Energy Drinks – A pleasent boost or a crutch?

Zane (@albinomongoose) 8 years, 10 months ago

I’ve been consuming the little buggers, on and off, since High School (I’m a Sophomore in college now), and I’ve never really come to a conclusion on whether or not they’re a ‘good’ choice. They certainly provide me with the proverbial ‘boost’, making me more apt to work, work fast and work well. My focus improves greatly, and I sometimes reach an almost spiritual state of concentration. But of course these effects would be too good to be true alone; there are some disconcerting side-effects.

For example, sometimes the energy just results in jitteryness. I’ve consumed them before important tests, thinking they’d improve my abilities (which they usually do), just to end up in a state of paranoid over-analysis. Another thing to consider is the tolerance one will build with repeated use. As with most drugs, you’ll need to consume more and more to get the same effects if used regularly. There are more negative effects but I’ll get the point:

Do the resident health-gurus of HE condone Energy Drink usage?
-Are they a crutch in place of a more healthy lifestyle which foster natural energy?
-Are the high-levels of focus even possible naturally?
-Are there long term effects, mentally of physically? Are any of the ingredients red-flags? (Niacin, Taurine, Ginsing, D-Ribose, B6, B12, and of course Caffeine)
-In your opinion, are Energy Drinks significantly worse than Tea or Coffee?

Any knowledgeable opinion is very much appreciated, Thanks :D

January 28, 2013 at 1:21 pm
Nature (67) (@stefan) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

No, I would not recommend them if you want a ”healthy” lifestyle. Other than the ingredients you listed, they do have preservative, probably artificial flavorings and etc which are not good for the body. Not to mention the simple refined sugars, which I think wear you down after the energy rush you get and lower your energy levels in general.

Yes, high-levels of focus is possible naturally. Meditation and reading books daily, doing maths etc will increase your focus. I assume eating raw healthy foods will increase your focus as well.

Tea and black sugarless coffee are way healthier than energy drinks.

Try eating only raw natural healthy foods- you will feel better.

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Annika (152) (@arenofnote) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@albinomongoose, by asking these very specific questions, it seems like you might be already guessing the answers to them.

In my opinion, any positive energy gains caused by energy drinks are dramatically outweighed by side effects and long-term health effects (which are not totally known, but it’s easy to guess). There are crazy high numbers of hospital visits caused by energy drinks every year, and more than half of them are caused by the energy drink alone (not combined with drugs/alcohol).

I used to drink 5-hour energy shots like it was nothing through my freshman year of college. Then I decided that I didn’t want to feel like shit for most of the day every day. Eating clean foods with more than %50 being raw fruit/vegetables will take your energy and mood levels to new heights, plus it’s sustainable (no crash/feeling like you want to die), and it’s actually GOOD for your body. If after upping your raw fruits/veggies you still think you need an energy boost, try matcha tea. It’s a focused energy without the jitters or crash, and it’s got gigantic amounts of antioxidants.

Good luck!

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-12-05/business/ct-met-energy-drinks-20111205_1_energy-drinks-soft-drinks-caffeine

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Stoney Baloney (614) (@adamm0ss) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

You’ll sprout wings.

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Zane (89) (@albinomongoose) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@stefan, @adamm0ss,

OK, I should’ve clarified: I know that energy drinks are MORE than likely going to negatively affect my health. What I’m asking is, is the productivity they impart worth the risk?

One interesting case study could be my roommate: he’s really smart and has a lot going on (researching at the UW Radiology Lab, while taking 18 credits of bio-engineering courses). I mention him because he drinks about 4-5 of them a day. Would this be more difficult without the caffeine? Will it be worth it?

I suppose it probably isn’t worth it, and you’re right, my intuition does tell long term use could be a bad idea.

It’s just that they’re difficult to kick once you’ve made a habit of them, and you have loads of college work to do. I think I’ll try to quit caffeine in general over Spring break, and see how I feel.

Thnx for the feedback and the interesting article.

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Nick (554) (@splashartist) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@albinomongoose, kick the habit.

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Kidd (1,059) (@kidd) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

There’s nothing wrong with an energy drink every now and again just like it’s fine to have a beer or two with friends. But, if you’re drinking more caffeine than you are water, then I’d cut back, lol.

They’re pretty nasty for you if you’re having even one a day.

Personally, I hate energy drinks, but I used to be a soda pop addict (one or two a day); now I just have maybe one or two cans a week. Sometimes even less than that. I feel MUCH better just cutting back.

