Checking out of a Safeway, a young woman moved her 8 Monster Drinks toward the cashier, giving me more room for my groceries. I thanked her and she smiled, starting a conversation, “These aren’t actually for me of course because I only use a couple at a time, but I’m buying these for my friends who asked me to buy them actually because they really enjoy them too, but they really don’t do much for me but I just like them and they are actually quite good for people you know.”
Wow. If I hadn’t known better, I’d actually met Minnie Mouse on steroids. Nope, those energy drinks didn’t affect her at all . . . nope, not at all. It might have seemed humourous, but it’s not. I always caution people to act sensibly around these caffeinated energy drinks. A little goes a long way.
I Corinthians 10:23 “Everything is permissible”–but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible”–but not everything is constructive.”
Energy drinks aren’t new. They were created in 1905 by a Scottish inventor and the Japanese went on to perfect them. Today they are a multi-billion dollar industry, targeted primarily toward the young.
Important: Caffeine a drug and all drugs have side effects.
Caffeine affects everyone differently because each of us has a unique chemical makeup. My husband can drink a cup of coffee and fall asleep instantly. I have a cup at 1pm and I’m awake until midnight. Caffeine takes 5 minutes to enter and 15-35 hours to clear your system. Limit caffeine to 240 mg. per day. An 8 oz. coffee equals approximately 80-110 mg.
Caffeine elevates your blood pressure and heart rate, artificially stimulating your system. A little is fine, but more is not better! Too much caffeine and your brain will go into its protection mode when overloaded. The body will demand more to acquire the same effect.
I once had a patient who was addicted to 30 cups of coffee per day. This was the main reason she couldn’t lose weight. Caffeine washes away valuable B vitamins – whose purpose is to convert proteins, fats and carbohydrates into energy. All that caffeine deplete the product’s extra vitamins, thus defeating its purpose. It took months to withdraw her dependency from it. So if you’re on a diet and have been consuming energy drinks, stop now!
The more caffeine you consume the more bone loss you’ll endure, increasing your chances of osteoporosis. Caffeine, especially ones as potent as Monster, Rock Star, Red Bull, AMP, deplete valuable nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, phosphorus and calcium which strengthen your bone structure.
Some mistakenly equate energy drinks with sports drinks, (Gatorade, Powerade) which is a dangerous misconception! Energy drinks do not replace electrolytes, contain very little (or none) and are diuretics. Consuming an energy drink and exercising afterward is a dangerous practice! Sweat and you’ll become dehydrated quickly. Water is the best energy drink you can consume while exercising.
What’s the purpose of aerobic exercise but to increase your heart rate, right? Guarana, found in many energy drinks, is a powerful stimulant, which increases the heart rate even more. Exercising on an energy drink could over-stress the heart muscle, causing arrhythmia, heart palpitations, nausea, anxiety, headaches and agitation. You might look good but no one will want to be around you!
At a recent Home Show, one booth passed out 5-hour Energy samples. It contained various nutrients and 138 mg. of caffeine per 2 oz. serving As I’ve told you, vitamins and minerals only work in conjunction with food, so within hours they are simply washed away. What’s even more troubling, I tasted the product and instantly knew it contained Splenda, that dangerous artificial chemical. (See Splenda isn’t So Splendid, Oct. 22). Read labels and use common sense.
Bottom line: We live under grace and must act responsibly. Use caution if consuming these products. Honor God, Live Responsibly.