Healthy Hollywood: Ask Keri Glassman - Are Energy Drinks Really A Good Idea?
Nutritionist Keri Glassman, who regularly shares her expertise on Access Hollywood and Access Hollywood Live, is answering your nutrition, diet and health questions.
Want to know how celebrities are getting their fabulous post-baby bodies? And, if their diet plan is right for you? Ask Keri anything, HERE!
“I hear some of the new energy shots out there are all natural like the Erin Andrews ads for SK. Are they really a good option for an afternoon pick-me-up?” – Alyssa G., Madison WI
As a working mom, I am right there with you in looking for an afternoon pick me up more often than not! As a dietitian, I am looking for the most natural way to do this. So, let’s begin there. You asked about SK. Let’s just say, sneaky marketing comes to mind. If you read carefully, the label says, “100% natural berry flavors”. I can understand why you may think this product is natural. But, if you turn the bottle around and continue to read on, the nutrition facts and ingredient list is far from natural. Although, there may be a little “real” berry flavoring going on and you may have been wooed by the zero calorie claims, you will also see ingredients like sucralose and acesulfame potassium. These are two artificial sweeteners; in other words, a big zero for your health.
But, let’s not pick on SK alone. There are many other shots out there claiming similar benefits - “low calorie”, “energy”, “natural”… Most of these products contain a combo of the following: caffeine and/or green tea, B vitamins, antioxidants such as A, C and E, artificial sweeteners and other ingredients to make up “energy blends” such as N-Acetyl L-Tyrosine and/or glucuronolactone. Although, there are some absolutely ok ingredients in these products, they come with the baggage of not-ok ingredients too. The big picture of these shots is a big thumbs down… Some of these shots have double the amount of caffeine as a single cup of coffee. Don’t forget it’s easier to throwback shots and you may just end up with the negative effects of too much caffeine.
Don’t grab your pillow and blanket and succumb to the afternoon nap at your desk just yet, though. There are plenty of ways to get a boost of real natural energy. Here are a few tips for you:
It’s not breaking news that I love green tea. Aside from antioxidants, the caffeine found here can be helpful for a little pick me up. I love a green tea latte with a handful of nuts around 3 pm.
This tea comes from South America, has about half the amount of caffeine as coffee and has been shown not to produce the same jittery side effects.
Hydration, in general, keeps you energized, alert, and on top of your same; another reason to begin your day with a large glass of water with lemon and drink up all day long. Go find your favorite water bottle stat.
Found in foods like dark green leafy veggies, lentils and legumes, nuts and seeds (such as pecans, almonds and sunflower seeds), eggs, wheat germ and yogurt all help boost your get-up-and-go - try incorporating these foods into your lunchtime salad.
Eat consistent through the day
Lay a good foundation for steady energy through the day by starting with a breakfast of a combo of fiber and protein or healthy fat. I love quinoa with almond milk and chopped walnuts or a slice of whole grain toast with avocado and an egg.
And, don’t forget to have an am and pm snack too.
-- Terri MacLeod & Keri Glassman
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