Battling Treatment Fatigue: Energy Drinks

When you are diagnosed with cancer, your life is turned upside down. You have to deal not only with the news of having cancer but also with all the treatments that follow. Fatigue is a common side effect of chemotherapy and radiation therapy and can make everyday tasks seem impossible.

The pros and cons of using Energy Drinks to help battle treatment fatigue

Fatigue is a common symptom cancer survivors experience. It can be caused by many things, including the various treatments that were used to treat cancer. Some people find relief with exercise and diet changes, but others turn to energy drinks for an extra boost of energy when they need it most.

For some, drinking one or two energy drinks per day gets them through their day without becoming too fatigued. For others, it leads to increased fatigue and more frequent night-time awakenings. 

Caution needs to be taken while battling treatment fatigue!

These drinks can be helpful, but it’s important to remain careful. Energy drinks have a lot of pros and cons, but if you’re looking for an extra boost in the morning or before a workout, they might be just what you need!

The “energy drink industry” is booming – recent numbers show that Americans consume more than 50 billion energy drinks each year. The benefits of these beverages are many: they provide a quicker burst of energy, increased mental focus, and brain function, as well as improved athletic performance. But these benefits should not come at the cost of health risks. 

Energy drinks are chock full of different ingredients that give you a boost in energy. However, these beverages may come with side effects such as insomnia and anxiety.

Energy drinks get their “energy” from different ingredients like caffeine, taurine, different b vitamin’s, amino acids, and root extracts.

Energy drinks, like the ones I’ve used in the past to help me get motivated and overcome my low energy levels, are great for a quick boost of energy. You can drink them before or during your workout, or just when you want to get through a long day while battling treatment fatigue. These drinks have become quite popular as an alternative way to increase focus without drinking coffee. I feel it has somthing to do with the carbonation.

It is important to note that there are strong links between energy drink consumption and anxiety issues such as sleep disorders and mood changes (especially with children). The Mayo Clinic recommends no more than 400 mg of caffeine over an entire day for adults!

They do taste GOOD! And their designed this way!

Energy drinks are delicious and a great way to get your caffeine fix, but before you indulge make sure you know the ingredients. Sweeteners like high fructose corn syrup, Sucralose, Acesulfame Potassium can lead to higher blood sugar levels and increase insulin resistance. Additives that act as preservatives such as benzoate or bromate can cause damage to DNA in cell studies.

Sweeteners like High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS) may lead to higher blood glucose levels in people with type 2 diabetes, thus making them more likely for weight gain from increased insulin resistance. The additive benzoic acid is used as a preservative in some energy drinks- has been linked with kidney stones, headaches, and other neurological symptoms.

Here are Five Benefits of Energy Drinks to fight fatigue

1. Energy drinks are a quick and easy way to get the boost of energy you need 

2. They can help with mental clarity, focus, and concentration 

3. They also increase your stamina for physical activity 

4. Energy drinks may reduce feelings of stress or anxiety by releasing mood-boosting chemicals 

in the brain 

5. The caffeine found in most energy drinks is a stimulant that helps keep you awake

Five Disadvantages of energy drinks

1. Energy drinks are full of sugar and calories

2. They can cause dehydration, which leads to headaches 

3. Too much caffeine can lead to an increased heart rate and a racing heartbeat 

4. Caffeine is addictive, so it’s easy for people to drink more than they should in one day 

5. Even though energy drinks have been around since the 1980s, there’s still not enough research about their long-term effects

So what’s the best solution?

Avoid energy drinks that have ANY form of sugar or chemical preservatives in them.

There are a few ingredients you need to avoid when searching for an energy drink: specifically, sweeteners and additives designed as preservatives. Ingredients like High Fructose Corn Syrup, Acesulfame Potassium (ACE-K), Aspartame, Sucralose, Potassium Benzoate, Xanthan Gum, and Sodium Benzoate to name a few.

Energy drinks are great for those moments when you need to get out and about. For example, if you have a busy day with many meetings on the schedule, an energy drink will provide the necessary boost to help keep your energy levels up throughout your day. However, there is such thing as too much of a good thing-so remember that moderation is key!

There are times in everyone’s life when they need a little pick me up and these can come from all sorts of sources: coffee, tea, chocolate (yes!), exercise…even music! Energy drinks are great for a quick boost when you’re feeling tired, but only if they are consumed in moderation. They can have some good ingredients that promote health, but the disadvantages outweigh these benefits with too many sweeteners and additives. This goes back to general Toxic Load. I believe Energy Drinks can be a good Tool in battling treatment fatigue.

The choice is up to you! -Todd

About the Author

Todd Franzen is a Stage 4 Lymphoma Survivor. Living in Breckenridge Colorado

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