It’s Monday morning and you can’t find the energy to get going at work. Or maybe you are staying up late to finish that extra assignment or work project. No matter the reason, it’s not uncommon to reach for an energy drink when you want to be alert and ready for anything. Sadly, energy drinks often overpromise what they can do for your performance, all while delivering a cocktail of unhealthy ingredients that could be impacting your health in negative ways.
When you chug an energy drink, you assume you’ll feel energized. It’s an energy drink after all. And you probably will get a little pep in your step for a while. Energy drinks are full of caffeine and sugar, both of which can get your body moving temporarily. It’s all the other things that happen when you drink an energy drink that you should be concerned about. Energy drinks can:
- Increase blood pressure
- Increase your risk for irregular heart rhythms
- Impact your sleep
- Cause weight gain
- Cause tooth decay
- Contribute to mental health problems
- Increase diabetes risk
- Cause kidney damage
- Contribute to substance abuse problems
It’s not hard to see that energy drinks can cause a myriad of health problems. The extra sugar in an energy drink might keep you awake for a while, but it’s going to contribute to insulin resistance, diabetes, tooth decay, and diabetes. That powerhouse of caffeine? It’ll push your blood pressure up quickly. Energy drinks cause health problems not because they contain sugar and caffeine, but because they have so much sugar and caffeine that it can hurt your body.
The temporary benefits of a drinking an energy drink are not nearly enough to outweigh the long term health problems. So, what can you do instead? It’s not as hard as it might seem to feel good and energized all day long.
- Cut out artificial energy boosters. They might give you a quick up, but they’ll be followed by a hard crash down. If you use artificial “energy” you’ll also be less likely to notice when you naturally feel good, because you won’t know what it feels like to feel good without a boost.
- Drink plenty of water. It’ll help clear out toxins and keep your body running the best it can.
- Get plenty of sleep. Most of the time you’re looking for an energy boost, you probably should instead focus on getting more shut eye. Establish a regular sleep schedule. Once you start sleeping better, you’ll notice that you feel better.
- Exercise regularly. When starting an exercise regimen, you may initially feel more drained. If you stick with it you’ll gradually build up strength and stamina that will help you get through your day.
- Eat nutritious foods. Stop loading up on chips and soda. Eat more fresh foods. Limit added sugars. When you eat well, your body will feel well. It’ll also help you feel more energized.
Energy drinks promise that you’ll feel great and be energized. Unfortunately, energy drinks also come with an assortment of potential health problems. Instead of subjecting your body to a variety of illnesses, focus on treating your body the best you can with improved sleep and nutrition. You’ll feel better, and you’ll have less days where you feel like you need something just to make it through the afternoon.