Who’s the Monster now! (an energy drink story)
I now know how Monster got its name… and I’m not talking about the 3 Hebrew digits on the monster can which equates to the number of the beast. Energy drinks commit a full-out assault on your stomach’s biome. A little while ago, I was experiencing all kinds of problems in my tummy. I couldn’t figure it out.
I kept bugging the ER at the local VA (because my regular VA clinic wouldn’t see and figured the ER had the time to fool with me). If you’ve ever been to any ER, you know how busy they are.
Anyway, I was concerned. At this point in my life, I had been on a whole-food plant-based diet for over 2 years, and my medical labs turned completely around. So what is going on here? I really thought I was going all out and treating my body good… except for the obvious denial of my energy drink habit.
am a recovered addict and boozehound… for many years. And, I am on this wonderful healthy diet (and I read all the labels to make sure the product is devoid of all chemicals… for the most part. I’m only human. At least I don’t think I’m a hybrid.
But… I couldn’t get myself to stay away from energy drinks. I would swear off for a moment and like any good addict, I would justify a need to pop open a Rockstar Recovery or a Monster Rehab. You see, I’m in recovery, right?
Then I would be right back into the old swing of things. One in the morning and a nightcap. And trust me, I would leave that out of the equation when I was trying to diagnose my ailing belly.
Then I came across a Post
was researching probiotics, so I could treat my intestinal tract and fight back whatever is going on in there The post was about how energy drinks destroy your biome. And I will dig into the specifics further down in this article (I will have to relocate some of that sciency stuff to cap off this article)
What Happened as a the result of?
So after reading the article, yes, like any good addict… I popped open another Rockstar and then a few more after that. I began to notice my stomach acted up even worse after downing one of those bad boys. So I tried another one to see if maybe I was just imagining things. No, I think it was because of those drinks.
Maybe it just took a couple of years before it really screwed with my stomach. But, I stopped and those problems went away as a soon as a I did. Now mind you, I did some research over 5 years ago for another blog I tinkered with. The research persuaded me to lay off of them for a while. But until I experienced those stomach issues, I wasn’t motivated enough to stay off of them.
Just the Facts Ma’am
Let’s start off with caffeine. First of all, I am addicted to caffeine. I like to have an iced latte right after lunch. I haven’t been successful in ditching caffeine. I have tried before and always found my way back. But, I don’t have a desire to stop and as a long as a I’m not drinking too much I’m okay. I also drink a little tea in the evening. But it is not causing stomach pains like when I was slamming energy drinks.
As you may well know, too much caffeine may raise your blood pressure and heart rate to a risky level. Some young people have suffered some serious consequences from drinking too many of them at one time. I have experienced this myself and it is quite scary when your heart pounds too fast.
Caffeine is a diuretic. This means it causes your body to use stored up water in your body faster and may lead to dehydration. I try to drink a lot of water after having caffeinated beverages.
Caffeine is also highly acid (especially coffee) and can mess with the lining of your stomach which could lead to leaky gut syndrome some sugar on me! It is not uncommon for a single energy drink to have over 50 grams of processed sugar. Wow! That is 12 teaspoons of sugar. Your blood sugar will spike up and eventually come tumbling down and you’ll feel like you need a nap (but you won’t be able to sleep… you’ll toss and turn all night)
Now here comes the problem… really nasty bacteria feeds off this sugar. It straight out loves it! It will begin to overtake good gut bacteria and throw your stomach biome off. You need a strong presence of healthy bacteria for proper digestion. In fact, 70% immune system is located in your gut.
So what about artificial sweeteners? Your body and mind connection is a complex operation. When you throw in unnatural substances (man-made poison) into the mix, your brain gets confused. Cells send out signals throughout your body for everything to work properly. These fake foods just make a mess of things.
What other harmful ingredients are in energy drinks?
Taurine This is a natural amino acid found in food. Meat and seafood are common sources. However, energy drinks contain 6 to 16 times more taurine than your normal daily intake. Add that combined with the high amount of caffeine already present in your favorite brand of poison, it will boost your heart rate even more.
Niacin (B3) This is a water-soluble vitamin that helps balance healthy cholesterol levels, but you triple your recommended daily intake when drinking most energy drinks. Too much niacin may be toxic.
Plus their is a major difference when you get your B3 from a natural food source that contains fiber and all the other components that make up good nutrition like trace minerals and antioxidants.
Guarana This is from a fruit. The seeds of this fruit are used as a caffeine additive in a lot of energy drinks The fruit’s seeds can have 4 times the punch of coffee beans.
Ginsing This is a wonderful healing root that does wonders for human health. It is also another stimulant common in energy drinks. You don’t want to consume ginseng in large quantities.
Recently I have become more interested in Gut Health. For about 20 years, my main concern with my stomach was its bloated size. Trust me… I couldn’t stand to see myself in pictures. But then I went plant-based and the weight started coming off without any additional effort.
Yes, there is a lot of time and planning when committing to a plant-based way of life, but as a long, as I stayed within the confines of low-fat whole foods from plants, the weight came off naturally.
My health drastically improved and my energy sky-rocketed. Then why was I drinking energy drinks? Addiction. I couldn’t kick it until I experienced problems.
Here recently, I have discovered that your immune system depends on your gut for 70% of its protection. The foods you put in your body will determine how well you fight off any virus, cold, bacteria or pollen.
Healthy bacteria in your stomach helps the production of your B vitamins. This amp ups your energy. It also helps balance your blood sugar throughout your day. It also helps regulate important brain chemicals like serotonin and tryptophan. These promote a good night’s sleep, healthy emotions, and motivation.
So I challenge you to look into gut health a little more. Titok and Instagram are loaded with short bits of information to get you started. Just hashtag #guthealth for starters. There are a lot of videos from doctors and nutritionists.
Thanks for reading, Brian