What’s the hottest segment in the beverage world since bottled water? Energy drinks. A whopping $4.8 billion is spent annually, with 15% of adults and 35% of teenagers regularly consuming these heavily marketed beverages. At the head of the stampede is Red Bull.
But buyer beware! All energy drinks are not created equal. Many are loaded with two things you might want to avoid: caffeine and sugar.
According to a report published in ProgressiveMed.com, most energy drinks range in sugar content from 54 g to 66 g per 16-oz can and can have up to 174 mg of caffeine. Did you know that the leader of the pack, Red Bull, is currently banned in Denmark, Norway, and Uruguay because of high caffeine levels?
Health experts agree that too much caffeine and too much sugar, while providing a temporary energy boost, can ultimately do more damage than good. Unpleasant side effects can include heart palpitations, weight gain, disrupted sleep patterns, anxiety, irritability, and general malaise.
So what’s the poor energy-sapped person in need of an afternoon (or morning) pick-me-up to do?
Well, you can chug that caffeine and sugar concoction for a quick spike and subsequent crash. Or you can pamper those ten trillion cells of yours with natural vitamins and minerals designed to massage, mend and mollify the body.
Proper Nutrition for a Pick-Me-Up Without the Crash
In a 2007 paper published by The Journal of International Medical Research, researchers affirmed, “An overwhelming body of physiological evidence confirms the fundamental role of vitamins and minerals in energy metabolism.
In particular, the B complex vitamins are essential for mitochondrial function and a lack of just one of these vitamins may compromise an entire sequence of biochemical reactions necessary for transforming food into energy. It is also clear that several minerals and trace elements are essential for energy generation.”
Long known as “the energy vitamin,” the Bs should form the cornerstone of any energy regimen. These workhorses all pitch in to help with the essential breakdown of carbohydrates and fats and the subsequent conversion to energy.
Cell Nutritionals offers two excellent B choices: B-100 Plus, a complete daily B formula, and a chewable B-Trio, packed with B6, B12, and Folic Acid.
For those of you who slept through basic biology, energy to power the body’s metabolic process comes from food. The body stores this energy in a molecule called adenosine triphosphate (ATP). Energy is transformed into ATP through a process called cellular respiration, which takes place in the mitochondria.
L-carnitine, a naturally occurring amino acid, releases energy by removing short-chain and medium-chain fatty acids from the mitochondria.
Another favorite, Coenzyme Q-10 also plays a crucial role in the production of ATP and cellular energy. (Added bonus: it’s great for the heart!)
Green Tea Extract and Cayenne have both shown to increase energy and fat oxidation. For a quick burst of energy without the side-effects of caffeine, try the ancient Asian stand-by Panax Ginseng.
An extensive study of the diets of adults aged 19–64 in the United Kingdom found that many were deficient in micronutrients. Topping that list was Magnesium, with 50% of men and 74% of women having an intake below the RDA! Since magnesium is required by all enzymatic reactions involving the energy storage molecule ATP, this is a key mineral to add to your energy plan.
Finally, researchers have noted that the addition of protein helps stabilize insulin levels and, thereby, increase energy and stamina. So think twice before you reach for that energy drink. Consider, instead, going “au natural” and trying some of our “energy” products mentioned above.
We can’t guarantee you’ll never feel tired again, but we do promise you’ll notice a difference in your energy level, stamina, and physical performance within a few weeks.