End Your Dependence on Energy Drinks
I admit, I do enjoy energy drinks from time-to-time. As a coffee drinker, sometimes when I’d like to have a boost in hot weather, a cold energy drink does the trick. My husband is web programmer and used to drink Red Bull every day, programming well into the night. I think Red Bull is one of the milder energy drinks out there but I got him to kick the habit out of concern for his health.
You’ve probably heard news stories about people being rushed to the hospital as the result of using commercial energy drinks. I believe some energy drinks are safer than others, but we don’t drink them every day like we did when we were younger. Now we use is moderation.
If you need a boost now and then, there plenty are safe options that will help you steer clear of any risk of excess caffeine or other adverse reactions.
Let’s start with some facts about energy drinks and then a variety of healthy methods you can use anytime to perk yourself up.
Some Tips on Energy Drinks
- Read labels carefully. The FDA regulates the amount of caffeine in foods like cola drinks. However, energy drinks are considered a dietary supplement so it may be impossible to tell how much caffeine you’re getting. Plus, there could be additional stimulants like the herb guarana and other substances.
- Use in moderation. If you still want to consume these beverages, don’t drink them every day so it becomes habit forming and you become reliant on them. Don’t use to quench your thirst. Because the cans are usually small, it’s easy to have more than one or several when you’re thirsty. Because they’re expensive you’ll save a lot of money too.
- Know the symptoms of caffeine toxicity. Some caffeine is okay, but too much can cause serious health issues. Watch for heart palpitations, increased blood pressure, anxiety and an upset stomach.
- Skip the alcohol. Energy drink cocktails are popular in clubs, but mixing alcohol with energy drinks can cause trouble. It’s easy to underestimate how intoxicated you are if you take a stimulant. This can lead to driving under the influence and consuming more alcohol than intended.
- Talk with your kids. Energy drinks are marketed mostly to young people. Discuss them with your kids and let them know that health experts recommend 100 milligrams or less of caffeine a day for adolescents.
- Check with your doctor. It’s best to forego energy drinks if you have certain medical conditions like heart disease or high blood pressure. This is also true for pregnant women and women who are nursing.
Healthy Alternatives to Energy Drinks
- Hit the gym. Exercise is one of the most reliable ways to pump yourself up. Take an aerobics class or go for a run.
- Rest up. Getting adequate sleep will keep you feeling your best. Try to go to bed and wake up on a consistent schedule even on weekends.
- Drink more water. Dehydration causes fatigue. Carry a steel water bottle around with you so you can sip all day long. A tall glass of water can give you a boost of energy and speed up your metabolism.
- Eat small and frequent meals. Digesting large meals puts an extra load on your body. Break up your dining into small meals and snacks.
- Add healthy carbohydrates to your diet. Carbohydrates are a great source of long lasting energy. Stock up on fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
- Lose weight. Lugging around extra pounds puts a strain on your heart and other body organs. Follow a sensible diet and increase your activity level so you can gradually reach your ideal weight and stay there.
- Breathe correctly. You may be surprised to learn that just changing the way you breathe can help you feel more vigorous. Mastering a few basic Yoga positions like the Tree Pose makes a dramatic difference.
- Turn up the lights. Exposure to bright lights is one of the fastest ways to increase your energy levels. Take a noontime walk to enjoy the sun.
- Get up. If you’re sitting behind a desk and feel tired, get up and talk a short walk. When you start to move around and get the blood flowing again you’ll wake up your body and feel energized.
- Get your caffeine from familiar sources. Most adults can safely consume about 200 to 300 milligrams per day of caffeine, and it’s easier to keep track of the amounts in well-known items like coffee and chocolate. For example, a cup of coffee has about 100 to 150 milligrams.
Commercial energy drinks have become a huge industry totaling more than $5 billion a year in sales. Use these beverages with caution or get your energy the old fashioned way with adequate sleep and a nutritious diet.