How Your Energy Drink is Doing More Harm Than Good
It’s common knowledge that a majority of Americans are addicted to sugar, and that’s thanks to all of those sugary drinks, whether it’s a grande caramel latte or a can of Rockstar or Monster. Not only is that main ingredient so addicting, but it’s difficult to break the habit of everyday consumerism, such as grabbing an energy drink on the way to the gym. While the temporary energy may seem worth it, the long-term effects that energy drinks have on your body can cause a lot of harm to your health. What’s the point of working so hard at the gym, if afterward, you glug down a can of sugar and other unhealthy ingredients? Habits can be really tough to quit, but learning how energy drinks harm your body may help in convincing you to put down the energy drink and use a healthier alternative.
Americans in general, I think, really take their blood sugar and their body’s repair system for granted. When you consume an energy drink, your body is taking in a massive amount of sugar in a short period of time. This is how you get that surge of energy you were looking for. The problem is that your body doesn’t know how to process all of that extra sugar, so it releases insulin, a chemical naturally made in the body, to counteract the high glucose level. Your body also stores the extra sugar in the form of fat, so it has a source of slow-burning energy for later. If your body needs to frequently release insulin to counteract a daily energy drink, your body will eventually become immune to it; this is how we develop type two diabetes. You may think that when you go to the gym, you’re using all of that energy you just consumed, but the reality is that you’re just putting your body into an unnecessary “overdrive” mode.
Aside from the sugar, energy drinks have high quantities of caffeine, which can be just as damaging to the body. Studies have shown that regularly consuming energy drinks can cause heart palpitations, increased blood pressure and increased heart rate. These occurrences can lead to bigger health problems, like an irregular heartbeat, diabetes, and even strokes. If you’re using energy drinks before a workout, not only are you increasing you heart rate during exercise, but an energy drink on top of that can really push your heart and cardiovascular system to dangerous limits. Short-term or long-term, those effects can be very scary.
Just like quitting other bad habits, like smoking or drinking, your body will go through withdrawal symptoms. If you drink an energy drink every day, your body will put you through “warning signs” when it wants more. If you frequently consume energy drinks, try skipping one day, and see how your body reacts. Did you get irritated or frustrated easily? Were you feeling incredibly sluggish? Did you have a headache or stomach pains? If you said yes, it’s a definite sign that you’re addicted to the sugar, and it’s really time to quit. If you actually felt okay, then the good news is that leaving the Monster cans in the past will be easier than you may have thought!
Replacing unhealthy sugar and caffeine will seem difficult at first, but there are a lot of natural ways to get the energy you need, even for a long workout at the end of the day. First of all, make sure you’re getting enough sleep every night. Next, eat a filling and nutritious breakfast that will provide slow-burning energy throughout the day. There a plenty of foods you can eat that will give you an energy boost, such as apples and almonds. If you take little steps, cutting out energy drinks will be a simple process.