Do energy drinks really give you wings and help you slim down at the same time? Although energy drinks are often marketed for weight loss, science suggests otherwise. If you find yourself reaching for the Monster and Red Bull more often but aren’t seeing any progress in your weight loss, it might be time to consider making some dietary changes.
Energy drinks are not the weight loss miracle drink you think they are. Let’s talk about how these seemingly harmless beverages can actually pack on the pounds.
Gaining or losing weight can be simplified to the calories in versus calories out equation. If you consume more calories than you burn off, you eventually gain weight and vice versa. Unless you cut about 200-500 calories from your diet, you will be unable to lose weight. Many people think that skipping a meal and consuming an energy drink can help create that deficit, but energy drinks are devoid of nutrition and high in empty calories. Consuming 2 or more energy drinks a day can push you over the recommended daily intake, inadvertently leading to weight gain.
Energy Drink Nutritional Facts
Energy drinks have a surprisingly high-calorie count per serving. Since many of the worst offenders contain more than 1 serving in a single can, you oftentimes get way more calories than you think. For example, a generic 24-ounce energy drink can have around 450 calories. Even smaller 16-ounce drinks can pack a whopping 220 calories.
Most of those calories come from sugar. Even if you think 250-450 calories is no big deal, that same energy drink contains up to 78 grams of sugar per serving. 78 grams is equivalent to 20 teaspoons of sugar every single time you crack open on of those drinks. To put this into perspective, if you want to burn off 30 grams of sugar from one energy drink, you need to do 30-35 minutes of burpees.
A 2014 study from Harvard Medical School found that eating too much sugar increases your risk of dying from heart disease, as well as raising your risk of diabetes. In fact, if more than 25% of your calories come from sugar, it can potentially double your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Caffeine & Other Factors
Now, caffeine is generally healthy in small amounts. Drink too much, however, and it can become extremely toxic. Since energy drinks usually run around 70-100 mg of caffeine per serving, one drink will not do extensive damage; but if you drink multiple cans a day in an attempt to reduce your hunger pangs, you might experience unpleasant side effects like:
• Caffeine addiction
• Muscle twitching
• Heart palpitations (tachycardia)
• Gastroesophageal reflux disease
• Stomach ulcers
• Anxiety and nervousness
For some people, too much caffeine can even lead to increased risk of stroke and heart disease. Others die from excessive consumption. Take the case of Anais Fournier as an example. Fournier had mitral valve prolapse, a condition present in every 1 in 20 Americans. It only took 2 energy drinks to kill her.
Sugar-Free Energy Drinks
You might be thinking, “It’s cool. I’ll just pick up the sugar-free brand!” Don’t. Seriously. Nothing is worse for your weight loss efforts than sucking down a chemical maelstrom, okay? And that’s exactly what sugar-free energy drinks are. Although these drinks have on average less than 12 calories per 8-ounces, they are chock-full of artificial sweeteners like aspartame that are linked to diabetes, gut microbiome disruptions, obesity, and have even been found to hinder your metabolism.
Is that really worth it?
Energy Drinks and Athletic Performance
To answer the question above, guzzling down energy drinks is not worth your time, especially if you have been fooled into thinking a Monster is going to boost your athletic performance. There have been multiple studies, including one that was published in the British Journal of Nutrition that found athletes who consume energy drinks experience more insomnia and anxiety than those who do not. Other studies find that the only boost you receive from the caffeine is short-term, while some report zero enhancements to performance.
In short, you are consuming excess sugar calories, messing up your blood sugar, and do little for your athletic performance by drinking energy drinks.
Recommended Alternatives To Energy Drinks
There are better alternatives to energy drinks that have zero negative side effects. Take the energy-enhancing supplement line up from Gaspari. The following three products contain all-natural ingredients that are known to enhance your energy without adding empty calories, such as ginseng, black and green tea extracts, vitamin B-12, and Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAA).
Let’s have a closer look at the recommend alternatives.
Gaspari Nutrition formulated HYPERAMINO to help you push through the toughest of workouts and even ramp up your protein synthesis before, during, and after your session. Using a unique blend of BCAAs, green tea extract, guarana, and taurine, you get a rush of energy from natural, sugar-free sources, along with the hunger-crushing effects of green tea to promote satiety. HYPERAMINO comes in several delicious flavors but with no added sugar.
What a dose of antioxidants alongside a rush of energy? Reach for Gaspari Nutrition’s SuperPump MAX. With only 10 calories per serving and a broad array of vitamins and minerals, SuperPump MAX is an ideal energy drink for your weight loss and fitness goals. The formula is a blend of BCAAs for energy and protein synthesis. Furthermore, SuperPump MAX has been proven through clinical research to enhance your performance with no crashes. It’s the pre-workout you have been waiting for.
What makes AMINOLAST your first choice for a post-workout BCAA supplement? For only 10 calories, you get a delicious energy-boosting drink with calcium, magnesium, zero sugar, and no synthetic colors. The formula gives you quality BCAAs that help reduce the feeling of fatigue, enhance alertness and performance, and can even accelerate your recovery.
The Bottom Line
The energy drinks you find on the grocery store shelf are your mortal enemy, no matter how good they appear to be. With ingredients full of chemicals, sugar, and an overload on caffeine, you are getting more calories than you bargained for. Not only does this add more calories to your intake, but it can lead up to energy spikes and crashes that negatively impact your effort. If you want energy that is going to last and burn clean, then you should research for BCAA supplements from Gaspari as well as natural alternatives.
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