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Are energy drinks beneficial?

Are you an energy drink drinker? Do you need your chosen go juice to make it through the day? Well you may want to reevaluate your consumption habits. Energy drink manufacturers have done a fantastic job with their marketing campaigns and there is a perception that they just boost your energy and make you perform better. That may not actually be the case. In the September 2017 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic Michael Haneline, DC, MPH; Conrad Woolsey, PhD; Claire Johnson, DC, MSEd, PhD; and Bart Green, DC, MSEd, PhD report that a recent randomized control trial (RCT) found that participants that ingested an energy drink had worse blood pressures than those that ingested a control drink with the same amount of caffeine. The authors also shed some light on labeling. If a drink is labeled as a “dietary supplement” (check your can!) rather than a “beverage” it results in a significantly less stringent set of requirements. Manufacturers are also able to bypass the FDA’s maximum caffeine limit for beverages if their product is a dietary supplement. The authors also point out that there is evidence that athletic performance requiring coordination and fine motor skills may be diminished after consuming energy drinks.

You may be thinking at this point “well that’s all fine and dandy doc, but I have things to do”. I understand; lucky for you the authors and the providers at Western Trails have some suggestions! First, try to eat a diet that includes omega-3 fats and minimizes sugars. Sugars can be pro-inflammatory while omega-3 fats have been shown to be anti-inflammatory. Next, get sufficient sleep. When the body goes into sleep debt it no longer functions at peak levels. Try to minimize screen time before bed and have a night time routine. Exercise. I’ll say it again: Exercise. Exercise has many benefits for the body including increasing alertness. Think you don’t have time to exercise? Think again. There are many ways to sneak in some extra exercise during your day. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Go for a quick walk on your break. Park along the outer edges of the parking lot at work, shopping areas, and restaurants to increase your activity levels. Walking just 6 more minutes per day than you are walking now is an extra 30 minutes per week, 2 hours per month, and 24 hours per year!

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