‘ENERGY’ drinks are causing a health epidemic around the world.
Public Health England recently reported that the NHS could save £15bn and approximately 80,000 lives in a generation by weaning the public off its sweet tooth. Statistics have shown that children and teenagers are consuming three times the recommended intake of sugar. Public Health Wales recently reported that 3.6% boys and 3% girls in Wales were severely obese.
There are many factors contributing to this obesity epidemic with sugar being one of the main contributing factors.
Soft drinks and energy drinks are some of the most sugar laden, readily available products on the market. The sugar content of some of the energy drinks on the market range from 9.8g of sugar (bottle of Powerade) to 62.5g of sugar (500ml bottle of Orange Lucozade Energy). This equates to over half of an adults recommended daily intake of sugar in just one bottle.
How much sugar is in your energy drink
Drinking one bottle of Orange Lucozade Energy is equal to consuming the same sugar content in two family sized packets of sweets and more sugar than two Snickers bars!
With ads repeatedly telling us we need to be consuming their energy drinks to be fitter and push harder at the gym, as consumers we are often mislead.
An average woman needs approx 2,000 calories a day and for a man 2,500 calories is recommended to maintain weight. One can of Monster contains almost 10% of this total intake (220 calories).
These drinks manufacturers have released ‘lite’ and ‘sugar free’ options, and are making claims such as “electrolyte-enhanced sports drink with zero calories”. Whilst they claim their products are therefore a good source of energy because they contain added free sugars, this is misleading. Our bodies generate energy from carbohydrates from our food. There is no need for added free sugars.
Energy drinks are deemed as “not suitable for children and young people under 16 years of age, for rehydration after exercise or as a mixer with alcohol” implying the harmful effects of these drinks have on health. In Ireland Aldi and Boots announced they would no longer sell energy drinks to under-16s and would be asking for proof of age at the point of sale.
Although it is not only energy drinks. Shakes such as ‘For Goodness Shakes’ recovery drink and ‘Frijj Chocolate Milkshake’ contain equally high amounts of sugar with 47.2g and 50.8g sugar per bottle. In many cases the sugar content of these shakes provide over half the daily maximum. These amounts are worryingly high. None of these drinks are what I would recommend for recovery or call healthy.
High sugar consumption especially amongst young children can be highly detrimental to their health, increasing their risk of obesity. This increases their risk of obesity as they get older and also other health complications such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are of high risk.