Dr Oz: Energy Drinks
When is the last time you had an energy drink? This is a huge and growing market in America, and the beverages that were once marketed toward kids are now being aimed at their busy parents. Recent estimates peg the growing industry at around $9 billion annually. With drinks in all forms, shapes, and sizes, these drinks are becoming more portable and convenient. But are they really delivering the health benefits they promise? Dr Oz shared the truth about energy drinks that you’ll want to know before you are ready to fuel your body next time.
Miracle Energy Drinks: Dr Oz
Do these drinks really do what they say they will? You’re expecting them to fire you up and give you more energy, right? Dr Oz had his audience sample energy shots. Then he asked if they felt more energized just from a quick sip. A few people said yes.
Among them were friends Danitra and Andrea. Danitra said she was feeling tired before, but now felt more perky. Andrea said that energy shots don’t make her jittery. Another person said the sample tasted like seltzer water.
Dr Oz smiled and revealed that these supposed energy shots were actually seltzer water! He explained that he had tricked the whole audience, just like marketing companies trick consumers when selling energy drinks. He said that no one even asked what was in the beverages that were distributed to the audience. That’s why he said we need to know what we’re putting in our bodies.
Danitra at least laughed off the embarrassing moment. Dr Oz revealed that he had been tricked as well into relying on a vitamin drink to stay healthy. But he started to notice that he wasn’t sleeping very well. As he dug deeper, he learned that he had actually been using an energy drink.
Do Energy Drinks Work?
Dr Keri Peterson is a Women’s Health Magazine contributor, and she told Dr Oz that these drinks are effective, but they come at a price. The FDA doesn’t regulate the industry because most drinks contain ingredients that are classified as herbal supplements.
There are three common types of energy drinks on store shelves:
- Cans – These are ready to go, but often contain multiple servings, so you have to check the nutrition label.
- Shots – Most people drink these in a single gulp, to get the effects faster.
- Powders – These can be added to a water bottle and sipped all day long.
Dr Oz: Truth About Energy Drinks
Energy drinks do contain caffeine, often between 80 and 300 mgs per serving, with multiple servings in a single can. Herbal ingredients could add even more to the caffeine content.
Dr Oz invited an audience member to rank common products in the order of lowest to highest caffeine content. Do you want to play along? Here were the ingredients, in alphabetical order.
- Energy Drink
Energy Drinks Vs Coffee Caffeine Content
Here are the actual caffeine content amounts of these popular products, in order from lowest to highest.
- Dark Chocolate – 20 mg Caffeine
- Soda – 30 mg
- Tea – 50 mg
- Espresso – 100 mg
- Coffee – 135 mg
- Energy Drink – 300 mg
Dr Peterson said that feeling jittery or jumpy is a common side effect of excess caffeine intake. This could also cause a spike in your blood pressure of up to 14 points.
Dr Oz Energy Drinks: Vitamin B3 & Vitamin B6
Another key ingredient of Energy Drinks is vitamins, which you don’t always need, unless you’re deficient in certain vitamins. Most people get enough B Vitamins in their diets anyway. However, there aren’t really toxic side effects from getting too much Vitamin B. In the case of Vitamin B6, you could experience a tingling sensation or nerve damage. Also, not much research has been done about how high levels of B Vitamins interact with other medications.
Dr Oz Energy Drinks: Guarana Seed & Ginseng
On yet another scientific front, Dr Peterson pointed out that studies haven’t looked at the potency of natural stimulants when they are combined with caffeine. There are two popular natural stimulants often found in your energy drinks: Guarana Seed and Ginseng.
- Guarana Seed – One seed has about twice the power of caffeine. You can check the drink label for info.
- Ginseng – This is supposed to boost your brain power, but it is only effect in doses higher than 200 mg. Most energy drinks don’t contain that high a level, and this can also interact with blood thinner medications.
Dr Oz: Energy Drink Sugar Content
There is often a ton of added sugar in energy drinks. They can have up to 14 teaspoons of sugar, which is more than twice the recommended daily limit of 6 teaspoons. That leads to spikes in your Blood Glucose levels and an eventual crash. Also, that sugar means extra calories; choosing beverages with artificial sweeteners means you may be subject to more cravings.
Dr Oz said sweetener ingredients produce a high in the body that’s not sustainable for long periods. He advised that you shouldn’t routinely rely on energy drinks, saving them for emergencies or occasional use. (I guess that’s why they’re so popular on campuses during finals week!)