It seems like these days you can get a big boost of energy with just a drop of the hat or pop of a bottle. Between having a Starbucks on every other corner and energy drinks being push by anyone from rappers to over-the-hill comedians there is never a reason to not have energy to do something important, right?
But if your wagon is dragging what truly is the best option to energize your body without sacrificing your diet? Do you just suck down the sugar enhanced can of pop-princess endorsed mystery water?
Energy Boosters – The Good
Green Tea – This is the top choice for adding more pep to your step. A serving of green tea has about 20 to 60 or so mgs of caffeine depending on brand. It also includes L-theanine which is an amino acid that helps with concentration and calming a person down.
Coffee – A strong cup of Joe can have anywhere from 100 to 150 mgs of caffeine depending on brand. Ideally you should aim for just black coffee and avoid adding a bunch of artificial sugars and sweeteners. If you must add something try some skim milk and raw sugar to avoid the sugar spike as much as possible.
Energy Boosters – The Bad
Soda – Soda varies but has around 35 to 40 mgs of caffeine that also has a ton of empty sugar calories. There is really no purpose to having soda and it has no value to anyone’s diet.
Energy Drinks – The names like Rockstar, Cocaine, Red Bull, and the like try and make them sound cool. Usually they have a whopping 220 to 280 mgs of caffeine. Of course they are loaded with sugar as well. On top of that the cap on caffeine for an average human is about 250 to 300 mgs in a day. One extra-large energy drink blows past that into an unknown zone.
Too Much Energy?
The problem with excess caffeine is that it can have some pretty rough side effects. Becoming jittery or nervous are just the tip of the iceberg with heart issues, stomach upset, leg weakness, and leg pains topping the list. Issues with sleep and blood pressure can also occur. On top of all that these energy type drinks are awful before a workout because it can cause overstimulation to both the heart and nervous system which is a really bad idea before you stress those two areas in the gym.
The Best Bet
First and foremost drink lots of water. Dehydration can lead to tiredness. After that, consume a known booster like straight coffee or green tea. The caffeine dose is more manageable and more studies have been done to support the safety of both these drinks. Plus you are in a better position to regulate the sugar intake which is important when you are watching your waistline.