The mid-afternoon slump hits like a ton of bricks—you still have to finish your work day, make dinner, spend time with your loved ones and maybe even squeeze in some time to do your hobby. But at 2 pm, your body is exhausted, so you reach for your favorite energy drink. You aren’t alone- the energy drink industry is an almost 14 billion dollar industry in the US, which makes sense considering 42.35% of Americans between the ages of 30 and 49 consume energy drinks on a regular basis. It’s easy to become reliant on energy drinks to get through your day, but you likely already know that they aren’t the healthiest option. There are other ways to make sure you are getting the energy you need to enjoy your day, and it starts with taking good care of your gut microbiome. We’re going to talk about the pros and cons of caffeine, how it affects your digestive system and what you can do to balance your caffeine intake with your gut health.
Energy Drinks: The What And The How
Energy drinks are primarily made of sugar, caffeine, and other stimulants like guarana, taurine, and L-carnitine. On average, energy drinks have 56 grams of sugar and between 80 and 160 mg of caffeine. The combination of sugar, caffeine and other stimulants makes energy drinks an effective way to get lots of energy quickly. That’s why energy drinks are popular among populations that feel they need that fast hit of energy like college students cramming for a test or an athlete right before an important game. With dozens of brands, flavors, and varieties of energy drinks, it makes sense that energy drinks accounted for 31% of sales of packaged beverages at convenience stores. In 2020 alone, Red Bull sold 7.9 billion cans, a 5.2% increase from 2019.
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Energy drinks can be consumed in moderation, and as long as you are keeping your sugar and caffeine levels in check, they can be a helpful tool. When you have a long day, you work a graveyard shift, or if you work in an industry that requires you to be alert at the drop of a hat like firefighters, military personnel, or those in the medical industry, energy drinks can be very helpful. As with all things, moderation is key.
The Benefits (And Drawbacks) Of Caffeine
Caffeine is a stimulant, originating from natural sources like coffee beans, tea leaves, cocoa beans, and kola nuts. Some caffeine is synthetic, but it is chemically identical to naturally occurring caffeine. Humans have been consuming caffeine in one form or another for more than 10,000 years, making it a pretty fundamental component of the human experience. But never before have humans been able to consume so much caffeine so easily. Most adults can consume around 200-400 mg of caffeine a day and not have negative long-term effects, but every person reacts differently to caffeine so it’s important to learn your personal limits. Additionally, there are some populations that can consume caffeine with fewer negative side effects and there are some populations (like those with significant gut problems, heart problems, and those who are pregnant) that should avoid too much caffeine intake.
There’s a lot of nuance with caffeine—it’s not all good or all bad. It can be a beneficial tool in your toolbox of well-being, but it can also be harmful when it is used incorrectly. Some pros of caffeine include increased focus, more energy, better cognitive function, and better performance in physical tasks. Many people find that drinking caffeine in the morning helps them get going for the day, while others prefer a little caffeine in the early afternoon to help avoid a mid-afternoon crash. Caffeine, when used correctly, can be a superpower, but you have to learn how your body best responds to this powerful stimulant and make sure that you aren’t too dependent on it. The cons of caffeine can be daunting, especially if you aren’t moderating your intake and you consume more than the recommended amount. You might feel more anxious, jittery, or have a low-grade sense of panic with too much caffeine. Caffeine can also cause problems with your heart, digestive system, immune response, and overall sense of well-being. Again, the negative effects of caffeine can be lessened with moderation and consuming the right amount for your body and needs.
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Energy Drinks & Gut Health: What’s The Connection?
Clearly, if you feel dependent on energy drinks, you aren’t alone. But what are the long-term effects of consistent energy drink consumption? Several studies have shown that consistent consumption of energy drinks can lead to problems with the body's metabolism, including blood sugar regulation and weight management. They can also lead to heart issues, affecting heart rhythm and blood pressure. Energy drinks can also negatively impact your gut health, especially gut motility. Gut motility refers to the contraction of the muscles in your digestive system that moves the contents through the body, and caffeine increases gut motility. Meaning that after you drink a lot of caffeine, your body is hurrying through the digestive process, which means you aren’t getting all the nutrients from your food, and you are likely not getting enough water. No wonder caffeine is addictive—you likely feel the rush of vitality from an energy drink, but then your body isn’t getting the nutrition it needs and it is likely dehydrated. So, because you feel dehydrated and you aren’t getting the nutrients you need, you grab another energy drink and the cycle continues. Not only does caffeine increase your gut motility, but the sugar and caffeine combination can also damage your gut microbiome, decreasing the healthy bacteria in your gut. This imbalance can lead to weight gain, decreased immune response, and uncomfortable digestive problems.
Boost Your Energy By Loving Your Guts!
How can you make sure your body can handle the caffeine you drink and give it the boost it needs to effectively digest your food? The Digestive Duo™ from Xyngular gives you both Complete Collagen™ and Complete Probiotic™, our powerhouse pairing of digestive products. Complete Probiotic gives your gut microbiome the support it needs to maintain healthy bacteria and combat the bad bacteria--putting the “Pro” in probiotic. Complete Collagen supports your digestive system by adding the amino acids of glycine, proline, and glutamine to your gut, all proven to promote
When your gut microbiome is in balance, you are getting all the nutrients and energy from your food, and you are also staying hydrated. Proper nutrition and staying hydrated are huge factors in maintaining your energy levels throughout the day, and with the Digestive Duo, you can be sure your body is effectively using all the food and water you consume. You might even find that you need less caffeine throughout the day because you are getting all the nutrients you need! If you are ready to feel on top of the world, with plenty of long-lasting energy to get you through your day, contact your Xyngular Distributor today or log in to your account to order Digestive Duo today!