In the last 20 years, Energy Drinks have become increasingly popular, and for good reason, everyone needs a pick-me-up sometimes. But the most popular energy drinks aren't always the best for your health. They’re often packed with potentially harmful ingredients and loaded with added sugar.
The majority of Energy drinks are consumed by men between the ages of 17 and 34². Between 2007 and 2011, the number of energy drink-related visits to emergency departments doubled.
While many ingredients may not be harmful by themselves or with the proper dosage, energy drinks are known for their high concentration of contents such as caffeine, sugar, and other additives that can often do more harm than good when consumed in large amounts.
Added Sugar versus Naturally Occurring Sugars
According to the NCCIH, Energy Drinks often contain anywhere from 52-64 grams of sugar in a 16oz container. That’s more than the recommended added sugar intake for a whole day! Consuming high amounts of added sugars⁴ has been linked to increases in inflammation, diabetes, high blood pressure, weight gain, and ultimately increased risk of heart disease and heart attack. It’s important to look at the ingredients of any food or beverage product to take added sugars into account.
Naturally occurring sugars occur naturally in foods like fruits, vegetables, and milk products. While added sugars are additives in a final product such as popular ingredients like cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup.
Added sugars don’t add any nutritional value while those that are naturally occurring often come paired with nutrients, enzymes, fiber, and more.
Potentially Harmful Ingredients in Conventional Energy Drinks -While many of these ingredients have benefits, it is important to understand the amounts and interactions they can have within the body.
Taurine - Taurine is an amino acid that can potentially stimulate physical and mental performance. However, too much Taurine can lead to high blood pressure and increased heart rate.
Niacin - In appropriate doses, niacin can improve good cholesterol and lower bad cholesterol. However, doses of niacin in energy drinks are sometimes higher than the recommended daily intake (The daily recommended amount of niacin is 16mg for men and 14mg for women.)
Signs of niacin toxicity include dizziness, low blood pressure, fatigue, headache, upset stomach, nausea, blurred vision, and liver inflammation.
Ginseng - Ginseng is said to be able to improve physical stamina, concentration, and memory. However, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative² Health, too much Ginseng may cause side effects such as hypertension and diarrhea. In large quantities, it may cause negative interactions with caffeine, alcohol, and prescription medications.
Synthetic Caffeine - Another potentially negative ingredient in energy drinks is synthetic caffeine. This caffeine is absorbed much faster and in high volume by the body which may cause you to be anxious, jittery, or crash³.
Caffeine - Everyone has a different tolerance and liking for the amount of caffeine they consume. However, the amount of caffeine in energy drinks is highly concentrated, and is not always the same as a cup of coffee or can of pop. High amounts of caffeine¹ can be very stressful on your cardiovascular system. Excessive caffeine use can even disrupt sleep patterns and impair motor skills.
The GOF Difference
Here in the Garden, not only do we use all organic produce in our juices, but we’ve taken into account that while we all need an energy boost from time to time, our bodies should not be harmed by the contents of the caffeine sources we choose. Our energy elixirs contain only natural, plant-based caffeine from Guayusa. Even further, we don’t add sugars or artificial sweeteners to our Energy Elixirs. Any sweetness comes naturally from the fresh fruits and vegetables that we juice. We make sure that our energy elixirs are not solely a caffeine source, but that they go above and beyond to give you rich nutrients and enzymes, as well as probiotics to boost gut health.
Why get the bare minimum from energy drinks when you can get the boost of energy you need and do something good for your body?
Our Energy Elixirs are carefully crafted: