Energy Drinks Or Food For Your Energy?

If you routinely don't have the energy to do what you need to do, check up on your habits before buying energy drinks. There's a new report out warning against energy drink use by children and teens. I would expand that recommendation to include adults too. No one needs energy drinks.

Here are some things you should check:

1. Are you getting enough sleep? Four or 5 hours of sleep a night is not enough rest. The sleep debt will catch up with you. Be sure and register for the Free book, "Master Your Sleep."

2. How nutritious are your meals? Are you eating enough? Get your nutrition primarily from food. And, I recommend taking supplements such as multivitamins, fish oil and green tea.

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3. When's the last time you had a complete physical exam? There could be medical reasons for your low energy.

4. You might be dehydrated. “Water serves as a medium for the body to perform its life-sustaining functions, such as regulating body temperature and eliminating waste,” says Toby Amidor, a registered dietician in New York City. “If you don’t ingest enough water to help these metabolic reactions occur, you’ll become tired or lightheaded.”

Drink about half your weight in water each day. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, drink about 75 ounces of water each day.

5. Maybe you are too caffeinated. Because it is a stimulant to the central nervous system, caffeine can make you tired. Cheryl Forberg, a registered dietician says, "a once-a-day dose in the morning in tea or coffee is fine."

"But people can create a vicious cycle when they keep ingesting more caffeine to counteract the exhaustion they feel after the previous dose wears off." And, she adds, "the cumulative effects of the day’s caffeine—such as increased heart rate and a rise in blood pressure—can also keep you from getting a good night’s sleep."

6. You don't get enough exercise. You know how energized you feel after exercising? Enough said.

As for the report: "We would discourage the routine use by children and teens," said Dr. Steven Lipshultz, pediatrics chairman at the University of Miami's medical school. He wrote the report with colleagues from that center.

The report says energy drinks often contain ingredients that can enhance the jittery effects of caffeine or that can have other side effects including nausea and diarrhea. It says they should be regulated as stringently as tobacco, alcohol and prescription medicines.

"For most children, adolescents, and young adults, safe levels of consumption have not been established," the report said.

I say, get your energy primarily from food and you will have what you need to live an active life.

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Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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About Mark

Hi, I'm Mark Dilworth, Nutritionist, Dietary Strategies Specialist, Nutrition for Metabolic Health Specialist and Lifestyle Weight Management Specialist. Since 2006, I have helped thousands of clients and readers make lifestyle habit changes which includes body transformation and ideal body weight.