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Are Energy Drinks All They're Cracked Up to Be?

By Susan Cody HERWriter Guide
 
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Are Energy Drinks All They're Cracked Up to Be? 5 5 2
are energy drinks what they seem?
David Castillo Dominici/PhotoSpin

I'm not a huge TV watcher but that's not through choice -- I'd like to have the time to watch more!

Still, when I have the misfortune to have to watch commercials due to not DVR'ing my shows, I often see commercials for energy drinks.

These commercials tend to talk about things like "that 2:30 p.m. feeling" where moms, office workers, heavy machinery operators and even judges seem to almost fall asleep on the job -- until they partake from a small container of an energy drink that promises them hours of high octane, high energy work that can save their day.

I usually fob these off as nothing more than highly caffeinated drinks that are generally advertised by fit, sexy young people who seem to regularly succeed in life due to swigging down a few ounces of some kind of miracle potion.

According to a New York Times article, energy drinks are the fastest growing segment of beverages sold in the U.S. and sales hit 10 billion dollars in 2012.

Because many energy drinks tout their products as "scientifically engineered" or "scientifically made", they give the impression that there is somehow a medical benefit from drinking these beverages.

Researchers looked into their claims to see if the claims of health benefits and energy boosts were really true.

It turns out that if you're skeptical, you probably have a right to be. It really seems to be caffeine and sugar that causes the energy boost - something than can be found in a cheap cup of coffee rather than the highly overpriced cans of energy drinks that promise alertness.

But another additive used in many energy drinks is called taurine. Taurine is an amino acid found in animals and dairy (so vegetarians/vegans take note) but it can also be found in kosher and vegetarian supplements at GNC for about $6.50 per 50 tablets.

To veer away from any negative side effects of certain ingredients, manufacturers focus on the vitamins and minerals in energy drinks and inform consumers of their "sugar-free" status.

For those energy drinks that do have sugar, this can also be lauded as an obvious way to gain energy and fast. And the drinks aren't cheap, costing up to four dollars per can.

Add a Comment2 Comments

thomasjack991

A lot of people use energy drinks to boost up themselves. But we never think of investing whether these drinks really provide that much energy or not. These drinks mainly consists of caffeine that is natural stimulant and sometimes they cross the normal levels. So before using any type of energy drink we must check the label. These drinks contain lot of sugar so it should be used in moderate amounts.

Medifast shakes

January 29, 2013 - 6:19am
Marielaina Perrone DDS Blogger

Another issue with these drinks is dental health. These drinks are horrible for your teeth.

January 4, 2013 - 8:50am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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