Energy Drinks and Supplements!
Are you interested in ways to enhance your athletic performance and energy levels? Here are some popular methods to avoid as well as healthier alternatives that naturally provide you with even better energizing effects.
Many people resort to consuming energy drinks and supplements as a means for increasing their energy levels. Recent studies indicate an increase in sports performance but at the cost of more frequent cases of insomnia, nervousness and unwanted jitters and other various side-effects.
It’s not uncommon for athletes and bodybuilders to experience an increase in strength and stamina while taking supplements and/ or energy drinks, but unfortunately these products do not provide you with more energy. Energy drinks contain a high amount of carbohydrates, taurine and caffeine. The only ingredient contained in energy drinks that actually generates a stimulated effect similar to feeling energized is the concentration of caffeine.
Today you can buy an energy drink containing 500ml which presents approximately 80mg of caffeine per 250ml, for a total of 160mg of caffeine! That amount is seem-less by itself but after factoring in coffee, teas, sports drinks and soft drinks you may consume on a daily basis, it’s very easy to surpass the 500mg daily limit for caffeine consumption. Adolescents shouldn’t consume more than 100mg of caffeine per day.
Caffeine naturally dehydrates your body but will provide you with an energized feeling! If you are adamant about keeping caffeine in your diet, try healthier alternatives like coffee and natural tea. Tea has many vitamins and antioxidants and coffee has been scientifically proven to increase athletic performance and endurance. Black coffee is the healthiest. The best way to stay healthy while drinking these beverages is to drink an equal amount of water for each beverage – on top of your daily water needs. It is also important to remember that coffee is in fact a drug, as the saying goes “all things in moderation.“
Taurine itself, is an amino acid that regulates water and salt levels within the body. It was first discovered within the bile of bulls, but with technological advancements, it is now synthetically manufactured and sold by the truckload.
Our bodies naturally produce the right amount of taurine through maintaining a healthy diet. An excess of taurine can produce side effects ranging from higher blood-pressure, strokes and seizures to heart disease; for these reasons some countries have banned taurine completely. For homeostasis, our daily taurine levels should stay between 100-500mg, but among common energy drinks you will see that the label easily reads 1,000mgs, not to mention this taurine is synthetically produced.
Many health professionals will advise you to stay away from energy drinks, completely, as they can become addictive, and overtime they will deteriorate both your mind and body. It is clearly evident that more and more people are buying energy drinks and supplements to boost their energy levels and/or athletic performance. How often do you see new advertisements and sports sponsors displaying such messages?
Another common trend among teens, young adults, older people and just about everyone involved in health and fitness are workout supplements. From steroids, pro-hormones to pre-workouts, they all share a similar trait which is causing more harm than good to the body. Pre-workout supplements have physiological and emotionally addictive properties. Not only do they contain caffeine, but by simply consuming too much of a pre-workout supplement you are putting excess stress on your kidneys and liver, with the added risk of dehydration.
Young/ younger people often have the tendency of thinking “more is better,” and in this case many unnecessary deaths have taken place. Assuming that your pre-workout doesn’t contain any harmful stimulants it can improve athletic performance, with the right dosage.
Carbohydrates, amino acids and creatine are other ingredients that can be found in workout supplements, not just pre-workout. These are all natural ingredients, but what you pay for are synthetically processed versions. By maintaining a healthy diet you will consume an appropriate amount of carbs, amino acids and your body naturally produces creatine. Creatine consumption can also be improved by incorporating more lean meats into your diet.
The U.S Food and Drug Administration or FDA does not strictly regulate supplements, so there is no guarantee of the strength, quality, purity or even safety of these products.
Too much creatine can lower blood sugar levels, cause high blood pressure, cause abnormal heart rate, headaches, fever, dehydration, depression, fainting, kidney dysfunction, rashes, seizures and oh man the list goes on forever. Overdosing on creatine is now easier than ever, especially with processed meats. Processed meats contain higher levels of bad cholesterol are injected with synthetic growth hormones. if you can bypass this and buy fresh-lean meats you will retain a good amount of creatine for your body to healthily process.
What are Some Healthy Alternatives?
After all of this, you might be wondering what is safe to consume but also provide you with the benefits you need, right? Try to find natural herbs that have never had death reports from overdosing, as these tend to be the healthiest for you. Daily Vitamins, or all natural supplements are a great place to start. Ginko Biloba, Panax Ginseng, Fish Oils and even smoothies blended from fresh fruits have been proven to not only show a significant increases in mental and physical performance but will not provide you with the negative side-effects seen in today’s “instant miracle pills.”
The alternatives listed above are considered to be healthier, but in today’s society if you do not trust the source then do not take it. Technology has allowed companies to synthesize, manufacture and process natural ingredients. As much as I would like to tell you one single method that will work for you, I can’t tell you anything other than to regularly exercise and eat healthy.
Recap: Avoid energy drinks, drink plenty of water, avoid workout supplements as much as possible, maintain a healthy diet, consume natural ingredients. If, for some reason you need to consume workout supplements, become aware of each and every ingredient listed on their labels. If and after you fully realize the damaging effects of these products and you still want to continue to use them, well – you can’t blame me. Supplements should do just that – supplement – according to your daily needs.
I hope I was able to shed some light on this topics, nowadays more people, especially the even younger generations, are using energy drinks and supplements. Ultimately, at the end of the day, the choice is yours, and so is the choice to preserve your body.