Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Energy Drinks and Coffee

After a long day, I turned on Dr. Oz to learn some new stuff I could use with my clients.
Funny enough, he hit a point that I was debating with my boyfriend earlier in the day during our car ride to the airport. It went a little something like this.

David: Hey look, its a Monster (drink) car, I'd love it if they threw me one of those!
Me: No way! That drink has so much sugar!
David: Yeah.. but it also has natural ingredients like Guarana and Ginseng.
Me: Yeah true...but I'm sure you drink enough of those you're on the road straight to diabetes.

Truth is, we were both right! After watching Dr. Oz's show tonight,  I learned a thing or two about energy drinks and coffee. To make it easier to read, I put it in bullet points:

- A normal energy drink has 14 teaspoons of sugar in it. The AHA (American Heart Association) recommends a maximum of 6 teaspoons per day.

- A Monster energy drink contains three servings per container. Each serving has 27 grams of sugar. ONE WHOLE CAN=81 grams of sugar=roughly 20 teaspoons of sugar=3 TIMES daily intake!!!

-Although Guarana and Ginseng are natural, there are NO STUDIES that show the effects of combinations of Guarana, Ginseng, and Caffeine.

- People with high blood pressure and diabetes should AVOID any coffee and energy drinks, because they tend to increase blood sugar levels. Your insulin then kicks in to remove the excess glucose from the blood. Eventually, your insulin gets tired of this cycle and fails. When your insulin stop working because of over-use, diabetes develops. The less sugar you consume and the more often you eat small meals, the more likely you are to avoid this downward spiral!

-Energy drinks are not only high in calories and can lead to weight gain. Most drinks also have more than one serving per bottle, so make sure to read the nutrition label!!!

**The best liquid form of energy? WATER! It cleanses your skin, cells, and has 0 sugar and 0 calories!
The most important thing to take away is that caffeine dehydrates your body of water, which is essential for staying and feeling young!**

From this, I learned to cross energy drinks off my shopping list, and tone it down on the coffee. Though I must admit, like most Americans, I do like to indulge in a coffee flavored beverage once in a while.

Here's a smoothie that can boost your energy and keep your taste buds feeling satisfied:

2 scoops of chocolate whey protein
1 cup coffee
1 cup water
1 cup ice cubes
1 banana and/or some frozen berries
500 mg glutamine (a form of natural glucose found in the body, gives a energy boost)

From experience, I have had this smoothie before (without the glutamine) and it is delicious, nutritious, and keeps me feeling full for hours of back-to-back training. This is my go-to drink and I will be replacing this with having a cup of straight coffee, which leaves me feeling irritable and jittery.

NEXT: What other drinks can you have that are natural, non-caffeinated, but lift up energy levels?

-Yerba Matte Tea

-Drinking pineapple/mint or lemon/lime water. Cut up your fruits of choice and put them in water, then in the fridge to chill overnight. Make a pitcher so it lasts you a while. Water has never tasted better! 

*All these are alternatives to drinking highly sugared and caffeinated drinks, that can leave you feeling sluggish hours after consumption. Combining coffee in smoothies, and drinking flavored water, as well as Yerba Matte tea are the best choices, for long-term health benefits* :D 

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