Food Wars: Energy Drinks [How to Make Them Healthier]

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Listen to the audio version of this episode on energy drinks on our Live Lean TV Podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast!

Healthier Options For Energy Drinks

On today’s episode, I’m sharing one of my dirty little secrets.

Well it’s not really a secret, since you’ve probably seen me drinking energy drinks occasionally on my Instagram stories.

And it’s not really dirty either.

Here’s the deal.

Food Wars: Energy Drinks [My Dirty Little Secret]

I’m Brad Gouthro and I’m an energy junkie that loves caffeine.

I mean who doesn’t love caffeine?

But here’s a fun fact about me.

I never had my first real experience with caffeine until I was 29 years old.

In fact, I never had my first cup of coffee until I was 32 years old.

And I have a funny story about my first experience as a caffeine newbie.

I remember reading a fitness article talking about the performance benefits of caffeine in the gym.

I can’t remember exactly what the article said, but it included a statistic, that provided no context, that blindly said taking 400mg of caffeine before your workout can improve your bench press.

So, I thought, sure I want to improve my bench press, so why not.

Then I went to the supplement store to look for a pre-workout powder that contained 400mg of caffeine.

Of course, nothing was that potent, so the sales person told me I could also buy 200 mg caffeine tablets.

So, I bought both.

I remember going home and being so hyped to try it out.

Food Wars: Energy Drinks [My Dirty Little Secret]

Let me be clear

Here was me, a guy who never even had a cup of coffee before, now taking a 400mg dose of caffeine before my workout.

I popped the caffeine tablet in my mouth and then washed it down with the pre-workout drink.

By the time I got to the gym, I was feeling like I was on top of the freaking world, super focused, and extremely hyped.

I even remember stopping at one moment and thinking, “why do I feel like I can beat up Brock Lesnar?”.

Then I quickly realized it was because I just took 400 mg of caffeine.

And then this happened

I went home and had another first experience.

My nose started to bleed, I had one of the biggest energy crashes I’ve ever felt, and I couldn’t fall asleep.

Now based on this story, you may think I would be against caffeine.

Well, I’m not.

I actually love caffeine

juice cleanse dietBut I love it in moderation.

I usually have a coconut oil coffee in the morning, a pre-workout drink earlier in the day, and a tea in the afternoon.

It’s when you consume too much of anything, including water, that’s when you have a problem.

Yes, even drinking too much water can be dangerous.

It’s called hyponatremia.

When taken under the right circumstances, in the proper doses I love caffeine.

Here are a few of the benefits of caffeine:

So yes, I’m the first to admit, I drink the occasional energy drink.

As a fitness professional, I’m constantly moving around.

Whether it’s doing my own workouts or filming workout videos for my programs, my day requires a lot of energy from 5am till 9pm.

Food Wars: Energy Drinks [My Dirty Little Secret]

So if I know I have a super busy day of focus and multiple workouts, then I may have an energy drink.

On average, I would have maybe 1 energy drink a week.

Now you may be asking:

Are energy drinks healthy?

Well that depends on:

#1. It depends on who “you” are:

If you’re a full grown, active individual, and are using the caffeine to improve performance, then enjoy when needed.

If you’re unhealthy, unmotivated, and use energy drinks daily just to get you through the day, then no.

You need to change your lifestyle by eating better and working out to naturally improve your energy.

#2. It also depends on the type of energy drink:

On the occasions when I do drink sugar-free Rockstars, I always feel guilty about buying and drinking them out in public.

The reason I feel this way is because I know the ingredients, including the artificial sweeteners, are not optimal for my health.

So for a few years now, I’ve been looking for a healthier, ready to drink, energy drink for when I’m on the go.

Hello Dark Dog Organic

Food Wars: Energy Drinks [My Dirty Little Secret]

Recently I found one called Dark Dog Organic that uses organic and non-gmo ingredients that are higher quality when comparing them against other conventional energy drinks.

I also find Dark Dog Organic doesn’t taste as artificial or sweet since they don’t use artificial sweeteners.

Although the original version contains a little more sugar than I personally like to consume, they also have two lower sugar options, with one of them containing coconut water.

Food Wars: Energy Drinks [My Dirty Little Secret]

To me it has the same light taste as kombucha.

So to be real, I personally feel better about drinking an energy drink like Dark Dog Organic, as I know the ingredients are better for more body compared to conventional energy drinks.

They’re sold on Amazon and use discount code: DDBRAD20 for a 20% off discount.

Bottom Line:

Energy drinks are made for the active adult that requires an occasional boost in energy to stay on top of their active lifestyle.

And for all the parents out there, no I do not recommend them for kids who are still growing and developing their nervous and cardiovascular system.

Just be smart.


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7 responses to “Food Wars: Energy Drinks [How to Make Them Healthier]

  1. Good article, knew they had to be bad for kids. When I lived in Edmonton I saw a mother give her very young child a Tim Horton’s ice-cap. I feel bad for not saying anything to her when I had the chance.

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