Do energy drinks help you, or can they actually make you fat?
Today I will be addressing the big question surrounding energy drinks…
I receive a ton of questions about all of these new “energy” drinks that have hit the market over the last few years. They seem to be all the rage, and they promise you the world with outrageous claims of all of the super energy that you are going to have, and how you’ll become the best athlete in the world, start lifting cars over your head, and get a perfect body.
So a few questions arise…
Are these “energy” drinks really any good for you?
Do they actually increase your energy?
Do they really have some sort of magical energy formula?
Will they help you lose weight?
To begin with, let’s look at what most of these energy drinks are usually made of. Most of them are simply carbonated water loaded with gut-fattening high fructose corn syrup (or other added sugars), caffeine, the amino acid taurine, and some crappy artificially-derived vitamins added for show to trick you into thinking there’s something healthy about these concoctions.
Let’s start with the high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Well, here we’ve got empty calories that will go straight to your belly fat, and that are possibly even WORSE for you than plain old refined sugar (although that’s up for debate, but semantics in the big picture). Some energy drinks use other added sugars instead of HFCS, but it doesn’t really matter, because they are all gut-fattening empty calories with no nutritional benefit.
Ok, so you say that they also have low-sugar or sugar-free varieties as an alternative to the HFCS-laden energy drinks. Yes, but now you have the problem of the harmful chemicals in the artificial sweeteners which have their own set of health dangers.
Another problem with artificial sweeteners is that there are some research studies that indicate artificial sweetener use leads people to inadvertently consume more calories and gain more weight in the long run…in addition to having a negative hormonal effect in the body. I won’t go into all of the details on that topic because that would fill up an entire discussion by itself.
Just trust me that artificial sweeteners and artificial chemicals in food in general, are ALL bad news for your body! It’s never a good idea to try to “trick” your body with artificial tastes.
What about the caffeine?
Well, first of all, caffeine doesn’t in itself provide “energy”. Technically, the only substance that actually provides energy is calories (from carbs, protein, and fat).
However, caffeine can be an aid for livening or waking some people up, by means of stimulating the central nervous system.
Instead of caffeine artificially added to some carbonated “energy” drink, I’d rather get my caffeine from a natural source like green, white, or oolong teas (or my new favorite – yerba mate teas), which actually provide very powerful healthy antioxidants too!
Keep in mind though, if you’re a regular daily coffee drinker, you probably have some level of addiction to caffeine and probably wouldn’t receive too much benefit from the caffeine in an energy drink anyway.
Tip: try to drink more tea and reduce your coffee intake to only a couple days per week max to reduce your dependency on caffeine. Most teas contain much less caffeine than coffee, and some teas (such as green, white, and oolong) contain synergistic phytochemicals that work to slow the response of the caffeine that they do contain. This means you get a milder response from the caffeine in green, oolong, or white teas compared to the harsher jittery response that some people get from coffee.
Now what about that so called magical blend of taurine and B-vitamins that they load into these energy drinks?
Well, big deal…you get taurine in almost any protein source. And the vast majority of those artificially added B-vitamins are simply coming right out into the toilet in your pee. Vitamins are best obtained naturally from a REAL food source, not artificially added to some carbonated drink. Your body just doesn’t use fake sources of vitamins as readily as natural sources from real food.
So as you can see, in my opinion, I give all of these energy drinks a big time THUMBS DOWN! Don’t fall for the ridiculous marketing of all of these so-called “energy drinks”.
Instead, here’s my recipe for my own home-made energy drink:
1. Make a big iced tea mixture using green tea, white tea, and yerba mate tea. I like to add a little fruit flavor, so I’ll use 1 tea bag of a raspberry or blueberry hibiscus tea, and then use 2-3 green and/or white tea bags, and 2-3 yerba mate tea bags, and make a gallon container of iced tea. I just use a small amount of stevia to lightly sweeten the batch of tea.
2. Buy a container of organic coconut water from a health food store, or buy fresh coconuts to obtain the coconut water from the inside.
3. For my healthy energy drink, I mix a half of a glass of the white/green/yerba mate iced tea mixture and fill the rest of the glass with the coconut water.
This is actually a delicious and truly healthy energy drink instead of the chemical-laden crappy energy drinks that everybody is getting suckered into buying these days.
