These days, a lot of us are hooked on energy drinks.
And today I answer the question – are energy drinks bad for weight loss?
To me, energy drinks represent the shady side of the supplement industry.
Ever since the first productive preworkout formulas hit the market around fifteen years ago, this has been an area which has housed numerous products with dangerous side effects, hidden ingredients and bogus proprietary blends.
In the last couple of years, it’s gotten worse than ever before.
Supermarket shelves are stocked full of these things, and we all know at least one person who’s addicted to them.
I’ve known folks drink these before the gym, before a job interview, heck, I even know some people who drink them all day long for no other reason than they like the taste.
But these little cans of luminous nonsense, with their hard-man designs and flashy colors, are definitely not your friend when it comes to fat loss.
In fact, these products are capable of literally preventing you from achieving the results you’re chasing in the gym.
The Great Pretenders
For a long time, preworkout supplements were exclusive to the bodybuilding world.
But when their effectiveness became widely known, it didn’t take long for supermarkets to develop cheap products to cash in on the masses searching for a quick energy boost before a job interview or workout.
And here’s the thing – most of them are boosting nothing but your gut.
Harsh words, but true words.
Here’s the problem:
- Massive caffeine content
- High dose of sugary carbs
- Tons of artificial sweeteners to make it more addictive.
And if they tell you that the sugar is going to be burned off by a workout, think again.
Take a look at the picture below.
The standout figures here are:
- 160mg caffeine
- 69g carbohydrates
Make no mistake, you are getting your energy boost from the combination of caffeine and sugar, nothing else.
The inclusion of other so-called performance-boosting ingredients is often merely a ploy to differentiate their product from the masses of others flooding the market – with these minor ingredients in doses far too small to have any of the benefits associated with them.
If you are training for fat loss and drinking these for energy, it’s a recipe for disaster.
69 grams of carbohydrates – all of which are sugar?
That’s crazy talk.
Are energy drinks bad for fat loss? Damn right they are!
Because you’ve already taken a good chunk out of your daily carbohydrate target before you’ve even eaten anything, and that’s just based on one can.
By the way, not even an athlete needs this many carbohydrates to make it through a training session.
Even more so if your goal is fat loss, and you are performing high intensity interval training.
As I mentioned in my comprehensive guide to HIIT, this style of training revolves around depleting your carb stores as you train, allowing you to ignite “the afterburn effect” and shed some serious body fat in the 10-12 hours following your workout.
So consuming a ton of sugary carbs as you train isn’t an optimal way to get those benefits.
And while they’ll often boast about the performance enhancing effects of caffeine, at 160 mg per can, truth be told you can get a far better bang for your buck in a dedicated preworkout supplement.
For example, check out my recent Adapt Nutrition Pre Train review, which packs a mighty 300 mg caffeine per serving without the huge dose of sugary carbohydrates.
Buy while 160 mg caffeine per can isn’t particularly excessive, there is an underlying problem.
The majority of these drinks are not marketed as preworkouts.
They’re not marketed as “drink this once, before you train.”
No, they are marketed as “drink this whenever you need a pick-me-up.”
And, as caffeine is something we adapt to quick quickly, it doesn’t take long before we need to increase the dosage to get the desired effect.
If a person is going through 9 or 10 of these cans per day like some of the addicted people I know, then this just gets plain dangerous in terms of caffeine-content – and it’s really no wonder they struggle to give it up.
By the way, I’m a big fan of sugary carbs.
Heck, after every workout you can catch me tucking into some Haribo gold bears with my whey protein shake.
But the problem here lies in the numbers.
For example, if somebody is drinking six cans of this BS per day, that’s:
- 960mg caffeine
- 414g carbohydrates
That’s what’s giving them the rush of energy they’re feeling.
It’s also what’s giving them that feeling of “Hmm. I’m training regularly, but that stubborn belly fat won’t go away.”
And bear in mind, there are thousands of people out there who drink these things without even exercising.
Not only will it prevent weight loss, it will cause weight gain.
Are Energy Drinks Bad For Your Diet?
If you genuinely need a performance boosting supplement for training, get a proper one.
Not only is the caffeine in these cans lower, the sugar content is killing your results in the gym.
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