Energy drinks and protein bars have been the latest craze… advertised as a convenient and healthy meal or snack that will keep you going throughout the day. Is this really the case? With so much going on in our lives it’s not surprising that these foods have become a popular meal replacement.
But what ingredients are actually in one of these products? When it comes down to it, they contain caffeine, sugar, a large amount of calories, and mystery ingredients like supplements. Sure, caffeine and sugar will give you that temporary energy boost, but you can get this boost from healthier and lower caloric sources as well! The vitamins added to these products cannot provide the same benefits to you as a well balanced diet can. Alternative foods such as fresh or dried fruits, trail mix, and whole grain cereals are a much healthier choice for teens.
So I shouldn’t eat or drink these products?
On occasion an energy drink or protein bar is probably OK to have. A bar for breakfast in the morning is better than no breakfast at all, but a whole grain bagel with cream cheese is probably around the same price and a much better source of the nutrients for your day. People who are consuming these products several times throughout the day are overdoing it. A high level of caffeine in your system can produce unpleasant and even dangerous side effects. You can experience fast or irregular heartbeat, sleep issues, upset stomach, headaches, jitteriness with just a small amount of caffeine! In addition, the high caloric index and sugar contents of these products can even result in unwanted weight gain!
All in all, be smart! Read the labels and make the healthiest choices you can!