Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Myth: Energy drinks are a good way to get the energy I need during the holidays.

energy drink
Answer: BUSTED!

Tempted to reach for an energy drink to get that energy rush you need when you are running around during the holidays? There ARE other ways to feel more energetic — see the list below. These options are healthier than energy drinks and some are cheaper, too.

  • Eat as soon as you can after rising in the morning. Your body needs fuel when you wake up. We call this ‘breaking the fast.’ 
  • During the day, consume small portions of healthy snacks that contain protein for staying power and the energy you need. Some examples? Nuts, yogurt with fruit, or carrots with hummus. 
  • Get moving! Being active brings your energy level up. Exercise is a natural stimulant and it makes you feel energized. 
  • Take a break if sitting for long periods. A 10 minute ‘get up and move’ break every hour gives you the energy your body – and mind – need. 
  • Get enough sleep! You’ll wake feeling refreshed and full of energy.

Why avoid energy drinks? They contain caffeine and other ingredients that have caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant that may cause side effects like headaches, anxiety and a raised heart rate. Caffeine may negatively interact with some medications such as decongestants and antidepressants. And the sugar in many energy drinks makes them as full of calories as soda. Healthier and cheaper drink choices are 100% fruit juices, low-fat milk and water.

For more information, see Be wary of energy drinks.

Contributor: Ellen Schuster, M.S., R.D., Associate State Specialist, University of Missouri Extension,, 573-882-1933

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