Monster, Red Bull, Rock Star, 5 Energy… I’m sure you know of all these products. The energy drink market has boomed in recent years with professional athletes, celebrities and fitness gurus leading the advertising charge. And just like diet pills, these drinks reportedly carry some serious health risks…

So today I’m asking if you drink energy drinks, which brands – and why?

At their basis energy drinks are pretty standard. Take a fruity flavored drink, throw in some B vitamins, L Carnitine, Taurine and a few other ‘fat burning / energy producing / mental focus’ ingredients along with caffeine and voila – you’ve got an energy drink.

Of course the main question is – do they work? Well I’d have to say yes and no. In my opinion energy drinks work from the standpoint of having a coffee cup’s worth of caffeine in them. So if a cup of java wakes you up then energy drinks will likely work for you on a short-term basis…

 Of course these drinks won’t give you a long-term boost – unless you drank them every single day and even then I’m not so sure. When you look at the doses of the various ingredients they’re usually in very low doses, which I don’t believe to do much. Plus keep in mind these drinks are also costly at nearly $2.50 each. That’s $15 per week, $60 a month and $720 per year! How about you just join a gym?

Okay but what about safety issues? There have been several reported deaths and serious side effects from people drinking energy drinks. Personally I suspect most of these cases are form gross overuse, abuse and / or an underlying medical condition. Fact is most of these drinks contain no more than 200 mg of caffeine (a cup of coffee) and vitamins and minerals that can be found in many “one a day” multi vitamins.

I’ll be honest and admit that I do occasionally drink an energy drink – largely for the taste. I try to drink only water, I’ve limited my diet soda and have cut back a lot, but on occasion (usually when getting gas) I’ll grab my favorite energy brand because I enjoy it. I reach for the diet variety because the original versions are no better than soda and loaded with sugar, which is ironic. Many people chug an energy drink before a workout in an attempt to help lose weight but they buy the regular version which will only spike their blood sugar and send them crashing down an hour later. Or they’ll mix them with alcohol to make a calorie and chemical bomb – not very smart in my opinion. So at the end if you enjoy energy drinks for the taste I say have one occasionally. But I honestly don’t see any of them actually giving you more energy than a regular cup of joe.

But what about you? Do you use energy drinks and why? Which brands do you like – and which do you hate? Do you think some are healthier than others? Comment away…

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