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Energy Drinks: Friend or Foe?


With the New Years resolutions in full swing, the gyms and running routes are filling up quickly.

Don't get me wrong, there is absolutely nothing wrong with this! We want you to be healthy and to enjoy participating in exercise!

This year we are going to post health tips regularly to keep you motivated and knowledgable on your journey to longevity.

Our first one of the year is: Energy Drinks!

We've all seen the fun and promising adverts, and even know that some of them are a big aspect of the sporting world. But do these highly caffeinated drinks actually do as they promise?

Energy drinks are marketed for their benefits as a 'stimulant', to improve increase energy and improve performance levels. The high levels of caffeine, Taurine, sugars and vitamins do mean that this is what the drinks were developed to do.

Unfortunately, these aren't always as great as they sound.

Research developed by WHO (the world health organisation) and other researchers has primarily linked health issues associated with energy drinks due to their high caffeine levels, and other ingredients such as guarana.

Examples include:

- Caffeine overdose. This can lead to heart palpitations, high blood pressure, nausea and vomiting, convulsions and in extreme cases, death.

- Type 2 diabetes (as high caffeine consumption reduces insulin sensitivity

- Late miscarriages, low birth weight and still borns in pregnant women

- Neurological and cardiovascular system effects in kids and teens

- Poor dental health

- Obesity

- Sensation seeking behaviour

- Increased risk of harmful substance abuse

We aren't saying you can never have one. However; if you do have them, make it a 'treat', the same way you would a 'fizzy drink' - not something you have everyday! And certainly not something you rely upon to get you through the day!

There are some 'healthier' energy drinks which claim to be 100% natural and free from the excessive sugars starting to appear on the market. Be sure to check what is in them still though!

You will have far longer lasting energy levels by seeking out an appropriate diet for you. This may include fresh veg and fruit juices/smoothies - yummy! (and if you make it yourself, you know exactly whats gone in to it! You could even use frozen veg and fruit).

As always; if you are struggling with energy levels and are feeling overly tired/fatigued speak to your personal trainer (or if you don't have one ask to speak to one of the ones at your gym). They are a wealth of knowledge and may be able to point you in the right direction.

Feel as though you're on the right track with your eating, drinking and exercise habits but are still completely drained? Book in to see your GP, you may be suffering with an issue such as Vitamin D deficiency or anaemia (a simple blood test should give a swift diagnosis).

Struggling to know whats right to eat for you? Speak to a Nutritionist.

Keep an eye out for our Nutrition service launching over the coming months!

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