The times I have reached out for an energy drink is to either quench my thirst or boost energy when I am weak or after a hard workout. But when I came across the statement “energy drinks for weight loss”, I was surprised and persuaded to find out how taking energy drinks can bring about weight loss.
In this article, we are going to learn the truth about energy drinks for weight loss, their composition, the effect on metabolism, and other alternative energy sources that you can take advantage of. Let us begin by learning what energy drinks are.
What are the energy drinks?
These are drinks or beverages that food companies promote as products capable of enhancing mental alertness and physical performances. All Ads for energy drinks that run on the internet promise to give you a mental and physical boost as well as revitalizing your get-up-and-go.
According to the National Institute of health, Energy drinks are the most commonly used dietary supplements by American teens and young adults, next to multivitamins. On average, males between 18 and 34 years use the most energy drinks. As if that is not enough, one-third of teens between 12 and 17 years use energy drinks regularly.
What are the constituents of these energy drinks?
Research shows that most so-called energy drinks contain high levels of stimulant ingredients. These are mostly caffeine and sugar. Furthermore, it is difficult to tell the amount of caffeine or sugar contained in a specific energy drink. Other supplements include; B vitamins, carnitine, taurine, ginseng, Yohimbe, glucuronolactone, and bitter orange.
For example, in a consumer report magazine of December 2012, 27 top-selling energy drinks and shots were tested for caffeine and they found out that; caffeine levels per serving ranged from about 6 milligrams to 242 milligrams per serving and some containers have more than one serving.
Five of the 16 products that list a specific amount of caffeine had more than 20 percent above their labeled amount on average in the samples that were tested. And 11 out of the 27 drinks never specified the amount of caffeine.
Do energy drinks for weight loss work?
Weight loss or weight gain is a matter of calories in vs calories out. You will gain weight if you consume more calories than what you burn, and the reverse is true. But can we achieve weight loss by replacing meals with energy drinks?
Energy drinks for weight loss may temporarily boost your energy but have little effect on your metabolism. Skipping a meal in favor of an energy drink may not help weight loss. Energy drinks are devoid of nutrition and high in empty calories and added sugar.
You may unknowingly go over the recommended daily intake of both calories and sugar if you take 2 or more energy drinks a day. Energy drinks have 200 calories on average per can which is mostly from sugar.
The Centre for disease control and prevention reports that Sugar-sweetened beverages are strongly associated with being overweight and obese. And also insist that they are the worst things for your waistline.
Learn more health risks of added sugar here.
Caffeine in the energy drinks marginally boosts metabolism and if we increase the intake by doubling or tripling, we pose serious consequences for our health according to research. Published in the national journal of health science.
In a nutshell, whatever benefits energy drinks have, they are enormously outweighed by the potential side effects. According to the National Institute of Health, Large amounts of caffeine may cause serious heart and blood vessel problems such as heart rhythm disturbances and increases in heart rate and blood pressure.
Excess consumption of caffeine is also linked to anxiety, sleep problems, digestive issues, and dehydration.
What about un-sweetened energy drinks?
While most energy drinks are unhealthy and contain high amounts of sugar and caffeine, there are a few healthy energy drinks out there with natural fruit flavors or tea-based beverages with B vitamins and brain-boosting adaptogens for example L-theanine.
They’re also canned without added sugar and zero artificial sweeteners, flavors, and colors. Others are dominated by cold-pressed vegetable and fruit juices for color and extra nutrients. But how can we tell that the energy drink you are about to sip can give you the boost that you need?
How to pick the best energy drink
Below are some of the guidelines to help you pick the best energy drink on the market.
look for one that has zero or less than 10 grams per 8-ounce serving.
Get energy drinks that contain B vitamins. These are essential for converting food into energy. They are needed by the body to break down and use the energy found in the foods we eat.
Pick on energy drinks that have sufficient levels of antioxidants, minerals, and adaptogens. These help to reduce muscle soreness, improve cognitive function, and promote calm.
The caffeine content in your energy drink should not exceed 400 milligrams according to Mayo Clinic. As we have seen from different studies that high consumption of caffeine comes with a lot of side effects.
