We’re all about energy. Having more energy is critical to improving our quality of life. It’s what helps us get up in the morning, fuels our workouts, inspires us to cook a healthy meal or just be fully present in our lives.
What we have an issue with are fake sources of energy – the ones that provide people with a quick fix that often end up doing more harm than good. A prime example is the popular 5-hour ENERGY drinks, whose commercials have been all over the TV/radio the past few weeks. Here is what they have to say on their website:
“The key ingredients in 5-hour ENERGY® are also available in every day foods – like broccoli, avocados, bananas and apples – or already in you. It contains zero sugar, four calories and as much caffeine as a cup of the leading premium coffee.”
Nicely put . . . but here’s what they DON’T tell you:
- They are able to keep the sugar to “zero” because they use artificial sweeteners, notably Sucralose (otherwise known as Splenda). Read about the downfalls of artificial sweeteners in our blog post HERE, including their affect on our precious gut microbiome.
- The drinks don’t actually contain any of the real flavor they advertise on the bottle. For instance, this pomegranate flavored version does not have an ounce of pomegranate in it. Hmmm.
- The ingredients “found in everyday foods” they refer to include a handful of B vitamins and some amino acids, including taurine. However, there is controversy surrounding taurine when used as an added ingredient, common in energy drinks. Studies have linked it to illnesses ranging from high blood pressure and strokes to seizures and heart disease.
- They claim people won’t “crash” after using it, but about a quarter of consumers do experience a crash.
- They have no proof that the added non-caffeine ingredients such as taurine or tyrosine, especially as the amounts are NOT listed, will enhance energy or alertness.
- The ingredients list artificial flavors as well as sodium benzoate, a widely used preservative (common in soft drinks, other carbonated beverages, fruit juices, jams, salad dressings, condiments, and pickles) that may cause hyperactivity and is a possible carcinogen, especially when combined with vitamin C.
- An eight-ounce cup of coffee contains anywhere from 100 to 150 milligrams of caffeine. The caffeine content of one bottle of 5-Hour Energy (1.9 ounces) is 207 mg.
In a nutshell, the 5-hour energy drink is a cold cup of berry tasting caffeinated coffee with added questionable ingredients.
Food for thought
All too often, we look to a quick fix to help solve our problems. But if you feel like you absolutely NEED an energy drink to get you through the day, its like putting a band aid over an open sore. Yes, a jolt of caffeine may serve a temporary purpose. And YES, it certainly takes more effort to ditch the processed/sugary foods, eat a more nourishing well-balanced diet, reduce your stress and get more sleep. But that is where you will find real, sustainable energy. The kind of energy that comes from having cells that are operating at their most efficient, absorbing nutrients, and getting rid of the excess waste. If your cells are operating in high gear, you will feel your best, have consistently better moods, have an easier time shedding weight, increase your immune system and just feel more vibrant.
If nothing else, always look beyond the hype of a label claim to see what you really might be getting. 99.9% of the time it IS too good to be true.
Want to get your hands on some of our top energy boosting snacks? Click HERE to download.