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  • Writer's pictureCristina Macena

Boost Your Energy with Healthy Options

You’ve probably heard news stories about people being rushed to the hospital as the result of using commercial energy drinks. If you need a boost now and then, there are safe options that will help you steer clear of any risk of excess caffeine or other adverse reactions.

These are some facts about energy drinks and a variety of healthy ways to perk yourself up.

The Low Down on Energy Drinks

1. Read labels carefully. The FDA regulates the amount of caffeine in foods like cola drinks. However, energy drinks are considered a dietary supplement so it may be impossible to tell how much caffeine you’re getting! Plus, there could be additional stimulants like the herb guarana, and other substances.

2. Know the symptoms of caffeine toxicity. Too much caffeine can cause serious health issues. Watch for heart palpitations, increased blood pressure, anxiety and an upset stomach.

3. Talk with your kids. Energy drinks are marketed mostly to young people. Discuss them with your kids and let them know all the health problems they bring.

4. Check with your doctor. It’s best to forego energy drinks even if you don’t have certain medical conditions like heart disease or high blood pressure. If it is not good for you, why in the world are you still drinking them?

Healthy Alternatives to Energy Drinks

1. Hit the gym. Exercise is one of the most reliable ways to pump yourself up. Take an aerobics class or go for a run.

2. Rest up. Getting adequate sleep will keep you feeling your best. Try to go to bed and wake up on a consistent schedule even on weekends.

3. Drink more water. Dehydration causes fatigue. Carry a steel water bottle around with you so you can sip all day long.

4. Eat small and frequent meals. Digesting large meals puts an extra load on your body. Break up your dining into small meals and snacks.

5. Add more carbohydrates to your diet. Carbohydrates are a great source of long lasting energy. Stock up on fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

6. Lose weight. Lugging around extra pounds puts a strain on your heart and other body organs. Follow a sensible diet and increase your activity level so you can gradually reach your ideal weight and stay there.

7. Breathe correctly. You may be surprised to learn that just changing the way you breathe can help you feel more vigorous.

8. Turn up the lights. Exposure to bright lights is one of the fastest ways to increase your energy levels. Take a noontime walk to enjoy the sun.

Commercial energy drinks have become a huge industry totaling more than $5 billion a year in sales, but please, don’t be mistaken, they are not good for your body. Get your energy the old-fashioned way with adequate sleep and a nutritious diet. Your body will thank you!

By the Urban Life Center Team

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