Examples of energy drinks for weight loss that may be low in sugar, caffeine, and calories
Our top 6 energy drinks that we can recommend include;
CELSIUS Berry On-the-Go Powder Stick Packs
On-the-Go Pre-Workout Powder Packets
Your Ultimate Fitness Partner
Healthy Energy, 200 mg Caffeine
Energy to Live Fit
Zero Sugars, Zero Preservatives
No Artificial Flavors or Colors
Zipfizz Healthy Energy Drink Mix
Vitamin Enhanced Energy/Sport Mix
Loaded with Vitamins, Antioxidants, and Electrolytes
Low Carb and ZERO Sugar with 4-6 hours of Energy
Great for Traveling & On-The-Go
Gluten-Free. Contains 100 mg of caffeine from natural sources. Limit 3 tubes per day
Hydroxycut Non-Stimulant Weight Loss Mixed Fruit Gummies
Hydroxycut has scientifically researched key weight loss ingredient to produce significant weight loss results
B Vitamins metabolize carbs, proteins, and fats
Vitamin D has been added to support general good health along with a complex of B vitamins
Apple Cider Vinegar: This high quality, the popular ingredient is delivered in a convenient, easy to swallow capsule format for those who don’t enjoy the tart taste of Vinegar
This formula is 99 percent caffeine-free for when you want a Non-stimulant formula
Bhip I -Blue Natural Energy Drink
Enhances muscle growth and maintenance of lean muscle mass
Increases fat burning for a leaner body composition
Enhances strength endurance and decrease fatigue
Delays fatigue and tiredness and Improves cognition
Decreases muscle soreness
Six Star Explosion Pre Workout
Six Star Pre Workout Explosion is from the makers of MuscleTech, so you know it’s a premium formula you can trust
Subjects using the exact form of creatine in the formula increased their strength capacity on the bench press by 18.6% compared to baseline (6,658 vs. 5,613 joules) in just 10 days
Elevates mental performance & workout intensity – With a scientifically researched dose of caffeine
The fuel you want before your workout for extreme energy, focus, and intensity
What are the side effects of using energy drinks?
The side effects of using energy drinks include;
The common concern around energy drinks is that of containing high amounts of caffeine. 16 ounces of energy drink may have about 200 grams of caffeine or higher. High amounts of caffeine come with high blood pressure, palpitations, convulsions, and more.
Bodyweight is all about calories in vs calories out. Most energy drinks contain a lot of calories and sugar. For example, a 16-ounce energy drink may have about 220 calories. If you happen to drink more calories than what your body can burn, weight gain is inevitable.
Energy drinks come with sugar. This invites bacteria that may affect your dental health. Chemicals produced by bacteria may wear down the tooth enamel exposing your cavities.
Drinking energy drinks exclusively without any fluids may lead to dehydration. Also, caffeine may prevent the kidney from retaining the fluids, thereby dehydrating your body.
If you have been using energy drinks regularly, anxiety may occur if you abruptly discontinue. This is common with energy drinks containing caffeine.
Are there natural sources of energy apart from using energy drinks for weight loss?
Yes, there are several natural ways you can enrich your body with energy these include;
Having plenty of sleep
Regular body exercise
Eat nutrient-dense natural foods like fruits and nuts.
Don’t skip breakfast. Always the first meal in the day means a lot as far as energy is concerned.
Incorporate some lean protein in your diet
Don’t overwork, always take a break between tasks. Instead of sitting on the computer for long, stand and stretch a bit to allow blood flow.
No matter how good energy drinks sound or appear to be, they are potential enemies to your body. Many come with ingredients full of chemicals, sugar, and an overload of caffeine. This means that you end up getting more calories than you want, leading to weight gain instead.
In addition to adding more calories to your intake, they may cause energy spikes and crashes impacting your health negatively.
Last but not least, the best way to a healthy weight is creating a calorie deficit i.e. burning more calories than you consume. We have a detailed guide about exercises for weight loss. Read about it here and know what exercise regimens you can easily incorporate in your daily routine for a healthy weight.