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The Buzz about Energy Drinks

April 15, 2011 Print This ArticleShare

Author: Michael Greeves

For years now diet and nutrition experts have debated whether or not energy drinks are good, bad or indifferent when it comes to how they affect a person during exercise. Overall the buzz about energy drinks is that they are not great to take during a workout.

To understand exactly what an energy drink does to the body depends on the specific energy drink. Some energy drinks are loaded up with a combination of caffeine and sugar which makes the body produce an energy spike often followed by crash. Other energy drinks don't have any sugar in them at all and rely on various herbs that contain caffeine. Many people say that these sugarless energy drinks work much better because the energy comes from mostly from caffeine. Recent studies into diet and nutrition have said that there are no adverse side effects for healthy adults who consume less than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day.

The amount of caffeine in an energy drink is most likely not harmful to include in a diet and nutrition plan for a normal healthy adult there are other ingredients in energy drinks that no one really knows the effects of large dosed for long periods of time.

One of those ingredients that creates a buzz about energy drinks is Taurine. Taurine is an amino acid found in the body that is produced naturally. This amino acid can be found in protein-containing food such as dairy and meat products. Many of the energy drink companies say that Taurine makes a person more alert, can lower blood pressure and helps prevent diabetes. None of those claims have been proven true by the diet and nutrition community.

Another item found in nearly all energy drinks are b-vitamins in the form of thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pyridoxine, panthothenic acid, cynacobalamin and biton. B-vitamins are important to a healthy diet, but some studies have said that the overuse of certain b-vitamins such as B6 (pyridoxine) may cause nerve damage. Most diet and nutrition experts say that there is no link between b-vitamins and better sports performance.

The recent buzz about energy drinks has caused some alarm around the world in the health and fitness energy due to the fact that they are not regulated as supplements within the FDA. It is easy to find lots of people on both sides of the debate. There is little doubt that caffeine can enhance focus and energy for a short period of time, but there is no proof that the other ingredients in most energy drinks do anything to help boost sports performance or even energy.

People considering making energy drinks a regular part of their diet and nutrition plan should do the research and find one that suits their needs best. Most people like the taste of the sugary energy drinks, but if the drink is being used in conjunction with high intensity sports the sugar may accelerate dehydration causing other issues. It may be best if the person feels that need to drink an energy drink to go with one with little or no sugar and one that has normal levels of caffeine and other ingredients.


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