ATLAS Health Tips
May 17, 2024

Energy Drinks: The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

energy drink


Energy drinks have surged in popularity, particularly among young adults and athletes seeking an extra boost. Their appeal is understandable with promises of increased alertness, endurance, and performance. However, are these drinks as advantageous as advertised, or are we trading our health for temporary improvements?

At ATLAS, we offer holistic support, extending beyond chiropractic adjustments to lifestyle guidance. If you're experiencing low energy, it's crucial not to rely solely on energy drinks. In this blog, we'll delve into the impacts of energy drinks on our bodies and discuss healthier, more sustainable methods of maintaining energy levels. We'll also highlight the role of chiropractic care.

When visiting ATLAS, you'll receive more than just chiropractic care. We aim to understand the root cause of your energy deficit and collaborate with you to implement lifestyle and chiropractic changes to enhance your well-being. So, let’s explore the good, the bad and the ugly of energy drinks.

The Ingredients in Question

Here are some of the most common ingredients in energy drink and here is how they impact the body.

  • Caffeine: Most energy drinks contain 140-170mg of caffeine per 16oz, equivalent to 2 cups of coffee. While caffeine can increase alertness, too much can spike blood pressure.
  • Sugar: Up to 60g of added sugars leads to blood sugar spikes/crashes and increased fat storage.
  • Taurine –  This amino acid enhances athletic performance and supports the neurological system. Its synthetic version, however, may cause severe health issues, including strokes, seizures, high blood pressure and heart disease.
  • Guarana – A South American shrub that stimulates the nervous system due to its high caffeine content. It should be consumed moderately.
  • B-vitamins – Necessary for energy conversion, excess intake doesn't boost energy. Most people get enough through their diet, and excess B vitamins are excreted. Unless you have a B vitamin deficiency, most of what you consume from an energy drink will just be flushed down the toilet.

The Reported Side Effects

A [recent review]( recent years%2C the consumption,and the potential for addiction.) analysed cases of adverse effects from energy drink consumption. The findings were concerning. There were nine reported cases of cardiac arrest due to energy drink consumption, three of which led to fatalities. It was also observed that energy drinks caused a prevalence of cardiovascular issues such as arrhythmia and high blood pressure. Neurological effects like headaches, anxiety, and insomnia were also common among consumers. Additionally, there was a potential for addiction and abuse, particularly when these drinks were combined with alcohol. The researchers primarily attributed these effects to the high caffeine content and the stimulant properties of energy drinks.

The Bigger Picture of Health

Beyond the acute effects, frequent energy drink consumption can contribute to chronic issues. Specifically, frequent consumption of energy drinks can lead to weight gain due to high sugar content, disrupted sleep patterns from excessive caffeine, increased stress hormones like cortisol, and a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and other metabolic disorders. Consequently, energy drinks are generally not a sustainable or healthy method for boosting energy for most individuals.

A Better Way to Boost Energy Naturally

Instead of reaching for an energy drink, focus on lifestyle factors that promote consistent, natural energy:

  • Prioritize high-quality sleep
  • Stay hydrated by drinking water
  • Eat a balanced, nutrient-dense diet
  • Exercise regularly
  • Manage stress through meditation, yoga, etc.
  • Limit caffeine from coffee/tea to <400mg per day

If you're still struggling with fatigue or low energy levels, it's best to consult a doctor to identify and address any underlying issues.

How Chiropractic Care Can Help Boost Natural Energy Levels

If you're frequently feeling fatigued or relying on energy drinks for an artificial boost, it may be worth considering chiropractic care as a natural solution. Chiropractors take a whole-body approach to improving energy by addressing any underlying issues impacting your nervous system and overall function.

  1. Removing Nerve Interferences

Bad posture and spinal issues can put pressure on nerves, disrupting communication between the brain and body, and possibly causing problems with energy management. Chiropractors can fix these issues through spinal adjustments, improving nerve flow and allowing the body to function better, which can increase energy production and use.

  1. Reducing Physical Stresses

Desk work, injuries, and other physical stresses cause muscle tension, joint restrictions, and postural imbalances, leading to increased energy expenditure. Chiropractors employ various adjustment techniques and rehabilitative exercises to alleviate these strains and save energy.

  1. Optimizing Whole-Body Function

Chiropractic care isn't just about the musculoskeletal system. It's about optimizing the performance of the entire body by ensuring all systems communicate and function properly. This includes enhancing sleep quality, digestion, circulation, hormone regulation, and more, which all contribute to natural, sustained energy levels.

  1. Lifestyle Guidance

Chiropractors offer advice on ergonomics, exercise, nutrition and other lifestyle elements that affect energy. Simple changes such as staying hydrated, increasing physical activity, enhancing sleep routines, and stress management can significantly counter fatigue.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Are energy drinks bad for you?

While energy drinks can provide a temporary boost, they are often high in sugar and caffeine, which can lead to adverse health effects like heart problems, high blood pressure, and obesity when consumed frequently or in high amounts.

2. How can I boost my energy naturally?

Natural energy boosters include high-quality sleep, regular exercise, a balanced diet, and staying hydrated. Stress management techniques, such as meditation and yoga, can also help maintain energy levels.

3. What is the role of chiropractic care in boosting energy?

Chiropractic care can help boost energy naturally by improving nerve flow, reducing physical stresses, optimizing whole-body function, and providing lifestyle guidance.

4. Are all energy drinks high in sugar?

Many energy drinks are high in sugar, but there are also sugar-free versions available. However, even sugar-free energy drinks can contain other ingredients, like caffeine, that can have negative health effects when consumed in excess.

5. Can energy drinks cause heart problems?

Excessive consumption of energy drinks has been linked to heart problems such as high blood pressure and heart disease due to their high caffeine and sugar content.

The Bottom Line

While energy drinks may provide a temporary boost, the potential health risks outweigh the benefits for most people. Excessive consumption can lead to cardiovascular, neurological and metabolic issues. Rather than relying on the temporary, unhealthy kick from energy drinks, chiropractic offers a natural, sustainable approach to boosting energy by addressing the root causes of fatigue and optimizing overall function. Contact the chiropractic team at ATLAS to help gain improved nerve flow, reduced physical stresses, whole-body balance and healthy lifestyle habits.

Your body will thank you!

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