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These Famous Energy Drinks!

For the last decade, the market of energy drinks has been expanding. With their flashy colors and catchy names, it is not surprising that companies such as Red Bull, Monster, Hype, and Rockstar are drawing a younger and younger customer base. So here is something to help you make an informed decision concerning these famous energy drinks!

Information on caffeine

Caffeine is found in coffee, tea, soft drinks, chocolate, and, as you’ve probably guessed, energy drinks! By the way, here is a comparative chart of the caffeine content of a few beverages (inspired by a report published by the INSPQ in 20101):

Beverage type (serving)

Caffeine content

Chocolate milk (250 ml or 1 cup)

8 mg

Red Bull (250 ml or 1 cup)

74 mg

Brewed coffee (250 ml or 1 cup)

135 mg

Monster (437 ml or 1 can)

164 mg

Energy Shots (75 ml or 1 small bottle)

200 mg

For most adults, it is recommended not to exceed 400 mg of caffeine a day, that is, about 3 cups (750 ml) of coffee. Beyond this limit, we risk feeling side effects.

Should we be worried about certain ingredients?

Aside from caffeine, energy drinks contain other ingredients such as taurine and glucuronolactone. Even if they are naturally occurring in some foods, these substances are never found in such high concentration as in energy drinks. For example, a can of sugarless Red Bull contains 1135 mg of glucuronolactone, while the maximum set by Health Canada is 1200 mg per day! Here is something to worry about!

Mixing energy drinks and physical activity

Caffeine can increase performance by stimulating the nervous system, decreasing our perception of effort, and postponing fatigue. However, consuming an energy drink prior to effort can also lead to negative effects: irregular heartbeat, headaches, stomach ache, and dehydration. It is therefore not very advisable.

However, we have to put things into perspective: drinking one of these beverages occasionally and in reasonable quantity is not necessarily a “dangerous” habit. They could be useful to increase your alertness during a long road trip or to improve your concentration at work. Prevent some side effects by drinking other liquids (water, milk, chocolate milk, pure fruit juice, etc.) during the day. And remember that moderation is always in good taste!

By Vanessa Martin, nutritionist

References

1. Institut National de Santé Publique (novembre 2010). « Boissons énergisantes : risques liés à la consommation et perspectives de santé publique ». Online. < http://www.inspq.qc.ca/pdf/publications/1167_BoissonsEnergisantes.pdf >. Page consultée le 14 octobre 2013.

Author
Vanessa Martin

A newcomer to Nautilus Plus, Vanessa Martin holds a degree in nutrition from the Université de Montréal and is a member in good standing of the Ordre professionnel des diététistes du Québec. She also works in the hospital setting and loves to blog in her spare time. Passionate and versatile, Vanessa plans on enhancing her knowledge in the field of psychology with an eye to better guiding and motivating the habit-changing endeavors of her clients. Member of a running club, she enjoys taking part in the competitions organized in her area. Vanessa is currently training for a 21 km race and would like to run her first marathon!


These Famous Energy Drinks! is a post from I'm taking charge. I'm taking charge is a blog that aims to help people in their journey to fitness through articles on training, nutrition, motivation, exercise and healthy recipes.
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