New research shows so-called “energy” drinks are no better at counteracting sleepiness than a brief sugar rush. HealthDay News reporter Steven Reinberg explains:
People who think sugary drinks are a pick-me-up may be in for a letdown: New research finds sweetened beverages actually boost sleepiness.
"People wishing to alleviate sleepiness through the consumption of a high-sugar, low-caffeine content energy drink -- erroneously believing the 'sugar rush' to be effective -- should avoid drinks that have little or no caffeine," said study co-author Clare Anderson, from the Sleep Research Centre at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom. "It is caffeine that is particularly effective for alleviating sleepiness, not sugar," she added.
Anderson and her colleague Jim Horne found that, one hour after drinking a high-sugar, low-caffeine drink, people had slower reaction times and experienced more lapses in concentration than if they had consumed a caffeine- and sugar-free beverage.
Lona Sandon, an assistant professor of clinical nutrition at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center explains there are healthier ways to stay energized:
"To improve a feeling of having energy, start by getting plenty of rest, fluids, and fuel your body with quality nutrients from fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean protein sources," Sandon said. "A balanced diet, including carbohydrate, fat, and protein, will keep you feeling satisfied longer."