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Tine (366) (@tine) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@albinomongoose,

i can only tell you my story with them, i started tentatively then graduated to using them for staying up all night and as i got older and gained the ability to buy them on my own, so i did, often,

here’s my advice, as long as you use them moderately and never learn to depend on them, they are fine, but if you find you are using them often and need them to help you get through the day,

i’d take this as a warning and reduce your use,

they make you crash, hard, and the more accumulated sleep deprivation you add to taking a shot of energy, the harder you will, each time.

eventually, they stopped noticeable affecting my energy all together, i am assuming this was because my body got so used to them

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Tine (366) (@tine) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@albinomongoose,

so, to answer you question, often it becomes a crutch and the common correlation is, ‘bad sleeping habits’ which the energy drink allows you to cover up

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Zane (89) (@albinomongoose) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@splashartist, I’m going to stop them. Unfortunately it takes a while for your body to readjust to life without caffeine, so I’ll wait until a break.

@tine, My sleep habits are actually pretty decent (~6 hrs of sleep a night), but I have a hell of a time waking up, so that’s when I drink them. I also used to smoke pot once a night (another bad habit), so they helped clear the mental fog in the morning.
I think I’ll stop for a month or so and then reevaluate my usage.

Thnx

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yoinkie (1,498)C (@yoinkie) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@albinomongoose, Switch to coffee, straight black no sugar. You get use to the taste after a little while and its actually good for you on many levels. And the energy is equivelent if not better then energy drinks, and less jittery.

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Zane (89) (@albinomongoose) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@yoinkie, Thing is, I already drink coffee haha. My usual routine is an Energy Drink in the morning, then a cup of coffee in the evening.

I have to disagree on the jitteryness. I find energy drinks to a have a smoother rise and fall, probably because of their vitamins and other ingredients. Coffee is, I find, often a quick come up, than a sharp, irritating, crash. Better for evening because of that. E.D.s rather last a long time. ime

Ever tried “bulletproof” coffee? Thinking about giving it a go.

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Sephyr (15) (@sephyr) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

Monsters ruin the enamel on your teeth according to fox news. They said something about as little as 3 will mess it up pretty bad.

I drank them all the time in the past. They seemed to be able to keep me up late at night. Then again I could drink 3 and fall asleep within ten minutes at will. I also felt like crap pretty much all the time back then. Now I drink water and tea (I cut out the soda too) and I feel a whole lot better over all. I eat quite a bit better too, but probably not enough. Stay away from quick fixes, it’s never worth it.

All you need to pull an all nighter is a little bit of will power. Forget the energy drinks, they’ll make you feel like you’re crawling out of your skin by morning (they did me anyway). When you start to fall asleep do jumping jacks or run around the block or something, get that blood flowin’.

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Edward Bernays (131) (@edwardbernays) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@albinomongoose, one day a couple years ago (I’m a Senior in college now) I went to the doctors because of chest pains. The doctor said energy drinks can and do cause heart-attacks among even young people. But you will noticeably feel if its bad for you in that sense. I never drank them for the energy, only for the taste, same with coffee. I still drink coffee a lot (4 today), but I’m half Canadian-half Minnesotan so I have a natural love for it. A don’t know what else they put in energy drinks but it can’t be healthy for you I’d imagine. Drink lots of water, and eat protein for energy.

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Sephyr (15) (@sephyr) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@edwardbernays,
That’s right, I forgot to mention this.

A buddy of mine at work drank them a lot too. About a year ago he told me his heart was hurting right after he slammed a half a can. I think I’ve seen him have one since then. He drank the gigantic ones too. Makes me shudder >_<

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Alex (12) (@immagoner) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

If you see results with energy drinks and don’t mind the negative health effects (you can google plenty) then go for it. At the same time I would like to recommend two methods i use to gain energy and stay focused.

Black Coffee- This is my favorite pick-me-up. I’m personally a coffee nerd, and I love the taste of coffee and the art of brewing it, but even if you want to keep it basic black coffee puts me in a creative and productive mindset. It also boosts metabolism and curbs appetite. I have read it can damage your heart if you drink it frequently in large quantities.

Vitamins (especially C)- You’d be surprised how much more energy you have when you take a multi-vitamin and additional specific vitamins. Every other day i take double the amount of vitamin C the bottle recommends and I feel great. You may find some information that claims you shouldn’t take too many vitamins, but I’ve found that the more vitamins I take the better I feel mentally and physically, and there are physicians who back that up.

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DaJetPlane (994)M (@lytning91) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

I am genuinely surprised to not see an emphasize on just how exaggerated the effects of these drinks can be.

