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Weight Loss and Energy Drinks: Are They Any Good?

There seems to be a lot of emphasis placed by advertisers on the benefits to health and by association, weight loss of drinking energy drinks, but just how beneficial are they really and what are the risks?

Weight Loss ExerciseAccording to a study published in a recent issue of health magazine The Physician and Sports Medicine, the risks may indeed outweigh any benefits that can be had by drinking sports drinks.

According to Stephanie Ballard of Nova Southeastern University, "Energy drinks typically feature caffeine and a combination of other ingredients, including taurine, sucrose, guarana, ginseng, niacin, pyridoxine and cyanocobalamin," and added "Caffeine has consistently been observed to enhance aerobic performance, although its effects on anaerobic performance may vary."

Mixed Theories

There are mixed theories when it comes to the impact that energy drinks may or may not have on maintaining a healthy body size. There is data to suggest that combining exercise with drinking an energy drink may lead to a reduction in body weight.

However, there are also further studies that suggest that users may become addicted to the caffeine contained in them, with an increase in calorie-burn and subsequent loss of body mass.

According to Ballard however, energy drinks are also loaded with sugar, so when they are not combined with exercise, they may have a contributory link with the rise in obesity along with less caffeinated, high sugar drinks such as soda.

Too Much Caffeine Can Be Bad

National Collegiate Athletic Association athletes can be considered doping if their urinary caffeine levels are greater than 15 µg/mL. This is about equivalent with drinking eight or so cups of coffee, where a cup typically contains 100 mg of caffeine.

Caffeine, when taken in fairly high doses, has negative as well as positive effects on health and is reported to be the cause of cause insomnia and nervousness. It has also been linked with conditions such as arrhythmias, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, complications during pregnancy and childbirth, gastrointestinal upset and even sudden death. However, smaller amounts are believed to be safe and can boost mental and physical performance.

Caffeine when taken in amounts of a maximum of 6 mg/kg may produce a range of benefits combined with a fairly low risk of contracting any adverse effects.


Posted on Wed, 18 Aug 2010 in News | 1 Comments

1 thoughts on "Weight Loss and Energy Drinks: Are They Any Good?"

Rosaline says:

Interesting comments, I always had my suspicions on those energy drinks. I still believe the best way to stay hydrated when our working out is to drink plain water. No additives, sugars or other bad stuff to mess with the balance of your body!