The 411 on Energy Drinks

Perhaps 411 isn’t even used anymore but at one point it was a way of getting information – an antiquated internet where you actually spoke to a person and got a telephone number; but, that’s not my point.  Here’s everything you need to know about those popular energy drinks.

Most of them are filled with sugar and a good rule of thumb is that the better they taste, the more sugar they have and the more fattening.  Because of that, they are likely to give you an immediate good feeling but leave you crashing in an hour wanting more – the perfect storm for a beverage manufacturer but not so good for our bodies.

So, here are the most popular health beverages and their carbohydrate counts per serving I mean grams of sugar.  Keep in mind that there are 4 grams of sugar in each teaspoon and the average American consumes 33 teaspoons of sugar each day or roughly 155 pounds per person per year.

  1. Glaceau – this is the one both I and Jennifer Aniston recommend (although I think she owns a stake in the company, I can tell you I wish I did but don’t) Total number of grams = 0
  2. NeuroSport – this has a number of different vitamins and minerals and an awesome website. Total number of grams = 12
  3. O.N.E. Coconut Water– here is our first example of something that is being touted as an amazing wonder beverage; yet can be loaded with sugar.  The sugar is not added but occurs naturally in the beverage.  So although it has many vitamins and minerals the total number of grams = 19
  4. ALO Awaken– this combines the energy of wheatgrass with the health benefits of aloe vera. That does not come at a small price in terms of sugar content – total number of grams = 30
  5. Vitamin Water XXX– while this drink may pack triple the antioxidants of an ordinary health/sport beverage, it also packs a wallop in the sugar department – total number of grams = 33
  6. POM Wonderful– this is the penultimate example of marketing hype gone wild; pomegranates have been known for their healing power since at least biblical times; yet, we have once again been able to ruin the health benefits by making it “easy” to consume.  Any fruit juice is bad for your health and this is no exception. Total number of grams = 80

So, although my favorite beverage and the one I recommend the most is water – pure and simple; sometimes you just need water with a little something more – especially if exercising. I recommend a protein shake with less than 3 grams of carbohydrates per serving usually in the form of fiber, sweetened with stevia and containing at least 20 grams of protein per serving. It’s what I use both before and after my training sessions.