The green, white, and yerba mate teas contain a small dose of caffeine along with a diverse mixture of powerful antioxidants and synergistic phytochemicals. Plus, the coconut water is a rich source of electrolytes and a diversity of vitamins and minerals. Coconut water is known to provide a good instant energy source, and also contains a small dose of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are healthy fats that are readily used for energy and also aid your immune system.
So enjoy this natural healthy energy drink, knowing that you’re doing your body good instead of filling it with chemicals which you’d find in store bought energy drinks!
… For further information on nutrition, fat loss tips & exercise CLICK HERE to see a great exercise program which reveals surprising techniques to lose belly fat.
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A simple, no-hype guide to losing stomach fat and toning those abs!
by Kurtis Caesar – Personal Trainer, Nutrition Specialist
Most fitness books on six pack abs are a waste of your money. Mainly because if you’ve read one, you’ve read them all. So as a rule, I don’t usually buy them unless they’re highly recommended by someone else.
But after reading The Truth About Six Pack Abs ebook written by Mike Geary I couldn’t wait to get to my computer to write this review. It was the best book on ab training that I’ve ever read and if you follow it, you WILL see results.
Note: Mikes book is an ebook (electronic book) so you will receive it by e-mail as soon as you order.
When I first viewed the sales page for the book, I have to admit I almost didn’t buy it because the sales video seemed a little hyped up and pitchy.. Just like all the rest.
But what drew me in was that the author kept emphasizing the same points I talk about on this blog when it comes to the myths on flattening your stomach so I became intrigued.
Still a bit skeptical, I purchased it anyway. However, I’m happy to tell you I was pleasantly surprised with its contents.
The Truth About Six Pack Abs is 106 pages of solid information on how to best train your abs. Not only does author Mike Geary highlight the most effective exercises, but he discusses diet and offers meal suggestions as well. (I should also note that most of the book focuses on ab exercise and strength training.)
Like myself, Mike is a personal trainer, which makes him a very credible source on the subject. I also liked the fact that he gives customers his email address and sends a helpful newsletter with great workout tips. He seems to genuinely want to help people and isn’t only concerned about selling his book.
First of all, Mike begins by explaining the various sections of the abdominal regions. While this part did take me back to 7th grade science class, it really is important that you understand this because many people end up trying to work the wrong areas when they exercise. You really should know the basic sections of the abs.
My favorite part of the book was where he listed the best exercises for your abs (over 20 of them) AND he provided clear pictures so you can actually see how to correctly do them.
I will tell you that most of the exercises he mentions are probably best performed in a gym, but if you have some weights, you can also do many of them in your home. He also shows you how to get the most out of a fitness ball which is another great way to work your abs.
I learned a lot from Mikes book…much more than I expected to. For example, I didn’t know that it’s really best to do your ab training at the end of your cardio workout because the ab muscles stabilize your back and you can pre-exhaust them if you do your ab exercises first.
See? Ya learn something new everyday!
The reason I am recommending this book to my visitors is because it answers a lot of the questions about exercise which I receive everyday.
I get emails & blog comments 24/7 about weight training, nutrition etc. And now I’m happy to refer people to Mike’s book… especially since he has the credentials.
While my blog does a good job of covering exercise myths, basic exercises and what to eat… this book dives deep into strength training, which is the most effective way to tone the abs. Cardio and dieting will burn fat, but strength training is what makes your abs and mid section solid.
Ladies, I hope you’re not turned off by the fact this book focuses on terms like “strength training” and “six pack”. If you want a solid mid section then everyone, regardless of gender, has to do some form of these exercises. I was glad Mike emphasized that.
When you see other women with rock-hard abs and toned middles, they most likely did more than basic crunches to achieve that look. You don’t necessarily have to work toward a six pack, but you can use this book to simply flatten and strengthen your middle.
The term “strength training” doesn’t necessarily mean weight lifting. You can also build strength by performing certain exercises on a fitness ball. As I mentioned, Mike shows you how to use those too.
I bought this ebook mid way through 2011, May 29th to be precise…after months of procrastinating.
I took a photo of my body the day of purchasing this program and another progress photo just 4 months later:
day of starting program – 15% body fat
4 months later – 9% body fat
In those 4 months I had been on the program, I lost 8 kilograms and gone from 15% body fat down to 9% body fat thanks to the information in Mikes ebook.
So, from the best abs exercises to meal examples…all of your questions are answered in The Truth About Six Pack Abs. If you’re going to buy an exercise book this year, make it this one. It was definitely money well spent for me.
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