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Beware of “Energy Drinks”

“Monster”, “Red Bull” and “Rockstar”:  These names sound like they could be wrestlers from the WWE, but in fact, they are the brands of the three most successful “energy drinks”.   The “energy drink” market is around $4 BILLION dollars a year in the United States alone.  A few years ago, you may remember passing through the supermarket aisles and seeing cans of Red Bul.  Now?  There are shelves and shelves offering up different energy drinks.

The main ingredients of energy/power drinks are caffeine, taurine, glucuronolactone, B vitamins, guarana, ginseng, ginkgo biloba, l-carnitine, sugars, antioxidants, and trace minerals.  Sugar is a component of many energy drinks but there are some that are now offering zero sugar.

Why are these energy drinks so popular?   The answer is that the marketing of these drinks has been incredibly slick AND pretty much everyone, when asked if they would like more “energy” would answer with a resounding “yes”.

Do energy drinks provide more “energy” than drinking an expresso with some extra shots?  More than a great tasting bottle of real Coca-cola?  People need to individually evaluate the utility of these well-marketed drinks for boosting energy.

Concerning weight control and energy drinks…Here is my take:  The sugar laden drinks will create the same issues as sugar containing sodas….they will hurt your weight control efforts.  Ass for the zero sugar offerings:  Although they do not provide calories, I still am suspicious of the contents (especially the high caffeine) as these relate to other health issues, including the heart rhythm.  Younger people can probably be very safe in using these whereas older people should probably stay away.

There are no studies that conclusively show that “Energy Drinks” help people lose weight for the long-term.  Save the $$$

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