Energy Drinks = Energy Scam
Thursday 19 May 2011
Welcome my Guest Blogger today, Drew Nathan, founder of Vibrant Life. He is a Certified Holistic Nutritionist & Iridologist.
I'm sure we're all familiar with the ever-popular energy drinks: Red Bull, 5-Hour Energy, Monster, and Rockstar being the big four. Energy Drinks account for a whopping $350 million in sales in Canada alone and $9 billion worldwide in 2010. Why the explosion in so-called energy drinks in the last decade?
The marketplace always responds to consumer demand - in this case, low energy and the desire for a quick pick-me-up. But, do they really provide any energy and at what cost?
These products are loaded with high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), caffeine, and artificial colours. The huge spike in blood sugar provides a temporary fix (much like a drug), but the crash can be severe and requires more consumption. Blood sugar imbalances cause mood disturbances, irritability, and yes, fatigue! The other problem is that the amount of sugar in these products causes significant weight gain, fatty liver, arterial damage, kidney dysfunction, and many other problems. Diabetes is a massive epidemic. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) estimates that HALF of the U.S. population will be diabetic or pre-diabetic by 2020. Can you imagine the cost this would have on the already drowning healthcare system?
If you take any of these products, you might be thinking you're ok because the one you take uses artificial sweeteners and has no calories. Unfortunately, these may be even worse. A calorie is defined as the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 gram of water by 1 degree C. Something that has "zero calories" means your body does not recognize the molecule and cannot convert it into energy. So your body stores it. Still worse, artificial sweeteners produce an effect scientists have called "salient orosensory stimulus"; an effect that prepares the body for caloric intake and gets the digestive juices flowing. When the body doesn't get them, it gets confused. This reaction actually forces people to eat more to satisfy caloric demand.
What about caffeine? Caffeine does NOT produce energy - it is a central nervous system stimulant. When it wears off, it too causes mood disruptions, fatigue, drowsiness, and mental shutdown. I suppose to some degree there is a little energy being produced as caffeine stimulates the adrenal glands to produce cortisol to break down glycogen to convert it into glucose for energy, but sooner or later the adrenal glands get exhausted and will require even more caffeine just for the body to function. Eventually the whole system shuts down. Not a pretty picture.
But, energy drinks have B vitamins in them, you might say. The amount of B vitamins (often called "energy vitamins") are too miniscule to derive any benefit and are synthetically derived.
Wouldn't it be nice to not place the body in such incredible demand for instant energy in the first place? It's true there are times when we are in a pinch and don't have time to plan everything out. In this case, we need something immediately. What to do:
- Solstic Energy from Nature's Sunshine - a REAL B-vitamin-rich formula with adaptogen herbs to boost energy levels.
- A Vitamin B-complex.
- Kelp to quicken the thyroid.
- Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil - do not be misled by scare tactics about the saturated fat content of coconut oil. It is a medium-chain triglyceride which means it goes straight to cells into the mitochondria to be burned up for energy. Take a large spoonful of this and feel the difference.
Ultimately, the ideal scenario is to have balanced blood sugar, regular sleep, with a balanced diet and clean body to prevent it from being run down.
- Whole grains, e.g. quinoa, spelt, millet, barley, buckwheat, amaranth, etc. provide complex carbohydrates which give the body a steady and controlled flow of sugar.
- 2 servings of fruit and 6 servings of vegetables daily.
- Nuts and seeds, and fish oil - these oils improve neurotransmitter activity which keep you alert and active.
- Superfood meal replacement shake, such as Sun Warrior, Living Fuel or Vega - fully balanced, concentrated nutrition packed into a convenient source.
As many of you have probably heard me say before, a clean bowel is one of the important things someone can do for a myriad of health reasons. A polluted bowel reabsorbs waste in the bloodstream and reflexes via nerves and blood vessels to every other part of the body. One of the earliest side effects of body toxicity? Fatigue. So load up on fibre, drink lots of water, and get some exercise.