‘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.

Sugar Tax

Whilst we did see an impact on the drinks manufacturers after Jamie Oliver initiated the sugar tax, an analyst from Euromonitor International revealed that sales in energy drinks grew by 1% to 27 million litres of the energy drinks last year – and it is expected to rise by another two million litres by 2023. Alongside this the rates of children starting school ‘severely obese’ are still very high. This suggests more needs to be done.Regardless of an individual’s weight, high sugar consumption can still have serious effects on their health and detrimental effects may only appear later in life.

With the health implications associated with high sugar consumption we need to break these habits sooner rather than later.

An alternative to energy drinks…

Totum Sport is a 100% natural mineral supplement providing 78 minerals and trace elements and in the correct proportions. Totum Sport contains no sugar or added free sugars. The minerals and trace elements help the cells in the body hold on to water, aiding hydration. This has many benefits for performance; sustaining focus, improving energy levels and reducing the risk of muscle cramp.
Minerals and trace elements are also essential for health in the body. Whilst energy drinks make claims based on the five or six electrolytes they provide, without the full spectrum of 78 electrolytes each element can’t be optimally metabolised or absorbed by the body to carry out its function. Taking Totum Sport post exercise helps the cells to rehydrate and aids muscle and tissue repair as minerals are absorbed in parallel with protein which is very important for recovery.
Totum Sport is a great alternative to sugar laden energy drinks and contains 0 calories and 0g sugar. Not only is Totum Sport beneficial to performance but minerals are also needed to support the immune system, maintaining health within the body.