Meghan Tiernan (MS, RD, LDN) is a registered dietitian with a passion for helping others achieve a healthy lifestyle. She strives to help others learn the most nutritious way to eat, in order to achieve good health. Meghan enjoys cooking and running and believes that with just some basic knowledge, you can gain the confidence in yourself to know that you can eat well.

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Dietitian Consult

by Meghan Tiernan, MS, RD, LDN

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Do you ever have those days when you just don't have the energy to do much? How many of you have reached for some source of caffeine to give you that extra boost you needed?

I'm guessing most of you enjoy your cup of coffee or tea each day, and there's nothing wrong with that. But how many of you are reaching for something a bit more potent... such as a 5-Hour Energy, Red Bull or Monster? If so, you might want to rethink your drink choice.
energy drinks
While, if consumed in moderate amounts, these energy drinks are not likely to cause much trouble, the amount of caffeine found in these drinks can pose risks to some - especially if you have an underlying heart condition or you drink too many of them.

If you've ever felt like your heart was racing after having a lot of caffeine, it probably was! And that's your body's way of telling you to slow down or consider an alternative caffeine source. The biggest issue with energy drinks is that there is no regulation by the FDA about what types of ingredients are added or how much caffeine is in them... whereas coffee, tea and sodas are regulated by the FDA and have specific regulations when it comes to caffeine.

Recently, an article was published that reported 13 deaths have been reported to the Food and Drug Administration as "adverse events" after the consumption of the dietary supplement 5-Hour Energy. In addition, 92 patient reports (including 33 hospitalizations) report adverse events related to 5-Hour Energy consumption. Other energy drinks have been in the news recently as well, connecting young people's deaths with consumption of the drinks.

If I were you, I would try a few less risky options to help with energy. These include sticking with the tried and true coffee or tea (which has been shown to have some protective qualities), trying to get to sleep an hour earlier or fitting in some exercise to help improve your energy level.

Want personalized diet and nutrition advice from Meghan, our Diet.com Registered Dietitian? Upgrade your Diet.com account to Premium to have unlimited, one-on-one consultations with her!

@ 5:08am ET on June 27, 2013
Anything that is too much can be dangerous. It's okay to drink caffeine and energy drinks but it should be moderated. Even when you feel like you've lost your energy to finishing your college paper and assignments, it doesn't mean that you should just grab caffeine if you already had 10 that day.

@ 11:50pm ET on August 18, 2015
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