Energy Drinks

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Ah, the famous question… Are energy drinks healthy? For many people, the term “healthy energy drink” can be somewhat of an oxymoron.

On one hand, energy drinks are praised for their ability to increase energy, enhance performance, and promote mental focus. But on the other hand, certain energy drinks have been linked to dangerous side effects and health issues.

So it’s no wonder you feel stuck choosing between a “healthy” superfood drink (because it’s supposedly more clean), or an “unhealthy” energy drink (to get you through the day).

But here’s the deal… the ingredients in any given product are crucial in determining whether it’s healthy or not. In other words, just because a beverage is in the category of an “energy drink” doesn’t make it “unhealthy” by default.

What if we told you that there is a drink that can provide a clean energy boost, support a healthy lifestyle, and deliver vital nutrients to your body? And what if we also told you that this drink is truly a healthy energy drink?

Here at FITAID, we take your health, and our energy drink options, very seriously. That’s why we avoid artificial sweeteners and refrain from using chemically enhanced ingredients when creating our FITAID energy drinks.

The ingredients listed on the back of an average energy drink are usually difficult to understand. Since we don’t see these types of ingredients in other products, they often read like a foreign language.

That said, you’ll usually find that most energy drinks are packed with carbonated water, artificial sweeteners, and a hefty dose of sugar and caffeine. They also contain additives to boost mental alertness, like:

  • Guarana –– a plant from the Amazon. Its seeds contain about four times the amount of caffeine found in coffee beans.
  • Taurine –– an amino acid that is found in your nervous system. When combined with caffeine, cardiac effects may be exacerbated.

Aside from Guarana and Taurine, most popular energy drinks will often have high percentages of Niacin in them, somewhere from 200% or higher.

Usually, niacin isn’t a bad compound. Niacin is what scientists and nutritionists call the B3 vitamin. It helps convert nutrients into energy.

While it’s good to have niacin in an energy drink, too much of it can wreak havoc on the human body, which may cause fatigue, headaches, upset stomach, nausea, blurred vision, and glucose tolerance.

Most energy drinks try not to overdo the daily intake of niacin when formulating their drinks, but some energy drink companies don’t care and will opt for a mega-dose of niacin to give their customers a more effective jolt of energy. The issue with this logic is that over time, megadoses of niacin can cause unwanted health issues.

With all that said, the two ingredients that are often the most popular and most manipulated are caffeine and sugar.

Over the last few years, many reports on energy drinks have revealed that manufacturers are using synthetic caffeine rather than clean caffeine. This has raised some health concerns, given that the synthetic process may contain chemicals that cause unwanted side effects.

There’s also the issue of how much caffeine is used to create certain energy drinks.

According to research, one 8-ounce cup of brewed coffee has approximately 95-200 mg of caffeine.

An 8-ounce energy drink can be as low as 70mg of caffeine to as high as 300mg. The caffeine content varies depending on the size and brand of the energy drink. But most of the popular energy drink options will contain 110 to 300mg of caffeine per can. And sometimes, that caffeine content doesn’t always include the additional caffeine derived from Guarana.

Granted, it makes sense that you would want a highly caffeinated energy drink to stay awake while driving, but more caffeine isn’t always best.

Too much caffeine at once can cause headaches, irritability, nervousness, anxiety, and muscle tension.

If you’re looking for the best energy drink to wake you up and stay awake, you need to find one that prioritizes healthy ratios of naturally-derived caffeine… none of that synthetic stuff.

Popular energy drinks are also notorious for their sugar content.

It’s been said that certain energy drinks have as much sugar as popular soda beverages and fruit juices. That can range from 2 teaspoons of sugar to a whopping 14 teaspoons of sugar per serving. And we all know how much sugar can lead to diabetes and obesity.

Still, some energy drink companies rely on high sugar content because it can give you a quick energy boost. The only problem, the effects of sugar can wear off pretty fast. That’s why experts refer to sugar in energy drinks as a “sugar rush”. The effects are short-lived.

The other problem is that sugar doesn’t jive well with people who are trying to lose weight. More sugar means more calories. For this reason, many energy drink companies have resorted to making their drinks with artificial sweeteners, like aspartame and sucralose.

Here’s the issue with artificial sweeteners… They wreak havoc on your body because the human system is unable to break down or metabolize these artificial chemicals.

And that’s not all. Artificial sweeteners, like aspartame and sucralose, have also been linked to several health issues and even weight gain.

So, if you’re looking for the best energy drink for weight loss, you should probably avoid drinks that use artificial sweeteners as one of their main ingredients.

The best sugar-free energy drinks contain stevia or monk fruit, which enhances their flavor and overall taste. And they don’t cause the relentless food cravings that artificial sweeteners do.

Needless to say, it’s important for consumers and practitioners to carefully review the ingredients before consuming them.

Because people who drink energy drinks often notice a change in both their body and even their overall health.

This brings us to…

The number one effect that energy drinks have on your health is none other than providing your body with a quick energy boost.

But there’s more to these drinks than just stimulating your energy output and mental focus. Heck, if that was their only effect we’d all be chugging them like there’s no tomorrow.

The truth is, there’s a whole host of effects that an energy drink can have on the human body, some of which might surprise you.

Let’s look at the information on energy drinks a little closer and answer the question: How do energy drinks directly affect your body?

Effects of Caffeine on the Body

When you consume a beverage with caffeine in it, you might feel an instant pick-me-up effect. That’s caffeine-blocking adenosine in your brain.

In other words, it’s blocking the hormone that causes you to feel tired. And it doesn’t take long either. Research suggests that caffeine is well absorbed by your body, and the effects can be felt within 5 to 30 minutes after energy drink consumption or any product that has enough caffeine in it.

