Digital News Report – Energy Drinks were discussed on today’s ‘Dr Oz Show.’ Energy drinks are a huge business with around 9 billion in sales this year alone Dr. Oz explained. He wanted to answer the question if the energy drinks really work.
To get the discussion started, Dr. Oz gave audience member seltzer water before the start of the show that he told them it was an energy elixir drink. The audience members thought they felt energized and found out the truth that it was just seltzer water.
Contributor to Women’s Health Magazine, Keri Peterson MD shared her knowledge about energy drinks. Dr. Peterson said that the FDA does not regulate what goes into these drinks because they are herbal substances.
There are three ways to buy energy drinks, in ready to drink beverages, in shots, and in powder mixes. Cans and bottles are premixed and ready to drink and Dr. Peterson cautions that there may be more than one serving per can. The shots you chug all at once which could cause the energy effects to hit to hard and fast. The powder is a mix that you just add to and then sip the drink slowly throughout the day.
Dr. Petersen said there are some common ingredients that all of the energy drinks contain. These are caffeine, B-Vitamins, herbs, sugar.
The first energy drink ingredient that is commonly found is caffeine. The caffeine levels can be anywhere from 80 – 300 mg per serving. Dr. Peterson adds that there are also herbs that can act like caffeine too.
Dr. Oz had a demonstration showing the amounts of caffeine in the following products. Energy drinks can top out on the top way beyond coffee.
Caffeine content in Foods
• Dark chocolate has 20 mg
• Soda 30 mg
• Tea 50 mg
• Espresso is 100 mg
• Coffee 135 mg
• Energy drink 300 mg
Dr. Peterson caffeine side effects include jittering, irritability, rapid heart rate, and blood pressure increases up to 14 points. If a person has high blood pressure they should try to avoid caffeine.
Another common ingredient in energy drinks are a variety of B-vitamins. Dr. Peterson explained that B-vitamins are found in massive amounts in energy drinks; however, they do not boost energy for most people. The only time these B-vitamins can give a boost of energy is when a person is deficient. She added that most people get plenty of B-vitamins in their diet. Most of the B-Vitamins are water-soluble and the excess amounts are removed in the urine. Two could become toxic in large amounts – vitamin B3 (niacin) and vitamin B6. Excess vitamin B3 consumption can cause blurry vision, liver abnormality, flushing, stomach upset explained Dr. Peterson. Many of the energy drinks have 150 percent of daily allowance of niacin. Lastly, vitamin B6 in excess can cause damage to nerves in hands and feet, which could cause tingling and numbness.
Guarana and Ginseng
The next commonly found ingredients in energy drinks are herbs that are natural stimulants. Guarana seeds and ginseng are common herbs found in these drinks. Dr. Petersen said that there has been no research to determine how potent these herbs are when combined with caffeine. She points out that one guarana seed has twice the amount of caffeine as one coffee bean. Ginseng is an extract from a plant and has been shown to boost brainpower in some studies, but only with doses above 200 mg. Most drinks do not have this much ginseng. Additionally, Dr. Peterson cautions that ginseng can interact with blood thinners.
The last ingredient in energy drinks is sugar and the can have plenty of it. Dr. Oz showed how much sugar. An energy drink can have up to 14 teaspoons of sugar per can. A can of soda can have 11 teaspoons. Dr. Oz said that the American Heart Association recommends only 6 teaspoons of added sugar for the entire day. When you drink too much sugar, it will boost blood glucose and will provide a short-term boost added Dr. Peterson. She also suggested that this sugar rush could cause more cravings for sweet foods and could cause weight gain.
Dr. Oz said that energy drinks are for occasional use only and should not be used all the time. Dr. Oz shared his own energy boosting drinks that he said would really work.
Dr. Oz approved Energy Drinks
To help explain Dr. Oz’s energy drinks, guest expert on weight loss and metabolism, Lisa Lynn, was on the show. Lynn said that hydration is the key to feel energized because if you are dehydrated you will feel exhausted.
Yerba Mate – This is Dr. Oz’s favorite pick me-up beverage. Yerba Mate contains caffeine and has an alkaloid, which can boost mood. The taste is a not pleasant, but the after effects are worth the taste.
Chocolate Coffee Glutamine Smoothie – Lynn said that glutamine is a brain booster and could have a long lasting energy effect. Make the drink by mixing ½ cup cold water, 2 scoops chocolate whey protein powder, 1 tsp granulated coffee, 5 ice cubes, and 500 mg glutamine in a blender. Lynn said that whey protein could boost metabolism while the glutamine helps the brain.
Water – Lynn said that this is the best way to get hydrated. To jazz up the water she suggests filling a pitcher with 8 cups of water and put in slices of 2 fresh lemons and 1 lime. Another flavor mix is to use fresh pineapple and mint infused water as another option. Have the fruit soak in the water in the refrigerator overnight to give the water a nice flavor.
By: Robert Williams