It's Time to Settle the Score.
Do you have an immediate hunch about energy drinks? At first glance, would you assume they're good for you, bad for you, or you're on the fence? Turns out, if you're drawing a blank, you're not the only one.
It's no secret that energy drinks have a bit of a dodgy reputation these days. And dare we say it, we can understand why. From competitors pumping their cans full of nasty chemicals, to recklessly releasing an alcoholic energy drink (we won’t drop any names) - the energy drink industry has a bit of a rocky history.
It’s been decades since the inception of the energy drink as we know it, however, and with great time comes great wisdom. Sure, you’ll find energy companies out there still guilty of shady practices and inferior products, thanks in part to the fact that energy products remain unfettered by the FDA.
Fortunately, we've balanced the market with the healthy energy drinks we make here at VISO. We've made it our mission to provide a superior product using only naturally sourced ingredients to bring you the cleanest, purest, and healthiest energy boost.
As such, we've come to set the record straight today and answer the question on the tip of everyone’s tongue… Can energy drinks actually be good for you?
Included in This Guide
Are Energy Drinks Good for You?
With tons of conflicting information, non-exhaustive research and inconclusive reporting on the subject, a simple question like this can suddenly become complicated. If you're looking for a cut and dry verdict on whether energy drinks are great for your health, we've gotta level with you: It really depends on a bunch of factors, which we'll get to below.
Before we dive in, let's settle the playing field with some facts:
Energy drinks absolutely have the potential to offer both short-term and long-term positive effects; depending on the specific product, as well as consumption habits and the health status of the consumer.
That being said, not all energy drinks are created equal. Depending on the brand, you could be sipping on pure, clean, naturally-sourced ingredients (like the goodness you'll find in every VISO Energy drink!). Opting for a less healthy brand, however, you could be faced with a variety of toxic, unnatural, unethical ingredients. Basically, the health and safety of energy drinks differs between products.
In this guide, we'll investigate just what makes an energy drink good or bad for you, as well as what determining factors exist in the product, and for us as consumers.
Ready to find out what goes into this verdict? Let's get started with some groundwork, and cover some common ingredients that can make an impact:
What Are Most Energy Drinks Made Of?
First and foremost, let’s dive into the nitty gritty of the matter: What is actually in energy drinks? If you were under the impression that energy drinks are just a fancy marketing tactic for glorified soda, you’re gravely mistaken...
Energy Drink Ingredients
While the full list of ingredients in energy drinks vary greatly between energy drink manufacturers, there are a few common fundamental components that you’ll find in most energy drinks: A source of caffeine, a sweetener, and various B-vitamins and amino acids. Let's do a quick run-through of the most common building block energy drink ingredients:
This one is the real MVP - the main ingredient that distinguishes the energy drink industry from the rest of the beverage industry. Of course, we’re talking about caffeine. It’s the most commonly consumed stimulant worldwide, and is quite literally what gives the beverages their name - it’s the main source of energy in energy drinks. It can be derived from natural sources like coffee, tea, cola, cocoa, guarana, and yerba mate, or it can be made synthetically.
THE KICKER: Energy drinks typically contain a caffeine content of anywhere from 100 to 300 mg of caffeine, whereas the amount of caffeine in an average cup of coffee ranks in at about 60 - 80 mg of caffeine. Because energy drinks contain higher levels, it’s important to watch how much caffeine you’re taking in when consuming energy drinks or you run the risk of ingesting too much caffeine.
With a menagerie of flavors ranging anywhere from java coffee to blueberry and watermelon, it should come as no surprise that energy drinks are often loaded with sweeteners. Sugar sweetened beverages can contain up to 55 g of sugar, which is deemed overkill compared to the daily recommended intake of 24 to 36 g for most individuals.
Meanwhile, No Sugar versions of energy drinks utilize artificial sweeteners like aspartame, sucralose, and ace-K to mask the bitterness of the active ingredients and achieve the desired taste while retaining their "zero calories" labeling.
THE KICKER: While both sweeteners offer their pros and cons, an important factor to consider when consuming energy drinks is the amounts in relation to the daily recommended intake. It’s particularly crucial to take into account the sugar content, especially for those with preexisting conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes. As for the artificial stuff, anecdotal evidence has found correlations with health problems ranging from weight gain to cancer, but more research is needed.
Play it safe with VISO Energy: We don't use any unhealthy sweeteners in our energy drinks, just a dash of natural, low-glycemic index honey. This keeps our drinks naturally within the healthy range of recommended daily sugar intake.
Eat your veggies and… drink your vitamins? Sure, why not! Something else you’ll find in the ingredients list of many energy drinks is a slew of vitamins, either in their abbreviated numerated form or their alternative name (for example, B2 is the same as riboflavin, B3 is niacin, etc.). These are among the distinguishing factors of energy drinks as opposed to other caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea.
THE KICKER: While those who maintain a balanced diet are likely to get their fill of vitamins naturally occurring in foods through their meals, an extra boost of these types of vitamins helps convert food into energy. Additionally, those with restrictive diets and a busy lifestyle are prone to overlook these necessary vitamins, so supplementing your routine is not a bad idea.
Names like taurine and l-theanine might sound like weapons grade heavy metals, but turns out they’re much more digestible. Each of these amino acids commonly found in energy drinks have their own purposes and benefits.
