Giving up soda and energy drinks

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Most people know that drinking soda, energy drinks, and a variety of other artificially sweetened drinks (even fruit drinks) are terribly bad for your health. Yet we continue to do so, and why not, just about everyone does it.

It’s easy to think like that, but the health benefits of giving up sugary drinks far outweigh the enjoyment they may bring. I’ve been drinking energy drinks for years and thought very little of the damaging habit. However, last summer I tried to give them up. I didn’t make it very long before I was entirely miserable and started drinking them again three days later. I transitioned to sugar free drinks, telling myself it was the lesser of two evils, and continued on with my life.

The fact is, even sugar free or diet energy drinks and sodas are just as bad for your health as those with all the sugar and calories. Studies have shown that even if a drink has no sugar or calories your body won’t be able to tell the difference and will still produce fat.

Last Monday I decided to try to kick the habit once again. To continue being able to function I replaced my two energy drink a day habit with coffee. I started grinding my own coffee beans and have enjoyed making and drinking coffee in the morning instead of downing an energy drink. I cut soda from my diet as well, and only drink coffee and water on a daily basis. I’ve seen many benefits almost immediately.

First of all, I no longer suffer from a lunchtime energy crash. Usually I would have a second energy drink shortly before lunch and would down a Diet Coke with my lunch. Now I feel awake all throughout the day after only having a single mug of coffee in the morning. I drink water throughout the day and with every meal and it feels great! I’ve also added fruit, vegetables and nuts to my daily routine. I snack on carrots and almonds and enjoy an orange or some pineapple with lunch and dinner.

I’ve also started to lose weight already. I had been exercising regularly for awhile (I run 3 miles at least three days a week, if not four, and do ab exercises and weightlifting on non run days) though I hadn’t been losing as much weight as I had hoped. Replacing health damaging drinks with water should get me the results I’m looking for.

My six days without soda and energy drinks has been enjoyable so far. At dinner on Friday I was tempted to order a Coke, yet resisted and went with a water instead. At the movies later that night I again drank water and felt much better for it.

I challenge you to make the switch from soda to water with me. You’ll be surprised at just how great it might make you feel!

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New Year: Quitting energy drinks

Though not necessarily a New Year’s Resolution (I never bother to make any), over the last few weeks I’ve quit energy drinks…mostly. For years I’d drink at least one energy drink a day, seven days a week. Usually on weekends I’d have 2-3 a day. At $2-3 each (Rockstar Punched) that’s upwards of $15-20 a week, at least $80 a month and easily $700+ a year. The commissary often sells Rockstar’s for $1 which was nice, but even if I bought 400 in a year for a dollar that’s still $400.

In an effort to save money and cut a couple hundred calories (and mountains of sugar) a day I decided to give up the habit. I haven’t had a Rockstar in over two weeks! I did however have a couple of Mountain Dew Kickstart’s this weekend, but I consider them more of a soda than an energy drink.

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I don’t think I’ll ever kick the caffeine habit, so I’ve been drinking coffee in the morning instead. It’s not as convenient because I have to take time to brew the coffee before I hop in the shower, and it doesn’t give as much as a kick as Rockstar, but it’s much easier on the wallet, and I imagine just a bit healthier. A $7 bag of Dunkin Donuts coffee has lasted two weeks so far and should stretch another week or so.

I’m hoping I can keep up the progress I’ve made. I’m sure I won’t quit energy drinks forever, but a bit of break will be nice.

Mountain Dew KickStart Fruit Punch

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I tried one of the new Mountain Dew breakfast drinks today and it’s pretty good. It tastes a lot like a mixture of fruit punch and ginger ale or sprite and it goes down very easily. The only problem I have with it is that there’s only 92mg of caffeine in the 16oz can, compared to the 240mg in a 16oz can of Rockstar Punched (my go to energy drink).

It seems like the Mountain Dew Kickstart drink might be easier on the stomach than a full on energy drink after a night of drinking, but I can’t see this being a go to energy drink for anyone but those very sensitive to caffeine. It just doesn’t have much kick at all, despite the name.

In the end it tastes good, so maybe it’d be a fine alternative to ‘regular’ Mountain Dew during a gaming session, but I wouldn’t reach for it in the morning.

Amp Energy’s new design

So I head to the mini mall this morning to grab some Amp on this dreary, rainy day and I find this:

Amp has always been one of my favorite energy drinks and luckily Amp Boost (original) as it’s now called still tastes the same and I assume the ingredients are the same (142mg caffeine per 16oz can). I just really do not like this new can. The light green color just looks weird to me. They’ve made the change to differentiate between two new types of Amp as described on the can: Amp Active (Energize and Hydrate) and Amp Focus (Keep you Edge), while Boost is the original Amp (With B-vitamins to help kick you into high gear).

I haven’t seen the other two types of Amp yet, but I can’t say they’ll appeal to me. I’ve never been a fan of watered down ‘hydration’ energy drinks, though athletes might be. As for focus, isn’t that what the blue Amp is for?

I haven’t seen a change in design on any of the other Amp varieties yet. Ultimately the yellow (lightning I believe) and red are my favorites so for now at least I wont have to look at an ugly new can when I drink those.