Energy drinks: Do they really boost energy?

Most energy drinks contain large amounts of caffeine, which can provide a temporary energy boost. Some energy drinks contain sugar and other substances. The boost is short-lived, however, and may be accompanied by other problems.

Energy drinks: Do they really boost energy?For example, energy drinks that contain sugar may contribute to weight gain — and too much caffeine can lead to:

  • Nervousness
  • Irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Rapid heart beat
  • Increased blood pressure

Mixing energy drinks with alcohol may be even more problematic. Energy drinks can blunt the feeling of intoxication, which may lead to heavier drinking and alcohol-related injuries.

For most people, occasional energy drinks are fine. If you’re consistently fatigued or rundown, however, consider a better-and healthier-way to boost your energy. Get adequate sleep, include physical activity in your daily routine and eat a healthy diet. If these strategies don’t seem to help, consult your doctor. Sometimes fatigue is a sign of an underlying medical condition, such as hypothyroidism or anemia.
Katherine Zeratsky, R.D., L.D.

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