People have said numerous times that the best alternative is to just “suck it up” and drink “black” coffee or tea. Well listen closely: I have done these things and they are absolutely correct.

I as an energy drink junkie, often feeding on Monsters for my ‘energy.’ The gambit they use seems, to me, to be based on absolute garbage. It may have taken me some time to realize it (forgive me my faults) but I saw the light…these drinks are a joke.

Drinks a liter of black coffee with no additives or sugar (no milk, no ‘creamer,’ no “Splenda,” no “Sweet & Low,” nor any other garbage) and tell me how you feel. If you feel a boost, you are susceptible to caffeine. If you feel nothing, consider another natural alternative to caffeine for your attention enhancement.

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Anonymous (2,654) (@) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

I make love with energy drinks when I’m having these specific symptoms: vertigo, poor coordination, slurred speech and muscle weakness. But that happens rarely when I’m too stressed, don’t eat right and fuck up my biological sleep rhythm. They were indeed lifesaving. When I’m fine I don’t even enjoy drinking them, so I’m trusting my own organism on this one.

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NMAC2013 (0) (@preki20) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@albinomongoose, I drink VERVE which is a healthy alternative to redbull, rockstar, starbucks, etc. I used to buy redbull every day knowing that it was not good for me but thinking it would give me energy.

I was introduced to a company called VEMMA. This company is a health and wellness company that provides products that are natural and organice. So back to Verve. Verve is the world’s healthiest energy drink.Verve Energy Drink is insanely healthy energy that has everything you’re looking for to power your increasingly active lifestyle. Utilizing high quality and effective ingredients, Verve includes a full dose of the Vemma formula and energy-producing nutrients in one convenient can. Verve Energy Drink delivers sustained energy and complete nutrition when you need it most.

I recommend checking Verve out. The cool thing is all my friends (and prob all yours) drink energy drinks, five hour energy, coffee, etc. However, when I tell someone that RedBull is great and my friends go buy it, Red Bull doesn’t pay me for referring them. However, with Verve I literally get paid to drink healthy. It sounds dumb but if you are open minded go to youtube.com/verveenergy. and check it out. I have been able to change people’s lives by sharing a healthy alternative to something we already spend money on and providing people with another source of income. WE all like to be healthy and WE all like money. Check it out for yourself!

If anyone wants to know more about what I’m talking about leave a reply!

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Zane (89) (@albinomongoose) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@lytning91, Not sure if I totally understood your point;You’re saying you don’t think energy drinks provide the promised effects? All I know is they effect me dramatically. A liter of coffee would too. It can’t be some sort of placebo at this point.

@preki20, I hope you aren’t biased in your analysis of this beverage, considering the paid support, but you have me intrigued. I looked at their site and it seemed like an interesting alternative and I’d like to give them a try, but do you know where to find them (besides online) ? Don’t think I’ve seen them in stores.

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NMAC2013 (0) (@preki20) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@albinomongoose

Zane

I may seem biased but its only bc I truly believe that Vemma’s products are the best. Believe me I was extremely skeptical about the whole opportunity when I was introduced to it. Im a golf pro in myrtle beach and drinking Verve has allowed me to literally get paid to drink the product and do things financially that I normally wouldn’t be able to do. Sounds dumb and shit but its the truth. But im glad you at least checked it out! Anyway if your interested in hearing more shoot me a text or call me 803-984-7173!!!

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DaJetPlane (994)M (@lytning91) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@albinomongoose, most of this crap is just loaded with sugar and caffeine, but I believe the majority of the buzz from them actually comes from a placebo effect. Being high on caffeine while jittery makes almost no sense, and most of the stuff in energy drinks outside of these to components aren’t things that give immediate energy (the surplus of B vitamins).

All in all, I think they’re just a glorified soda with a quirky taste.

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Anonymous (481) (@) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@yoinkie, When I used to drink coffee (Now I can just sleep all day, haha), I used to drink it black as well, it helped to get the good stuff, folgers and other brands like that taste like absolute shit compared to the slightly more expensive stuff.

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TheSkaFish (962)M (@theskafish) 8 years, 10 months ago ago

@albinomongoose, I would stop drinking them. I’ve had them only a couple times, and found they were much too sugary to be enjoyable. But not only that, I hear they are really unhealthy for your teeth and heart. And then, red bull vodkas are even worse – I would definitely recommend avoiding these. Switch to coffee, if you can. I drink 2 chalices of black coffee daily, I actually enjoy the flavor.

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