Energy drinks – are they the right way to hydrate? And why are they gaining popularity? We answer!
Energetics vs. other drinks
First of all, we must distinguish between popular isotonic drinks and energy drinks. The latter should again be divided into traditional and modern drinks.
Energy drinks are designed to stimulate the body. Hence their often sweet taste, as they contain sugar, are carbonated, non-alcoholic, etc. They usually (though not mandatory) contain caffeine. Their purpose is to temporarily improve cognitive abilities (effective thinking in emergency situations, so, for example, while driving), increase attention and often improve the mood of the drinker.
However, in today’s era of diversification, we are obliged to separate modern energy drinks from traditional ones. The latter include coffee, tea, cola (remember that cola was invented in the late 19th century), etc. They are used by almost the entire population: for breakfast, lunch, on breaks from work, etc.
The second type is increasingly used, the so-called energizers. This is a specific mixture of taurine and arginine, sometimes with added caffeine, with varying amounts of sugars. Among the most popular brands are: Tiger, Red Bull, Monster, etc. They belong to the group of so-called functional foods. Their purpose is to quickly improve response, performance and concentration.
This type of drink has different properties, but is commonly confused with so-called energizers. In its case, the main tasks are:
- hydration of the body,
- providing electrolytes,
- replenishment of vitamins and mineral salts.
Thus, it can be seen that isotonic drinks have little in common with energy drinks. They are designed to replenish fluids that are excreted by the body during exercise. Energetics, on the other hand, are supposed to stimulate the user. The question: can they also be used during exercise?
Energetics and exercise
It is widely believed that supporting a workout with energy drinks is a sensible solution in the right amounts. There are several reasons for this: by improving concentration, we are able to perform exercises with better technique; the drink stimulates the body before training, strengthens the mental attitude (especially when we catch the proverbial sloth). Sometimes they also aid post-workout recovery. Supported by a proper diet, energizers can bring surprising benefits.
They are especially often used in endurance sports, where you need to be stimulated for a long time. Soccer, basketball, cyclists and even swimmers can consume an enhancing dose of caffeine and taurine to be prepared for exercise.
An energizer is not tea!
Nevertheless, it is important to remember that the actions of energizers, while so desirable, can also have the opposite effect. Excessive consumption of them can lead to, among other things:
- cardiac arrhythmias,
- cardiovascular problems,
- sleep problems,
- physiological disorders,
- and even lead to addiction.
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