Do Energy Drinks help aid in Weight Loss or help Enhance Athletic Performance?

Do Energy Drinks help aid in Weight Loss or help Enhance Athletic Performance?

credit: Linda Bartlett (photographer) National Cancer Institute - PD

(Best Syndication News) - A study investigated if energy drinks actually improved weight loss or increase athletic performance and found that not all claims were justified. The researchers were from Nova Southeastern University in Florida will have their study report printed in the most recent issue of The Physician and Sportsmedicine journal.

What they found is that most energy drinks had similar ingredients of caffeine along with other ingredients such as taurine, sucrose, guarana, ginseng, niacin, pyridoxine and cyanocobalamin. The researchers believe that most of the performance enhancement comes from the caffeine content of the drink. Caffeine has been shown in other studies to improve aerobic performance, but is inconsistent with anaerobic performance.

The researchers found that there is some research data that shows the combination of an energy drink consumed at the time of exercise might improve body fat reduction. This energy burning could decrease as a person becomes accustomed to the caffeine in the drink, which would mean less weight loss overtime.

Another negative for the energy drinks for weight loss is that many of the drinks are full of sugar or high fructose corn syrup. Extra calories in the energy drinks could be actually making people become obese warns the researchers.

Some sports have included limits on the amount of caffeine that they can have while participating in that sport. The National Collegiate Athletic Association consider a person violating the organization's doping policy if the athlete's urine contains more than 5 µg/mL; the equivalent of eight cups of coffee.

The energy drinks can contain huge amounts of caffeine, with some having as much as 505 mg of caffeine in one individual container. That is like drinking five cups of coffee. The researchers warn that caffeine in excess can cause insomnia, nervousness, arrhythmias, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease, pregnancy and childbirth complication, gastrointestinal upset and even death.

The researchers suggest if a person wanted a performance boost to keep the caffeine intake to under 6 mg/kg to see the best benefits without having the risks mentioned above.

By: N Wilson

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