Energy drinks, no matter the brand, all market in at least one commonality: they all say they give you more energy. Recent studies have shown that a caffeine and sugar rush is no substitute for a good night’s sleep. In fact, energy drinks themselves have been shown to cause sleep problems, meaning that, in the end, drinking them may result in the opposite of what you want: a net energy loss.
While you may find small amounts of lots of exotic ingredients listed on the back of the can, the primary “energy” substances are simply sugar and caffeine in large doses. Some energy drinks can have as much 3 times the amount of caffeine as your average cup of coffee. Any kind of rush you get is primarily sugar and caffeine, which means your body isn’t getting more energy, it just feels like you aren’t as tired. All that sugar isn’t good for you either, especially your Insulin Efficiency.
It may seem like one late night, or maybe just a few late nights, is not going to do any more damage to you than making you extra tired later. However, numerous studies have found that energy drinks are linked to increase rates of insomnia and decreased rates of quality sleep. When you miss out on sleep or if you are unable to sleep well, your body is not going to be able to recover from your previous activities. You’re less alert and less energetic; sleep deprivation can have bigger effects on your performance than you might think.
Olumia Life isn’t alone in our stance on limiting energy drinks. The U.S. military and the Center for Disease Control found links between energy drink consumption and sleep disorders in soldiers fighting in Afghanistan as early as 2010. The study went so far as to recommend that the military advise soldiers about “the potential adverse effects of excessive energy drink consumption on sleep and mission performance. [They] should be encouraged to moderate their energy drink consumption in combat environments.”
While that study looked at excessive consumption of energy drinks among soldiers, another, published in the British Journal of Nutrition, spent over 4 years examining the effects of consuming energy drinks before sporting events on male and female athletes. Using athletes from a variety of different sports, researchers provided them with either a placebo drink or one containing about 3 doses of energy drink in it.
Athletes rated better performances when taking energy drinks than otherwise. Researchers chalk this up solely to the surge in caffeine in their bodies creating a sudden feeling of more energy. Unfortunately, the effects did not last. In fact, after the competitions, many problems began to set in.
According to researcher Juan Del Coso, “The energy drinks increased the frequency of insomnia, nervousness and the level of stimulation in the hours following the competition.”
Nervousness, i.e., stress, as well as overstimulation can both individually cause sleep disruptions. Coupled with an increased risk of insomnia and decreased energy later, energy drinks are not sounding like all they’re advertised to be.
When it comes to your everyday routine, a little boost here and there may be enough to help you power through. But relying on something like an energy drink on a regular basis will result in sleep problems that only exacerbate the situation. In the Olumia Life system, it’s important to take the little steps that add up to great success. Laying off of energy drinks in favor of healthier fare will not only help you out in the long run, you’ll feel better each morning.
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