Energy Drinks May be Worse for You than You Thought

energy drinkI went through a phase when I was really into energy drinks. Like, I had a complex rating system just in case the convenience store was out of my favorite. I would always go for Diet Rockstar because it tasted delicious, then the Mountain Dew Amp because I figured if the soda had a lot of  caffeine, the energy drink must be a mega dose. After those two, I would drink pretty much whatever was in stock (except the Sobe energy drinks-those are gross). I was working full time during my summer off from college,  and still maintaining a social schedule like I had all day free. There was more than one party that I feel asleep on the couch in the middle of  a room full of people. Then one day I picked up a guy friend of mine, and he commented about the creatine in my energy beverage, noting that people on his football team took that to get big, and that’s when I realized maybe I should cut back on the caffeine and factor back in a few hours of sleep instead. Looking back, I laugh about how obviously unhealthy my choices were.

Yet energy drinks remain popular, even in the face of lawsuits alleging they cause serious cardiovascular problems, and even death (we all remember how popular Four LOKO was, no?). I mean, a simple scan of the nutrition label will reveal sugar counts that are through the roof. And now The Scoop reports that they may be even worse than you thought. The beverages may contain ingredients not listed on the label, and not approved by the FDA. They may have compounds known to clog arteries, or linked to cardiovascular problems. And their claims are typically exaggerated or false. So next time you’re looking for a quick pick me up, think twice about the can claiming to improve your focus or stimulate your metabolism, and maybe just reach for a coffee instead (especially since it may even make you live longer).

Do you drink energy drinks?

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Go Ahead and Take that Afternoon Coffee Break

coffeeIt just might make you live longer. A study I read about on The Huffington Post found that women who drank 6 or more cups of coffee a day reduced their risk of dying young by 15% when compared to people who abstained completely from the glorious beverage. The benefit goes up the more coffee you drink. Scientists credit the caffeine and antioxidants as having a protective effect on health similar to small doses of aspirin. Your morning cup of joe can reduce your risk of dying from heart disease, stroke, respiratory illness, diabetes, and infections. So stop feeling guilty about that mid-afternoon Starbucks run (as long as you’re not buying sugary frappacinos and pastries), after all, it’s good for your health!