Rethink That Energy Drink

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By ALEJANDRO REYES VEGA, CSU Communications Student Assistant

Caffeine and Sugar Content

College students commonly consume energy drinks.

The only other dietary supplement consumed more than energy drinks are multivitamins. On average an energy drink has between 70-240 mg of caffeine in a 160z can and 113-200 mg in a “shot” 2-2.5oz. By comparison, a can of soda such as CocaCola or Pepsi contains about 35mg of caffeine in a 12oz cup and an 8oz cup of coffee contains about 100mg.

In addition, a 16-ounce energy drink contains around 54-62 grams of sugar, which exceeds the recommended intake per day.

Why would you drink an energy drink?

There are few benefits in energy drinks. Energy drinks can help people feel less tired, sleepy, stressed, anxious (sometimes) and can improve energy levels and alertness.

They do not always equal better performance. They also come with possible side effects.

Common Side Effects:

  • Lack of Sleep
  • Increased Anxiety
  • Shakiness
  • Dehydration

Other possible side effects include increased nervousness, headaches, nausea, restlessness, dizziness, energy jolts and then crashing, increased or irregular heart rate, difficulty concentrating, faster-talking speed, increased blood pressure, flushed face, sleep difficulties, rapid breathing and gastric upset.

What you can do?

Feeling tired? Need a quick fix? Energy Drinks aren’t your only option. The next time you go to grab an energy drink, think about your other options.

To ensure you maximize your energy and brain power and maintain a steady energy level throughout the day, eat often, eat light, balance your plate (whole grains, protein, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy), protein and high fiber snacks, and avoid sodas, sugary coffee, and energy drinks.

The right protein, fibers, and hydration are the key to high steady energy levels. Proteins digest slower allowing for a slow release of energy throughout the day. Some options include almonds, lean meats (fish, turkey, and chicken), peanut butter, salmon, pistachios, low sugar yogurt, cottage cheese, and other cheeses, cashews, and other seeds and legumes. Foods high in fiber slow down digestion which decreases energy spikes. Foods such as fruits and veggies as well as whole grain bread and cereal, beans and legumes are high in fiber.

Make sure you keep hydrated because it prevents fatigue and tiredness. Good liquids include water or infused water, unsweetened tea, skim or low-fat milk and low sugar natural fruit juices.

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