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Energy Drinks

Taking the Fizz Out of Energy Drinks

 

            Summer has come to an end and the semester has begun. Whether you are a freshman or a senior, it is time to swap bathing suits and beach towels for books and backpacks. After a few weeks of classes, you may find yourself feeling run-down and in desperate need of a pick-me-up. Before you pop the top on your next energy drink, sip on these facts.

MYTH: “Rockstar®, Amp®, and Gatorade® are all energy drinks that have the same effect on my body.”

FACT: Gatorade® is classified as a sports drink where as Rockstar® and Amp® are considered energy drinks. Sports drinks contain glucose, which provides energy, and electrolytes which prevent dehydration. A sports drink is recommended to replenish your body’s stores of both glucose and electrolytes during exercise lasting longer than one hour.

MYTH: “An energy drink will give me all of the energy I need.”

FACT: Although the purpose of an energy drink is to provide the body with a quick boost of energy, this only lasts for a briefamount of time. Most energy drinks, are beverages that contain sugar, caffeine, and other stimulants such as ginseng and guarana, which do not provide sustainable energy.

MYTH: “The amount of sugar and caffeine in energy drinks is not harmful.”

FACT: One energy drink (16 ounces) can account for approximately half of what is considered a safe and tolerable level of caffeine. On average, energy drinks contain 400-600 calories, 120 grams of sugar and 320 milligrams of caffeine per 16 ounce serving. Adverse effects of caffeine include short and long term concentration difficulties, insomnia, emotional instability, irregular heartbeat, and abdominal cramping.

The best way to sustain your energy throughout the day is by eating regular, well-balanced meals based on the USDA’s MyPlate recommendations. These recommendations consist of filling half of your plate with fruits and vegetables, one-quarter with grains, one-quarter with protein, and one side of dairy per meal. Remember, the dining halls can easily be your best bet for a quick fix of energy!

Debunk energy drink deceptions

Author: Morgan Blonder, Reviewed By:  Dr. Watford Department of Nutritional Sciences

References: Energy Drinks Available at http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/pdf/8265.pdf.  Accessed April 6, 2012.Health Effects of Energy Drinks on Children, Adolescents, and Young Adult. Available at http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/127/3/511.long. Accessed April 6, 2012. Hydration Maintenance for Unarmed Combatants. Available at http://boxing.nv.gov/Hot%20Topics/Hydration10-08.pdf. Accessed on April 27, 2012.  Make Your Plate Match MyPlate. Available at http://food.rutgers.edu/files/eating101/hdt.eating_101__my_plate-_sp_2012.pdf. Accessed on April 27, 2012 The Direct Health Effects of Stimulant/Energy Drinks. Available at http://www.usaswimming.org/ViewNewsArticle.aspx?TabId=0&itemid=3967&mid=8712. April 7, 2012.

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