Are Energy Drinks for you?
Since 1997 when Red Bull was first introduced to the market,energy drinks have become a staple in America’s diet. Red Bull, Monster, Rockstar, are just a fewthat you will see in the hands of Athletes, MMA Fighters, Trainers, Boxers,Adults, Teens and even pre-teens; look in the recycle bin of your localtraining facility and you will find several empty containers of energydrinks. Energy drinks are consumed onthe drive to the gym to train, at the gym before training, during training andon the way home from training. Parentswill buy their children energy drinks to give them “energy” before school,before soccer, baseball, football, gymnastics any type of physical activitywithout knowing the benefits or harm that energy drinks provide.
First you must understand what is in an energy drink. They all have a variation of receipts, butthey still have common ingredients, such as caffeine, guarana (a South Americanplant extract that contains additional caffeine), sugar and amino acid taurine,ginseng and assorted vitamins. The Amino acid taurine, ginseng and otherassorted vitamins have little or no impact on a person’s energy level, so wheredoes the energy come from. Sugar doesgive you energy, but along with that energy comes calories and along withcalories comes weight gain.
Sodas and energy drinks both have sugar (real energy) andcaffeine. Drinking an energy drink forenergy would be the same as drinking a soda before training; they both havesugar and caffeine. What is thedifference between soda and an energy drink; the level of caffeine. A soda has 71 milligrams in a 12oz drink(regulated by the FDA); an energy drink has between 50 and 500 milligrams ofcaffeine (which is not regulated by the FDA). Coffee has 100 milligrams of caffeine, so drinking an energy drink canbe compared to drinking 7 sodas or 5 cups of coffee. Caffeine is a stimulant which means it canincrease awareness, concentration and give you the feeling of a burst ofenergy, but in excess it can cause restlessness, irritability and difficultysleeping and an over dose of caffeine can reduce blood flow to the heart andcause heart palpitations.
Recently at ASG Training facility we had a female MMAfighter in her early 20’s who was experiencing chest pains and difficultbreathing, upon visiting the emergency room it was found that her bloodpressure was 180 and I do not remember the bottom reading. Her heart was racing and she felt like it wasgoing to explode. It was determined thather heart was racing do to an overdose of caffeine from her drinking 2 energydrinks before practice. This is not our first experience of someonehaving very high blood pressure due to a caffeine overdose from drinking energydrinks.
So before you decide that you need the burst of energy froman energy drink realize that one drink is the same as drinking 7 sodas or 5cups of coffee.