With the busy back to school, back to work, back to fall grind, we thought it time to cover an important topic for your health.
Anxiety, hypertension, elevated heart rates, interrupted sleep patterns and headaches are just some of the side effects commonly associated with energy drinks, and those problems are even more pronounced in children, according to a recent University of Miami study.
But that's just the tip of the iceberg. These drinks have also been linked to heart palpitations, strokes and sudden death.
The term "energy" drink is an unfortunate misnomer, food science expert Budge Collinson told us. They don't give your body energy; they stimulate you with brief jolts of caffeine and unregulated herbal stimulants.
Collinson warns that we shouldn't use these drinks as our go-to source for that energy boost we crave. He also warns against parents getting them for kids.
"Soccer moms and dads buy these 'stimulant' drinks for their kids before matches because both kids and parents want that competitive advantage," Collinson, explained.
"For a few moments, you'll get that spike, but it's a short-term experience with a heavy long-term toll."
So, what are some ways we can all can get a healthy energy boost? Collinson says get outside and get in the gym.
"Go for a speedy bike ride together, take a brisk walk or hold foot-races in the yard. Numerous studies demonstrate the power of vigorous exercise in boosting energy," he said.
"Exercise pumps more oxygen - pure, healthy fuel -- into the bloodstream and to the brain and muscles for a short-term energy boost. Exercising regularly will increase lung capacity, so the body will get more oxygen on a sustained level for the long term," Collinson explained.
"Exercise also releases endorphins, the body's natural feel-good chemical, which makes us feel happy. And happy people are energized people."
Check out Part 2 of our talk with Budge on Monday where he offers up more tips and alternatives to dangerous energy-boosting beverages.
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