As a nutritionist, I am often observing what others eat and drink at different times of the day, and this next blog is inspired by something that I have recently been observing all too often.
Many people are aware of the negative effects of sugary and fizzy drinks on our health and yet people still consume these drinks by the gallon. However, one of the worst offenders (in my opinion) is energy drinks.
Energy drinks are often advertised and promoted as something to help with sporting performance and even more so as a ‘quick fix’ when in need of an energy boost.
People often refer to energy drinks being ‘essential’ on long journeys or when working night shifts, but something I have been observing more and more recently, is people drinking them first thing in the morning.
I assume the aim of this is a burst of energy to wake them up and get them ready for the day ahead (er, what happened to breakfast?).
However, food gives us energy and we do not, and have never needed to get our energy from drinks. Liquid calories have a huge part to play in some of the world’s biggest killers – obesity, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
Let’s take Monster Energy* for an example:
- A typical can of this is 500mls and contains 55g of sugar.
- That equates to around 14 teaspoons – imagine adding that to your tea in the morning!
- The MAXIMUM amount of added sugars we should have is 12 teaspoons/day.
- Recently the World Health Organisation has recommended we should be having no more that 6 teaspoons of added sugar/day.
That means just one can of this energy drink is more than double the amount of sugar we should be aiming for in one day. And, of course, this doesn’t include any other forms of sugar you might consume from fizzy drinks, sweets or cakes or even those added to sauces, cereals and bread.
– Use food to fuel you and get good breakfast in – try these breakfast ideas
– Take snacks on long journeys to keep your energy levels up – try these snack swaps
– Retrain your taste buds by doing some/all of the following:
a.) Gradually reduce how much fizzy drink you consume, a little less each week.
b.) Swap fizzy drinks for water or start with lower sugar options
c.) Set yourself a goal to have no more than X amount a week and gradually reduce X.
d.) Keep hydrated by drinking 6-8 glasses or fluid per day, opting for water, water infused with fruits, diluted juice, tea and coffee.
Other articles on sugary drinks:
* data taken from: http://www.mysupermarket.co.uk/asda-compare-prices/Sports_And_Energy_Drinks/Monster_Energy_Drink_500ml.html on 19/8/14