 natural recommendations
Energy drink dangers? Really?!
The images are amazing. Extreme-fun people with skateboards, snowboards, and heavy metal guitar music that mysteriously follows them where ever they go. Never afraid to break into an unexpected slow-motion 3 second stunt, these people are THE image of “cool”.
Except when they fall over dead.
Largely contributed from a lack of proper nutrition and exercise, energy drinks have become a multi-billion dollar business, now a part of mainstream culture. But is there a dark side to them?
After many anecdotal complaints of strange deaths after the consumption of energy drinks, consumers have in recent years, sought help from different consumer advocacy groups and government agencies.
Investigators are now asking if energy drink dangers are real.
Both from research coming in, as well as things that are already well known, it’s easy to list two ways in which energy drink dangers are very real:
1. Their abnormally high levels of caffeine can be deadly. According to Dr Joseph Mercola (2008), ” Some energy drinks contain the equivalent caffeine of 14 cans of Coca-Cola, yet the amounts are often unlabeled, and few include warnings about the potential health risks of caffeine intoxication”. Most cups of coffee contain somewhere between 80 and 150 mg of caffeine. A “hypershot” called ALRI contains approximately 500 mg, or about the equivalent of 4-5 cups of coffee. Before you think this is Dr. Mike going on an “everything is harmful” rant, please know that unless you’re in your ‘golden years’ of life, you should already have a great deal of energy, without the use of caffeine. Caffiene is a drug, and can cause heart palpitations, and high blood pressure, among a host of other conditions. Long-term usage also contributes to ‘adrenal burnout’. Finally, according to a study in Diabetes Care (2004), caffeine raises blood sugar levels. So much so, that patients with type II diabetes were urged to avoid ingesting caffeine.
2. Their abnormally high levels of sugar disrupts our hormones and blood sugar balance. A 16-OZ Sobe “Adrenaline Rush” energy drink contains 66 grams (about 17 teaspoons) of sugar. Think about this for a moment; picture standing over your drink with a teaspoon. Now picture scooping not 1, not 2, not 3, but 17 scoops of sugar into your drink, and then downing it, or giving it to your child to down. Sugar is extremely disruptive to our hormones (so much so, I actually wrote an entire article about it here). When our hormones get disrupted, among other things, our energy spikes, and then it crashes a short time later. In addition, we constantly have hunger cravings, and not only can’t maintain our energy, but also can’t control our weight. With sugar consumption this high, it’s no wonder that over a hundred years ago (when obesity was rarely heard of), the typical American consumed approximately 6 pounds of sugar per year, while today (with two-thirds of Americans and over 1/2 of Europeans are overweight), Americans typically consume over 150 pounds of sugar per year. Sugar plays a major role in energy drink dangers.
What do all these seemingly random facts mean?
It means we drink these drinks, and get a huge spike of energy, followed by a ‘crash’ that happens later. We need another one, and continue needing more. Because of the blood sugar issues, we’re constantly hungry, gain weight, feel like sh*t often, and over time, develop problems like diabets, heart palpitations, low sex drive, and chronically low energy…..We wake up relatively young, yet feel very old. We just can’t seem to ‘get it together’, and life passes us by as we slowly wither away and die. Energy drink dangers are very real.
Well, then what natural solutions are there?
If you realize you’re dependent on these drinks, don’t feel bad about it–it’s not your fault. However, now that you know how damaging they can be, it is your responsibility, if you want your life back, to change your habits. Changing them aren’t easy, but they can be done.
Here’s 3 ways to get your life back:
1. Drastically cut down on sugar in your diet. This step alone can help regulate hormone levels, lose weight, and stabilize energy levels. Need to bake or sweeten your coffee? Try stevia. It’s a completely natural plant from the sunflower family, and is commonly available at most grocery stores and health food stores. It has a negligible effect on blood sugar, and combined with low daily sugar consumption, can allow our body to once again self-regulate our energy levels. If you’re hooked on sugar (especially from the high amount found in energy drinks), there’s a good likelihood that you’ll get some headaches to begin for a couple days. However, after breaking the sugar addiction can feel like ‘waking up’ for the first time in a long time.
2. Try to make water by far the largest drink you consume…. Taking it a step farther, filtered water (not tea, coffee, cola, Kool-Aid, etc…) should be consumed at about 1/2 oz for each pound you weigh per day. In other words, if you weigh 200#, you should drink about 100 oz. water per day. To a large degree, toxin accumulation in our body keeps us feeling sluggish. Water flushes these toxins out and helps us get our energy back. Most people either don’t realize, or don’t acknowledge how powerful water can be. However, if used as recommended, it can have a drastic effect on your energy levels.
3. Involve more healthy fats in your diet. They’re the precursors for hormones (including the ones that give us energy). They’re essential in repairing the damage that may have been done through the use of energy drinks. Where do you find healthy fats? Places like avocados, cage-free organic eggs, virgin coconut oil, virgin olive oil, coconut milk, and pharmaceutical-grade omega-three fatty acid supplementation. Hormones often take weeks to months to normalize, and results aren’t seen overnight. It takes patience to let this happen, but can be so extremely rewarding to feel a stabilized mood, sex drive, and energy level.
After a great deal of marketing, the energy drink industry has found a way to get many of us hooked on their products. If you don’t already consume them, my suggestion would be to not start. If you are hooked, and looking for options to get off, I would strongly recommend you take this article to heart.
Mercola, J Caffeine Experts Call for Warning Labels for Energy Drinks 10/16/2008. www.Mercola.Com
Lane, J. Diabetes Care, August 2004; vol 27. News release, Duke University. National Sleep Foundation. Web MD Medical News: “Specialty Coffee’s Caffeine Jolt Varies”