The Dark Side Of Energy Drinks (& 5 Ways To Generate Natural Energy!)

health wellness Jan 11, 2023

Welcome to the WHOLISTIC LIVING PODCAST: Episode 33
Aligning Body, Mind, and Soul with Elena Bensonoff



Hello and welcome to the Wholistic Living Podcast. I’m Elena Bensonoff, your host and guide on your journey to lasting wellness. My mission is to inspire and educate you to make wise and informed decisions when it comes to your health and how you care for your body.

Today's installment of the Be the Hero of Your Health series is about the dark side of energy drinks. In this episode, you’ll learn why energy drinks are not the secret ingredient to powering through a packed schedule as the marketing suggests. We are going to explore the health issues that are associated with energy drink consumption and then I will share 5 ways you can kick the caffeine and generate sustainable energy, naturally!



The Problem With Energy Drinks

Back to school season can be the season of all-nighters. For many people, this means studying for exams, juggling a job, balancing family life, and going out with friends.

You might be reaching for the nearest energy drink to power through the wee hours of the morning and have it all. But before you do, let me shed some light on the dark side of energy drinks so you can see that it’s your health that is being sacrificed.

Energy drinks are heavily marketed to young people. They are advertised on the backs of athletes’ jerseys at sporting events, at concerts, and on video games. Promises of endless energy, mental clarity, and stamina keep kids hooked and coming back for more. Little do they know that the drink they thought was a super charged energy elixir could actually be causing them more stress and fatigue than they originally had. 

  • Energy drinks are another big culprit when it comes to hidden sugars. The average energy drink has 14 teaspoons of sugar in a single can! 
  • The sugar-free energy drinks have excessive amounts of artificial sweetener and chemicals that can mess with your gut health.
  • High sugar content increases the risk of obesity, diabetes, and gut microbiome imbalance.
  • An 8 ounce cup of coffee has about 100 mg of caffeine. Some energy drinks have 350 mg or more!
  • Excess amounts of sugar and caffeine is the recipe that makes energy drinks addictive. These ingredients activate the reward centers of the brain and get you hooked the same way opiates would. Every time you have sugar and caffeine the neural pathways in the brain are strengthened, increasing your tolerance and making you crave even more.

  • Too much caffeine, which the FDA states is 400 mg or more per day (1), causes a host of health problems like:
    • Anxiety which makes it tougher to handle stressful situations
    • Insomnia where your body is unable to rest and restore itself. Attempting to mask fatigue with more caffeine is a recipe for burn out
    • Muscle spasms
    • Restlessness
    • Digestive issues
    • Cardiovascular problems like increased heart rate and arrhythmias
  • Although 400mg is stated as the upper limit of safe caffeine intake - that doesn’t mean it’s healthy for you. Each person has a unique sensitivity to the effects of caffeine and how fast they metabolize it. Plus certain medications and conditions affect caffeine metabolism.
  • The more caffiene you consume, the harder it will be to detox when you give it up. Caffeine withdrawal symptoms are no joke. If you have ever tried to quit caffeine cold turkey, you know about the pounding headache, anxiety, and irritability that follows. Gradually reduce your intake and push through it with lots of water, enough quality sleep, regular exercise, and a nutritious diet.
  • Dehydration - caffeine is a diuretic and negatively affects the body’s hydration status. When dehydrated, you can experience headaches, fatigue, dizziness, and confusion. 
  • In addition to caffeine, energy drinks have questionable additives like taurine, guarana, carnitine, ginseng, and vitamins in massive doses. The effects of these along with caffeine are not well documented or studied.
  • The low pH and high sugar of energy drinks contributes to increased dental erosion. 
  • The darkest side of energy drinks: Many college students and other party-goers dangerously combine energy drinks with alcohol to stay up late and experience a buzz. The effects of the energy drink can make it seem like you aren’t as intoxicated as you really are. This makes you more prone to accidents, injury, and alcohol poisoning. 
  • The dangerous combination of energy drinks with alcohol increases the risk of binge drinking and overloads the body with toxins. It takes the body longer to filter out these toxins when dealing with both substances at once. (2)
  • If you want to learn more, I’ve shared even more about the detrimental side effects of consuming too much sugar and caffeine in previous podcasts. See the show notes for those links! 



How To Create Natural And Sustainable Energy

People often ask me how they can boost their energy with natural methods.

Here are 5 ways to create natural and sustainable energy:

  1. Indulge in quality sleep! 7-9 hours is what most people need for optimal health and sustainable energy.
  2. Eat a healthy diet of whole, nutrient-dense foods and your body will reward you for meeting your needs with more energy!
  3. Drink lots of pure water so you can stay hydrated. When you are dehydrated you feel sluggish because your brain literally shrinks and signals in the brain are sent more slowly. (3)
  4. Take a cold shower to jolt your system in the morning. This sends electrical impulses to your brain that increases alertness, clarity, and energy levels. Check out the Wim Hof Method to learn more about this energizing morning ritual as well as breathing exercises that will supercharge your day! (4)
  5. Exercising regularly is scientifically shown to boost energy and vitality - aim for at least 150 minutes a week. A daily walk and some yoga is a great way to start! (5)

These techniques will help you kick the caffeine habit for good and experience REAL energy like you only dreamed was possible!

And here are 5 benefits of ditching the energy drinks:
  1. No more caffeine withdrawal headaches!
  2. Get better sleep by quitting caffeine and other stimulants.
  3. Hydrate your body without the nasty side-effects or crashes.
  4. Improve your mood as you become less prone to anxiety and more resilient to stress.
  5. Increased vitamin and mineral absorbency.



More Healthy Habits To Energize You

I hope this information has awakened a desire to dig deeper into the health of your whole being.

Want to learn more healthy habits that will energize you and improve your health?

I’m excited to be able to invite you to join my FREE Masterclass. You'll learn 3 powerful natural healing techniques you can use anytime, anywhere to experience profound real-world results in seconds! My passion is to help people reach their full potential by taking control of their health.

I will teach you how to listen to your body and know what it needs to thrive.

Click below to learn more and sign up for this life changing opportunity!

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Thank you so much for listening.

Many Blessings,




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