Given all the possible reasons why a person might need some extra energy, it’s no wonder why energy drinks have become hugely popular around the world. Professionals in every industry turn to stimulant-filled beverages to keep them awake through long meetings or help them stay focused on big projects; athletes rely on energy drinks to pump them up before a workout or give them a boost before a game; gamers toss back any number of these products to power late-night bouts with their virtual rivals. Unfortunately, energy drinks have become known for providing more than just their namesake. These drinks are often associated with health issues, such as unwanted weight gain, as well as stimulant-related heart issues and some moderate cognitive side effects. If you enjoy a caffeine-packed can from time to time, you might be wondering, “Can energy drinks make you gain weight?” To find out, keep reading as the amino acid supplement experts at aminoVITAL® provide some insight on the matter.
How Do Energy Drinks Cause Weight Gain?
For many of the people who experience it, weight gain can seem like a mysterious phenomenon that’s all but impossible to prevent, but the reality is that – in most cases – weight gain is largely a question of balancing calorie counts. Simply take the number of calories you consume each day (not just from food but also from energy drinks and other beverages) and subtract the number of calories your body is burning; if you have calories left over, then you’re going to gain some weight. Even just a few dozen extra calories a day can add up to significant weight gain over time, and for every 3,500 calories you accumulate, that’s another pound of body fat.
With energy drinks, the calorie count isn’t all that matters, though many of these products contribute several hundred calories per container; drink two, and you’ve basically had a small – and probably very unhealthy – meal. The biggest reason energy drinks make you gain weight is that they tend to contain veritable mountains of sugar, often 50 grams or more per container. (For comparison, a standard can of Coke has about 39 grams of sugar.)
This sugar can have a number of detrimental effects on the body, not least of which comes from the sheer number of empty calories it adds to an energy drink. Along with these excess calories, sugar causes a spike in a person’s blood glucose levels, which can cause lasting harm if prolonged. Heightened blood sugar can lead to the development of insulin resistance, which limits how well the body can use the sugar you consume, although it often still allows sugar to be stored as fat – part of why sugar intake is so closely associated with weight gain. Too much sugar in your diet can also trigger the production of ghrelin, a hormone that makes you feel hungrier and can cause you to overeat; unsurprisingly, this only makes a person gain weight even more quickly.
What to Do About Weight Gain Caused by Energy Drinks
If energy drinks have long been a key part of your diet, then it may be difficult to quit them cold turkey and stop yourself from gaining more weight. For some people, simply cutting back on the number of energy drinks each day may be enough to stem the production of excess fat, especially if you live an active lifestyle. Those who exercise regularly burn more calories, even when they’re just resting, so they may be able to afford a few more empty calories without having to worry about gaining weight. Those who live sedentary lives, however, may need to limit themselves to no more than one sugary energy drink a day, especially if they don’t stick to a balanced diet overall.
Of course, cutting a source of quick and convenient energy out of your life can be easier said than done, but it’s worth noting that there are healthier alternatives out there. A cup of black coffee, for instance, will allow you to get a dose of caffeine while adding few calories to your diet, and you can control how much sugar goes into it yourself. Similarly, green tea is a popular option that tends to have more moderate effects on a person’s focus and energy.
For athletes, the function of an energy drink can usually be replaced by a fitness supplement, some of which can greatly improve upon the benefits conferred by a conventional energy drink. One good example of this is the Action mid-workout supplement from aminoVITAL®: just add a packet of this mix to a bottle of water for an energy-boosting dose of amino acids that can also protect the muscles from damage, fight fatigue, promote recovery, improve gains, and limit soreness – all while adding only 15 calories to your routine and not a single gram of sugar. As a bonus, amino acids make for a smoother, gentler fuel source than stimulants like caffeine; your muscles can use them as fuel, but they won’t make you jittery or nervous the way a typical energy drink can.
Swap Out Your Energy Drink for an aminoVITAL® Supplement and Stop the Weight Gain Today
Just because you need to say goodbye to energy drinks doesn’t mean you need to suffer from low energy at the gym or on the field. With aminoVITAL®’s amino acid-based supplements, you can maintain peak performance without the need for tons of sugar or empty calories in your diet. Learn more about the science behind amino acids and the benefits they have to offer by visiting aminoVITAL® online or calling ((888) 264-6673 today.