Sunday, November 24, 2013

Energy!.....But Are Those Drinks Worth It?

I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving this year!  I am trying to diet a little so I can get down to some point where I won't be so shocked after I eat on Thursday.   But I need to talk about something that has been on my mind lately.  It's about energy and the different ways we get it.  Some of us like to burn the candle at both ends.  We love life so much that we don't want to sleep.  We want to grab life and live it to the fullest.  But even the most energetic of us need sleep to have energy.  In the absence of sleep, what is it that we can do to keep us going for a little while more before we crash?   
 
I am amazed at how many people drink energy drinks.  News flash:  They aren't even remotely good for you!  And especially, not good for young people.  At a time in their lives when they can run circles around adults who can possibly justify their need for some kind of pick-me-up, whether natural or artificial, here they are, drinking Red Bull, Full Throttle, Monster, 5-Hour Energy and Rock Star like the new Pepsi or Diet Coke, known in and of themselves for hits of caffeine. But nothing like these drinks.  These make Pepsi and Coke seem like water in comparison.

I do understand the occasional adult need for a quick boost in their energy.  For instance, moms who watch their kids all day and then feel that they need their own time at night or moms who stay up all night with a child and need to stay up during the day.  I remember feeling that way.  I really did want my own time, but I couldn't physically do it unless I had some kind of jolt.  Because if I didn't, I was out along with the kiddo.  

The adult who is driving a long way to a long-distance destination needs energy.  My husband drinks energy drinks on long road trips.  I'm not OK with it, but since he refuses to stop and just keeps on driving, I guess I'd rather he do that than fall asleep at the wheel and put us all in danger!  I'd much rather we stop and take a break somewhere until we are ready to go again.   

What about the all-night shift workers who have to stay up for their jobs?  I know that this is necessary for their living so I have to say that they have to do what they have to do.  My brother works at Rio Tinto Copper Mine in Utah and he works all kinds of crazy shifts.  He never has the same shift back to back, it seems.  He's given up all kinds of health to keep that job, which has benefits and retirement.  Does he do energy drinks?  You bet.  

But just to let you know, there is a cost to drinking energy drinks more than just occasionally.  First they cause a steep rise and fall to insulin levels, triggering inflamation (the initial cause of most health issues), potential hormonal imbalances, and moodiness.   The temporary boost is followed by plummeting blood sugar--which will have you either immobilized and groggy or reaching for another lift.  
 The 72 to 200 mg of caffeine per serving of one of these drinks can trigger heart palpitations, the jitters, and insomnia.  Also one popular brand has 62 g of sugar--the same as nearly two candy bars!  And then there is the added risk when you start mixing these drinks with substances like alcohol, medications, or drugs. 

Some alternatives to reaching for the energy drink is to take a brisk walk during the day; reach for a complex carb with protein snack such as whole grain crackers and cheese, whole wheat bread with almond butter; do some meditation to clear your mind of energy-draining thoughts and keep yourself surrounded by positive people because negativity will decrease energy.   

Doing these and other alternative energy boosting and energy saving activities will definitely help you stay away from those high sugar/high caffeine energy drinks and will help you keep your health and well-being!  

I'm just looking out for you and hoping that you will have a great Thanksgiving and if that means you need to get out and shop till you drop, then do it!  Just stay away from the energy drinks, k?


Notice:  This was written solely by myself.  All opinions are my own.  This work is owned by A GAL NEEDS...

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