Overall, the effects of caffeine may cause rapid heart rate, increased mental alertness, physical energy, and accelerated breathing. While these effects don’t last forever, they can last up to 12 hours.

That said, when consumed in moderate amounts, studies have shown caffeine will improve focus by enhancing reaction time and memory recall, especially if you're tired.

But too much caffeine may cause increased blood pressure, insomnia, nervousness, and even anxiety.

That’s right. If you’ve ever wondered: Can energy drinks cause anxiety? The answer is, yes! Especially if the caffeine content is too high, or if the consumer has a low caffeine tolerance.

But how much caffeine is too much? In general, it's recommended that adults consume no more than 400 milligrams (mg) of caffeine per day. That's about four cups of coffee or a whole lot of caffeine-packed energy drinks and supplements.

So, is coffee healthier than energy drinks? Well, there's a catch: the actual caffeine content of different drinks and foods can vary wildly.

For example, a Venti Caffe Americano is often praised for being the best Starbucks drink for energy. But this particular beverage contains 300mg of caffeine. That’s just 100mg shy of the recommended daily amount.

So, if you want to avoid the jitters and keep your caffeine intake in check, it's important to pay attention to how much caffeine you're consuming and be aware of any potential side effects.

The best drinks for energy are those that understand the balance between caffeine and other clean ingredients that promote your body’s energy output.

Effects of Sugar on the Body

When sugar hits your taste buds, it triggers your brain to release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that helps activate your brain’s reward system.

Dr. Nicole Avena, a neuroscientist who specializes in nutrition and addiction, explained that our reward system helps us decide whether or not to repeat a particular behavior. So, every time you take a sip of a sugary beverage, your reward system is saying, "Yes, please do it again!"

But here’s the issue… Too much sugar can lead to big disasters for your body. When we partake in excessive energy drink consumption from sugar, our bodies are flooded with glucose. This can lead to increased insulin production and a condition called insulin resistance. From there, a whole host of health problems may develop, like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.

Consuming too much sugar can also contribute to tooth decay and may have negative impacts on your mental health as well.

It's important to choose healthier sources of sugar, instead of processed foods and drinks with added sugars.

Some of the best-tasting energy drinks are sweetened using natural sweeteners like stevia and monk fruit. Both stevia and monk fruit have zero sugar and zero calories, thus making them attractive sweeteners for workout drinks.

The most healthy and best-working energy drinks don’t contain a ton of ingredients that you can’t pronounce or identify.

Now granted, there are a few ingredients that may look a bit foreign, but the healthiest energy drinks understand that having fewer ingredients is better for your health.

Let’s look at the ingredients that create healthier energy drinks:

  • Clean Caffeine –– No Synthetic Caffeine
  • Natural Vitamins –– Vitamin C and B Complex Vitamins - the “d” form vs the “dl”
  • Natural Herbs –– Turmeric, Cayenne, Rosemary, Milk Thistle, and balanced ratios of American Ginseng
  • Natural Flavors –– Use of Whole Foods-compliant natural flavors
  • Natural Sweeteners –– Stevia, Raw Honey, Coconut Sugar, Maple Syrup, Raw Agave, Erythritol, and Monk Fruit

Keep in mind that the best energy drinks for focus don’t necessarily offer megadoses of caffeine or crazy levels of alert-enhancing ingredients.

If you’re looking for the best energy drink to keep you awake, choose a brand that not only prioritizes the source of its ingredients, but also the ratios of those ingredients. This will ensure that you’ll receive a sustainable boost of energy that ultimately promotes your overall health, rather than harm it.

With that said, you’re probably wondering: Should I drink energy drinks?

And the answer is… Absolutely! As long as they’re created using the clean ingredients listed above, and if you don’t have pre-existing health issues that require you to refrain from caffeine altogether.

If you’re wondering: When is the best time to drink energy drinks?

Remember that caffeine can be absorbed fairly quickly, anywhere from 5 to 30 minutes. So if you want the maximum effects of your energy drink, then drink it about 30-40 minutes before you need that extra boost. This is especially true if you’re wanting to achieve the best results from pre-workout energy drinks.

But none of this energy drink information matters, if you don’t know which energy drink is the best and ultimately the healthiest for you and your needs.

This brings us to our most important question…

Sure, there are a few healthy energy drink alternatives that avoid synthetic chemicals and artificial sweeteners. But most of them focus more on mega-dosing caffeine and sugar to achieve higher energizing effects.

Then there are those popular publications that provide lists of healthy energy drinks that they think meet high-quality standards. But again, a lot of these so-called “Best healthy energy drinks” still fall short of what matters: Clean ingredients that are balanced to meet your specific needs.

Here at LIFEAID, we take the term ”clean” to a whole other level. We don’t just preach the importance of clean ingredients, we incorporate them into all of our 16 specially-formulated energy blends. All of these have been created by our team of beverage scientists and biochemists.

We’re all too familiar with the often shady market of energy and sports drinks. That’s why a large corporation does not own us. Instead, we’re run by our founders and guided by our values and authenticity. This means that everything we do, from creating our specially-formulated sports drinks to serving our communities, is all driven by the desire to be genuine and 100% transparent.

Don’t settle for a generic, so-called “healthy” energy drink. Experience what clean energy feels like with our FITAID Energy ready-to-drink energy drinks and our on-the-go best energy drink powders today. Because high-quality, clean ingredients are what makes an energy drink healthy and truly effective!

For additional questions or concerns, we invite you to Contact Us at LIFEAID today. We’re always happy to help in any way we can.