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Energy Drinks: Do They Actually Work?

Although marketed as a quick and delicious way to get your amp on, the average energy drink gives you less of a kick than a cup of black coffee.

The relative ineffectiveness of energy drinks containing taurine and guarana has been known for years. But crafty drink makers have found increasingly creative ways to quench the public’s seemingly-endless thirst for energy. Don’t be fooled by their claims.

Free Energy Drink Lawsuit Evaluation: If you or a loved one has been injured by an energy drink, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing a suit against the manufacturer and our lawyers can help.

What’s the problem?

American culture is currently suffering from an energy crisis of a different kind: We’re consuming energy drinks at staggering rates, yet we’re lazier and more lethargic than ever. According to a new Mintel survey, sales of energy drink products have more than doubled over the past five years, with 35% of men ages 18 to 24 drinking them on a regular basis.

“Guys create an up-and-down trap with energy drinks and with whatever they take at night to help slow down,” says Matthew Edlund, M.D., author of The Power of Rest. “They never feel completely rested.”

Even worse, people caught up in this cycle may find themselves in the ER. The Center for Behavioral Health Statistics and Quality reports that energy drink-related hospitalizations have become 10 times more common since 2005, the overwhelming majority of such patients being otherwise healthy young men.

“We don’t use our bodies the way they’re built to be used,” says Cecile Marczinski, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychology at Northern Kentucky University. “We guzzle energy drinks and then can’t sleep at night. We sit all day and then read e-mails at 3 a.m.”

It’s no wonder, then, why so many Americans walk around like zombies, slaves to potentially-harmful stimulants we use like life support. As sales of energy drinks skyrocket along side heart rates, it seems like a good time to reevaluate our behaviors and find healthier ways to stay awake.

Decaf Energy Drinks

Over the years, a number of drink makers have become increasingly clever in their sales pitch – they take out an ingredient receiving negative publicity, and then market the product as a ‘healthier’ alternative to the original. First it was sugar, and now it’s caffeine. Popular energy drinks such as Hydrive and 5-Hour Energy now have decaf options. It’s a lucrative niche – nearly 40% of men who purchase energy drinks on a regular basis seek out caffeine-free alternatives.

Instead of caffeine, many of these products use B vitamins as their primary energy source. The decaffeinated version of 5-Hour Energy contains several thousand times your daily recommended B12 and B6, in addition to 100% of your folic acid requirements. But the fact of the matter is that you won’t get a jolt from the extra B vitamins, since the energy provided isn’t a stimulant like caffeine. They simply help extract fuel from the user’s food, which does not provide any noticeable increase in energy. Additionally, if you eat fortified foods or take a daily multivitamin, energy drinks could take you far past your folic acid allowance, which has the potential to increase your risk for cancer.

Energy Shots

The energy trend is moving away from grande lattes and super-sized cans toward shrinking micro drinks. Last year, Americans spent nearly $1.5 billion on energy shots – more than 17 times the $73 billion they spent in 2006. So what’s the allure of a downsized energy drink? The false promise of hours of energy with just a few sips. The problem is that these shots pack all the punch of their full-size counterparts in just a couple of ounces, and many consumers find themselves drinking more than one at a time to keep themselves satiated.

But there’s a more effective – and more traditional – way to get energized before a night on the town. “Drink a lukewarm cup of coffee really quickly, and then close your eyes for 15 to 20 minutes,” says Michael Breus, Ph.D., a sleep specialist in Virginia Beach. “You’ll get enough rest to decrease your sleep drive. Then after you start moving again, the caffeine will kick in to keep you awake.”

Don’t want the caffeine? Just grab a protien-rich snack like a handful of almonds or peanuts before you go. Protein aids in insulin production, and insulin has a tangible energizing effect.

Do I Have an Energy Drink Lawsuit?

The Product Liability & Defective Drug Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus on the representation of plaintiffs in Energy Drink Lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new injury and death cases in all 50 states.

Free Energy Drink Lawsuit Evaluation: Again, if you or a loved one has been injured by an energy drink, you should contact our law firm immediately. You may be entitled to compensation by filing an Energy Drink Suit and our lawyers can help.

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