Posts Tagged ‘sports drinks’

Energy Drinks: Is It Safe for Tired Moms to Get Buzzed?

Friday, July 11th, 2008


Would you believe there are now are at least 200 different energy drinks on the market? Yep. It’s a billion-dollar industry. But is it a good idea to get an energy-drink buzz when the demands of parenthood are wearing you out?

“There was a time when we would get our caffeine intake from coffee and cola, but now there are a number of caffeine-containing beverages, and we need to be careful because over a period of 24 hours, that caffeine intake is cumulative,” says Dee Rollins, R.D., PhD, a dietitian with Baylor Regional Medical Center at Grapevine in Grapevine, Texas.

Experts say energy-drink consumers should keep careful track of the amount of caffeine they get in a day. “If you know that 400 milligrams a day is the upper limit, you can check the back of the labels and make sure that you don’t get more than that,” explains Rollins.

It may sound like a lot, but 400 milligrams is roughly the equivalent of just one energy drink and two cups of coffee. Getting more than that can lead to jitteriness, nausea, heart palpitations — and in extreme cases, more severe symptoms.

“It can be so bad that if you take too much caffeine you can end up in the hospital thinking you have flu-like symptoms and really it’s caffeine overdose,” says Rollins.

For most people — if they’re not getting more than around 400 milligrams of caffeine a day — these energy drinks are safe, says Rollins. But here are some important things to remember:

°    Don’t drink energy beverages while exercising. It can lead to severe dehydration.

°    Don’t ever mix these drinks with alcohol. Doing so can not only mask how intoxicated you really are, it can be extremely dehydrating.

°    Remember that, in addition to caffeine, most energy drinks contain very high amounts of sugar and sodium, which can be dangerous for diabetics or those with high blood pressure.