Energy and sports drinks, sugary sodas, fruit drinks, sweetened iced tea as well as frescas or homemade sugary beverages are poor choices for quenching thirsts, hydration and health in general. Individuals that drink these types of beverages daily over long periods of time can make a dangerous impact increasing their risk of health problems. These drinks have been linked to diabetes, cardiovascular disease, higher BMI levels, back pain, gallstones, joint disease, heart disease, certain cancers and death.
Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University did a survey and the results are the belief that drinking overly sweetened beverages is the root of many health issues and the ultimate cause of the growing number of deaths due to the consumption of these drinks that contain no health benefits. Over 184,000 deaths links to sugary beverages have been reported annually worldwide of which, 25,000 were Americans.
“This is a single dietary factor with no intrinsic health value causing tens of thousands of deaths per year,” said study coauthor Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition Science & Policy at Tufts University. “It’s time to remove sugary beverages from the food supply.”
Out of the 184,000 deaths worldwide it was determined that 133,000 people were diabetic, 45,000 had some sort of heart disease and 6,450 people were diagnosed with some form of cancer. There were over sixty-two surveys conducted with individuals from fifty-one different countries over a twenty year period, from 1980 through 2010 with 611,971 people participating. The study was published on June 29, 2015 in the journal Circulation.
Mexico was the country that resulted in 405 deaths per million people within a year. The United States came in second resulting in 125 deaths per million people within a one year period. The numbers are absolutely staggering. The average Mexican drinks approximately 43 gallons of soda or sugary beverages a year while Americans consume approximately 31 gallons per year.
“We need to talk a lot more about the harms of sugar-sweetened beverages, so I think we need to change the culture to where it’s just not okay to push soda.” Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian also said; “They’re causing tens of thousands of deaths, and we should eliminate them from the food supply.”
Energy drinks are poor choices for health and hydration but, they are on the market and so many people are pulled into believing they are good for you. In fact, these types of drinks aren’t really healthy drinks at all. They don’t promote good health and aren’t a good source for hydration either.
The commercials and explanations these companies have all stated that their drinks can boost your energy making you believe that this is a product you need and should try. They also claim they can increase ones stamina, boost their mental and physical performances and concentration and some may also state they promote weight loss.
When energy drinks started out they contained sugar and/or sugar substitutes as well as caffeine. Then they added some good ingredients such as Ginko biloba and ginseng along with some B vitamins and amino acids to name a few. So far so good or at least that is what we are led to believe.
The Food and Drug Administration or the FDA as we all refer to it as has no regulations set up on energy drinks. These particular drinks are considered dietary supplements rather than a beverage. This means that the level or amount of caffeine added to the energy drink can be anything. An average energy drink contains approximately 70-80 milligrams of caffeine in an eight ounce serving. That alone is over three times the amount contained in cola type sodas which is regulated by the FDA.
Many of the so-called dietary-supplemental drinks on the market now are packaged in twelve or more ounce containers. Here the amount of caffeine alone can exceed 300 milligrams. They also contain approximately 200-260 calories within a sixteen ounce serving. That amount of sugar equates to roughly sixteen teaspoons of sugar.
There are a few real issues of concern when drinking energy drinks. The first two are obvious; high levels of sugar and caffeine. Next, the amount of caffeine isn’t safe for children or even teenagers and if they consume one or more of these drinks it could have negative or even fatal effects on them. These drinks are not recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics. When consumed in excess and not necessarily downing a few in a day, but rather drinking these beverages on a daily basis can lead to dental caries or cavities as well as obesity in some individuals. Last but not least; is the effect that they have on a person’s system! The burst of caffeine will provide energy, but once it is used up it will cause that person to experience such a low, tiredness and become sluggish too. The constant up and down is not healthy at all.
If you really want to boost your system try thinking outside the energy drink box. Drink more water, natural fruit juice or fat free-milk when thirsty. Eat a balanced diet, try to get some physical activity into your lifestyle and be sure to get plenty of sleep. If you do this then you won’t have a need for energy drinks.
Stay healthy and drink smart!