HOW MUCH IS TOO MUCH?

At the end of the year, it seems we are all looking for a little more time and energy. Even Santa needs a few extra calories to keep him going –we can all appreciate a diet of cookies and milk...

However, if we can’t have Santa’s magical good genes and need an extra kick, is there an alternative to gain some pep in our step?

Energy drinks’ popularity are on the rise- multiple brands claim that in less than two ounces you can have long lasting energy without the use of sugar or net carbs.

However, that zest has to come from somewhere… So what is the main ingredient? It’s Caffeine!

 

 

Caffeine ultimately stimulates the body’s adrenal glands to release the energy producing “fight-or-flight” chemical, adrenaline into the bloodstream.

Today scientists believe that the moderate consumption of caffeine involves no major health risks. Some have even suggested that caffeine may even provide a modest protective effect against some diseases, including certain types of cancer. However, it is also well known that caffeine can be toxic and at sufficiently high doses leading to disturbances of both the nervous system (brain) and cardiovascular system (heart).

However, there has been a rise in concern regarding the higher than normal caffeine content in these “monster drinks.” Recently it has been reported that these drinks have allegedly lead to the death of five individuals throughout the United States. Including a 14 year-old Maryland teenager, who died in December 2011 of heart arrhythmia (irregular heartbeat), after drinking large cans of Monster Energy. Currently the parents of the teenager have filed a lawsuit against Monster Energy claiming the caffeine used in the company’s product “contributed to her death.”  Also, the FDA is currently investigating this case and in a recent interview with Bloomberg News said that they will continue “to evaluate the emerging science on a variety of ingredients, including caffeine…the agency is working on draft guidelines to ensure energy drink safety.”

Obviously, diet, exercise and a good night sleep are the best remedies…however we can appreciate finding a new source of supplemental energy. It is our hope that we will see better regulations on energy drinks and until then the old adage of “Everything in moderation” is the best advice to follow.

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