Unhealthiest Energy Drinks on the Planet, According to Dietitians
Energy drinks may give you a boost when you're feeling fatigued, but they're doing no favors in terms of your overall health and wellbeing. While studies have linked the popular beverages to everything from heart problems to liver health issues, energy drink consumption in the U.S. has steadily risen in recent years, with the prevalence of energy drink consumption increasing significantly for young adults and adults between 2016 and 2019.
However, when it comes to your health, not all energy drinks are created equal. Read on to discover the worst energy drinks on the market, according to dietitians. And while you'll soon learn about these unhealthy energy drinks, know that there are options that dietitians approve of including in your diet, like The Best Energy Drinks For 2021.
Packing large amounts of sugar and more than 10% of the average adult's recommended daily caloric intake, Full Throttle doesn't pass muster for many dietitians.
"The energy drink that gets to the top of my worst list is Full Throttle, which comes in at 220 calories and is packed with sugar. The carbohydrates found in this particular energy drink are all from sugar at 58 grams," says Trista Best, RD, a dietitian at Balance One Supplements. And for more incentive to cut these drinks from your regular routine, check out What Happens To Your Body on Energy Drinks, According to Science.
That sugar-packed Monster Energy drink isn't likely to get any dietitian's seal of approval.
"A 16-ounce serving of Monster Energy contains 54 grams of sugar," says Holly Klamer, MS, RDN, a registered dietitian nutritionist with My Crohn's and Colitis Team. "This amount of sugar is more than double the recommended daily sugar intake for women—25 grams per day according to the American Heart Association." Klamer notes that it also exceeds the 36-gram RDA of sugar for men.
Red Bull is one of the most popular energy drinks out there, with the company selling 7.9 billion cans of its beverages in 2020 alone. However, when it comes to your health, experts say you're better off skipping this highly caffeinated pick-me-up.
"One large can of Red Bull contains 108 milligrams of caffeine, and increased intake of caffeine can lead to increased blood pressure and increased heart rate," says clinical dietitian Jessica Mason, founder of Kitchen Habit. "Long-term use of Red Bull can lead to overall poor heart health." Want to make your heart healthier in a hurry? Start by cutting out these 50 Foods That Can Cause Heart Disease.
If you want to reduce your sugar consumption, cutting that daily can of Rockstar from your diet is an easy place to start.
"A large can of Rockstar contains as much as 59 grams of sugar, which is the equivalent of 15 teaspoons," says Mason. "Most people know that excess sugar can lead to serious health problems, but not a lot of people know how much sugar is in these energy drinks." For more reasons to reduce your sugar intake, check out these Side Effects of Giving Up Sugar, According to Science.
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