There's no doubt your schedule is overloaded. Between regular schoolwork, exams,
jobs, sports and a busy social life, it's no wonder you’re tired.
That's why an increasing number of teens are turning to coffee and energy drinks
to stay focused and awake.
At what price, though?
Why did France, Denmark, Norway and Argentina place a ban on a drink we consume
in America regularly? What's the truth and what's the hype? Although that ban has
since been lifted, you might want to do some thinking before you go chugging an
energy drink or ordering your next large coffee. Read on for some popular myths.
Myth: “Energy drinks are packed with natural ingredients like herbs.”
Truth: The amount of herbs in most energy drinks is so small it
doesn't have an impact.
Myth: “Coffee has been shown to be good for health.”
Truth: This is true for plain coffee. Various tests have been conducted
and results have showed plain coffee as having health benefits. This doesn’t include
different coffee flavored drinks or coffee with added syrups, milk or cream.
Myth: “The ingredients listed on the can include amino acids, tropical plant seeds
and B vitamins. All those are good for you.”
Truth: This is partially true. Typical energy drinks do include,
guarana (tropical plant seeds), taurine (amino acids), ginseng (plant extracts)
and B vitamins but the amount in each energy drink isn’t enough to have a significant
effect on your body. The main ingredients in high-energy drinks are caffeine or
Myth: "What harm can energy drinks or flavored coffees really do?"
Truth: There are many current risks. Doctors are afraid the sugary
beverages, consumed regularly, contribute to obesity, sleep disorders, tooth decay,
hyperactivity, restlessness, headaches, anxiety, mood disorders, higher blood pressure
and possibly ADHD.
Myth: “When my schedule slows down, I'll cut down on my consumption.”
Truth: Although that morning “cup of joe” from your favorite coffee
shop could be comforting, it could also develop into a real addiction. It may be
difficult to cut down your consumption. Studies have shown that teens are vulnerable
to caffeine withdrawal, which causes a person to feel angry and have a problem thinking
Myth: “High-energy drinks are the same as sports drinks.”
Truth: Sports drinks replace the electrolytes lost in sweat, help
hold water in the bloodstream, and help speed rehydration. Caffeine is a diuretic
that actually dehydrates you. They are NOT the same.
Myth: “The energy burst lasts for as long as you need it.”
Truth: Energy boosts from caffeine are short-lived. It might last
for 45 minutes, but then you come down hard and feel worse than before. Some kids
end up drinking more just to prevent that sluggish feeling, leading scientists to
worry about dependency and withdrawal symptoms.
Myth: “Energy drinks are just enhanced soda.”
Truth: High-energy drinks have as many as five teaspoons of sugar
and three times as much caffeine as soda.
Myth: “Adults drink coffee every day, so what's the big deal if I do?”
Truth: It's important to remember that the adolescent brain is still
growing. It is wiring itself up until around age 21. So the choices you make in
your youth could affect how your brain develops.
If you’re looking for ways to up your energy without resorting to coffee and energy
drinks with caffeine, try eating some nuts, eating an apple, gulping some cold water
or taking a power nap. Odds are the reason you’re tired is because you’re not getting
enough sleep in the first place, so put down the phone, power down the computer
and get to bed!