Let’s start by going over taurine and l-carnitine, the former which you might have heard once or twice thanks to one of the leading energy drink companies popularizing this trendy buzzword. Both are catered to the athletic community for their claims of boosting athletic performance and metabolism - although, research and reception is mixed.
THE KICKER: L-theanine, on the other hand, is hailed for its ability to calm the brain, relieve stress, and enhance concentration. Sourced from green tea, it’s the secret sauce in VISO Energy to counteract the jitters and negative effects of most caffeine and stimulant ingredients. With VISO, you get all the boost with none of the crash!
What Are the Benefits of Energy Drinks?
Now that we’ve covered the nuts and bolts that make up the bulk of what energy drinks consist of, let’s get to the good stuff - what energy drinks can do for you.
Helps Increase Energy and Brain Function
If you’ve ever imbibed in coffee, energy drinks, or other caffeinated beverages, you might be acquainted with the short-term health benefits like its ability to increase energy, enhance mental alertness and brain function, and even boost physical performance.
To build upon the case, however, the evidence for caffeine as part of a healthy living lifestyle is undeniable, with studies finding long-term health benefits as well for its protective properties against neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's or Alzheimer's disease.
Supplements Necessary Vitamins and Antioxidants
The idea of supporting your regular diet with dietary supplements in pill or powder form is no new concept, but in beverage form working symbiotically with the beloved stimulant caffeine for a sum greater than its parts in a miracle concoction to be your best and healthiest self? Now that’s progress. Any energy drinks worth their salt will pack their product with all the good stuff - including vitamins and antioxidants to keep you sharp.
Offers Variety and Convenience
To those of you that just can’t get past the bitter taste of coffee nor the pungency of green tea, we don’t blame you. Nothing can top a refreshing cold or sparkling beverage for hot summer days on the grind. Or perhaps you’re the type who's always on the go and don’t have time to brew yourself a pot of coffee.
Whatever your case may be, energy drinks offer more versatility and options for every taste and lifestyle.
For the ultimate energy boost on the go, toss a VISO Dynamo in your bag for a mid-morning pick me up. Unlike other energy drinks on the market that come in a can (which means you have to pound them in one go), VISO comes with a convenient screw-top lid, so you sip as needed and save the rest for later when you need a pick-me-up! Try it below:
How to Safely Drink Energy Drinks
So, you’re now feeling confident in the health benefits of the higher-quality energy drinks, and are rarin’ to give them a shot?
We love to hear it! But first, let’s give you the tools and information you need to ensure your energy drink consumption is safe and healthy so you can make the most of their glorious powers...
Rule Out Possible Risks
First and foremost, if you have any current or a history of health conditions, particularly those relating to heart disease, seek medical expertise to determine if it’s safe for you to consume energy drinks. Energy drink use can cause health concerns in some individuals like increased heart rates and blood pressure, and warrants thinking twice before gulping it down.
Watch Your Caffeine Intake
The daily recommended maximum caffeine content guidelines for healthy adults is 400 mg, but is subject to the individual for reasons varying from health to lifestyle. Whether you’re a caffeine veteran or just beginning your journey, it’s crucial to be mindful of how much caffeine you’re getting and its health effects. If you happen to have a habit of downing multiple energy drinks, it can be easy to edge over the threshold.
Always take it low and slow when trying a new energy product, even if the label lists the same amount of caffeine (or less than) you’re used to.
Due to various ingredients having different interactions with each other, your body could have a different reaction to new substances.
Depending on the caffeine content, it's a good general rule to just stick to one energy drink per day to avoid any potential health risks or adverse effects of excess caffeine.
Don’t Mix Energy Drinks with Alcohol
With a large percentage of energy drink consumers proving to be young adults, the phenomenon of mixing alcohol with energy drinks has gained popularity among nightclubs and campuses across the country in recent years, but is one that has proven to reap serious consequences.
When people (particularly those prone to binge drinking) such as young adults and college students - consume alcohol mixed with caffeinated beverages, the chances of alcohol related injuries, drunk driving, and emergency room visits are drastically heightened.
In short, steer clear of this recipe for disaster and leave the booze out of your energy shots.
Do Your Research
Finally, do your due diligence. You owe it to your health to know what you’re putting in your body and how it’s affecting you. As a bare minimum, never skip reading the label. Do some research, get to know which ingredients are harmless, which should be watched out for, and which are absolute deal-breakers.
Unfortunately, many popular energy drink products contain nasties like artificial flavors and colors, preservatives, and caffeine from synthetic or unregulated sources using toxic processes.
Thankfully, transparent and health-conscious companies like us here at VISO Energy offer healthy alternatives to these shady products. Only consume energy drinks that naturally source their caffeine from coffee, green tea, etc.
With all of this information in consideration, let’s circle back to the question burning in everyone’s mind: Are energy drinks beneficial to your health?
Yes, safe energy drink use has been shown to increase alertness and improve brain function in the short and long term in healthy adults - as long as all of the ingredients in the beverage are safe and healthy to consume.
So, how do you know a good energy drink when you see one? The answer to that one is simple: Take out all the guesswork with a bottle of VISO Energy!
When you grab yourself a VISO, we guarantee you'll always feel confident that you've got a pure, clean, energy machine in your hand. (You'll never find any junk in VISO that we wouldn't drink ourselves, so it's officially time to quit your obsessive label-reading and online ingredient-search habit while holding up the checkout line at the store!)
Count on VISO to bring the goods and none of the garbage. Energize healthy, VISO fam...