Is it Safe to Down an Energy Drink While Exercising?

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Energy drinks like Rockstar and Red Bull are dominating the US drink market. And just like the people they energize, they're not slowing down; sales of the super-caffeinated pick-me-ups are supposed to exceed nine billion dollars in 2011.

Studies have shown that energy drinks–in particular the caffeine found in them–aids athletic performance. But is it really a good idea to down an energy drink while exercising?

“One can of an energy beverage during one session of exercise is safe for most healthy individuals,” said Dr. John Higgins, lead author of a study performed at The University of Texas Medical School in Houston. However, he told Medical News Today, “excess consumption and consumption with other caffeine-containing beverages or alcohol may lead to adverse effects and possibly death.”

The Mayo Clinic says for an average person, ingesting 200-300 milligrams of caffeine per day won't cause any harm. While an average cup of drip coffee in the US has about 115 milligrams of caffeine per five-ounce serving, energy drinks can contain anywhere from 80 to 500 milligrams of caffeine in cans ranging between 8 and 32 ounces.  Pay attention to how big your energy drink is; while a serving is usually nothing to worry about, there may be several servings in a can.

Find out the caffeine content of what you're drinking.

Erin Beresini
Photo courtesy of on Flickr

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