The Energizer Bunny keeps going and going — and many of you who don't run on batteries seem to think that powering up with a super-stoked energy drink will give you that kind of get-up-and-go. But these beverages may end up flipping your turn-off switch instead.
The Food and Drug Administration has five unconfirmed reports of death from the drinks, likely from irregular heartbeats. That's because the caffeine in energy drinks can add up to five times what's in a cup of coffee. One cup may have 95 to 200 milligrams of caffeine, while a single energy drink packs 240 to 500 mg — way too much! Children under 12 should have less than 45 to 85 mg of caffeine per day, and adults should consider staying below 250 mg per four-hour period.
There are more potential problems with the brews: Many have added B vitamins. Take these on top of a daily multivitamin, and you may increase your risk for cancer. Some drinks also have amino acids, such as lecithin, which studies show can increase liver inflammation. So, lose the brew, keep the multi — it's your insurance policy against an imperfect diet!
Our advice for increasing your zip: Adults, enjoy two to four cups of filtered, home-brewed coffee, black or green tea, or caffeinated water a day. That'll give you caffeine's benefits: lower blood pressure; 20 percent less risk for Alzheimer's disease; 30 percent less risk for diabetes, and 40 percent less risk for Parkinson's disease. Kids, get your energy boost from lots of activities that engage both mind and body! (Moms and dads, that'll help you, too!)
© 2012 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.
Posts by Dr. Mehmet Oz, M.D. and Dr. Mike Roizen, M.D.