Healthy Energy Drinks: Do They Exist?
The media will have you believe that energy drinks are the devil, cause cancer, AIDS, Alzheimer’s and herpes. The media will also have you believe that creatine is a steroid and that weight training makes women grow penises.
I am not the media.
I am known for my near 20 years of telling it like it is. No sugar-coating, no BS, no herpes. So when I get asked all the time as I sip on my Ruckus pre-workout, or I sip a delicious sugar-free Rockstar™, if I know of the health risks, I simply say,
“Yes, I am fully aware of them, and I am also fully aware that you watch CNN.”
Because I am fully aware of the risks, and I will go over healthy energy drinks (“healthy” is a relative, undefinable term) by reviewing some common ingredients in popular energy drinks and delving into the safety of them. Strap on the seatbelt and grab some CLASH™, it’s about to get real up in here.
Are energy drinks like Monster bad for you?
Are Energy Drinks Healthy?
Caffeine (aka Guarana, trimethylxanthine)
The main ingredient is caffeine. Seeing that caffeine is the most consumed drug on the planet, I’d say it has a great track record or else every white girl with a pumpkin latte fetish would be in a coma.
It has been studied and used in GRAM dosages with little to no side effects in most. But tolerance is individual, so start low and assess tolerance.
B Vitamins are water soluble vitamins used in cell metabolism. Water soluble means there is no build up in the system, thus there is not a huge risk when it comes to getting too much of a good thing.
Of all of the B vitamins, only a couple of them have any known side effects and we will list them here:
Vitamin B3 (aka Niacin): We all know of the niacin “flush” and “tingles.” From Wikipedia:
Intake of 3000 mg/day of nicotinamide and 1500 mg/day of nicotinic acid are associated with nausea, vomiting, and signs and symptoms of liver toxicity. Other effects may include glucose intolerance, and (reversible) ocular effects. Additionally, the nicotinic acid form may cause vasodilatory effects, also known as flushing, including redness of the skin, often accompanied by an itching, tingling, or mild burning sensation, which is also often accompanied by pruritus, headaches, and increased intracranial blood flow, and occasionally accompanied by pain.
Medical practitioners prescribe recommended doses up to 2000 mg per day of niacin, usually in time release format, to combat arterial plaque development in cases of high lipid levels.
Vitamin B9 (Pantothenic Acid): Can Lead to B12 deficiency if imbalanced and overdosed, leading to potential neurological damage.
Vitamin B12: Too much can cause an acne-like rash.
That’s it. But not having enough of the B-Vitamins can lead to a whole avalanche of problems such as birth defects, neurological issues, skin rashes, heart issues….and the list is nearly infinite of possible issues.
Thus, overall, this isn’t just not unhealthy, it is actually essential and healthy in your diet!
This ingredient can help improve your focus and energy by positively affecting your brain’s ability to produce norepinephrine and dopamine. Tyrosine can be used for energy by being metabolized into glucose; it can also be absorbed and merged with proteins and peptides.
Some supplements, like MTS Nutrition Ruckus use the N-Acetyl form of tyrosine that helps absorption of tyrosine for increased effects. Tyrosine helps to keep your mind in the gym while you are working out.
Side effects of tyrosine include heart rate changes, headaches, stomach aches, and increased anxiety. However, dosages of 2,000mg appear to have little to no side effects. Thus, start low and assess tolerance. Overall, this is an amino acid, is naturally occurring and is very safe.
Used as a detoxifier in energy drinks, is made naturally in the body by the liver from glucose. Supplementing with this caused blood glucuronide levels to rise. This, in theory, bonds with toxins and excretes them via the urine.
You can consume up to 1,000mg a day with no known side effects. Common doses in most energy drinks is 500mg-800mg. Consuming more than 1,000mg per day has shown little to no side effects as well.
Taurine is well known for its ability to increase energy and focus. Many energy drinks are taurine-based for this exact reason.
Taurine also increases blood flow, an impressive trait that allows more nutrients to reach your muscles as you exercise. This helps increase protein synthesis as you build muscle mass.
Ingesting taurine before exercising can improve performance in trained athletes and research shows that taurine speeds recovery time and helps protect muscle damage caused by exercise, significantly reducing muscle breakdown, increasing the results of your workouts.
Taurine is also well researched as a regulator of cell volume. Taurine regulate fluid balance and helps maximize hydration at the cellular level to optimize muscle function. This strongly suggests Taurine is also a cell volumizer to supply another stimulus for anabolism.
Supplementation with taurine has also been shown to increase endurance when running.
As far as side effects, even in very high doses, taurine is very safe.
Machine Greens + Multi
Not exactly an energy supplement or drink, but having adequate micronutrients and macronutrients will help you perform and help all of your body’s processes be completed optimally.
By combining greens, other nutrients and the ProDura Probiotic blend of digestive enzymes, you ensure that you’re optimally fueled by all of the vitamins and minerals and MICRONUTRIENTS you need.
Read more here.
Healthy, clean foods will energize you. While not the scope of this article, I will link a couple of diets to ensure you know what without adequate diet and exercise, supplements are just a band-aid for the real issues of malnourishment.
Energy Drinks: Always opt for sugar free and low calorie, no sugar. Rockstar™ Pure Zero and Monster™ are my energy drinks of choice.
Pre-Workouts: Aim for a well-dosed, smart pre-workout with no hidden blends. For this, we recommend:
Get at it
Healthy energy drinks DO exist. Consume in moderation with at least 4-5 hours between each full serving.
All of the false media reports are just that, FALSE.
Enjoy healthy energy drinks and reap the rewards of energy-producing and even good-for-you ingredients! And the recommended drinks listed above taste good as well! Because being healthy and full of healthy energy, that’s not a game!