What men choose to drink besides water is a personal choice. However, the beverage industry has excellent marketing methods that drive sales, convincing consumers their drink is the best to be drinking. But unfortunately, many of these beverages are not exactly pitchers of health.
Driving the popularity of many beverages is the messaging they what us to believe. Many proclaim improved energy boost, mental alertness, or physical performance. But behind their glossy labels or polished advertising, men should know what’s really behind the curtain. Do these drinks support good health, or are the claims some make too good to be true.
Here’s a look at three popular beverages men like to consume but could also be harming their health:
Few men will pass up on an energy drink. These beverages are formulated and marketed specifically to men, promising better concentration, more energy, focus, and improved athletic abilities.
An energy drink less than once a week may not be harmful. However, when men are hooked on the buzz and improved alertness these beverages provide, that becomes problematic. Suddenly, every now and then, an energy drink has turned into a fiasco of downing one too many, day after day. In time, a man’s health may suffer.
Starting with inaccurate labeling, energy drinks often skip being forthcoming by not listing the caffeine content on the label. The majority (about 70%) of energy drinks do not list this important information. The prominent ingredients in an energy drink are caffeine and sugar, and most also contain guarana. Guarana is a plant with one of the highest concentrations of caffeine. Consuming excess caffeine (more than 200 mg a day) can cause tachycardia (rapid heartbeat) and arrhythmia (abnormal rhythm). One 5-hour energy shot contains 200 mg of caffeine and it’s not unusual for some men to drink several of these a day. Even the American Heart Association warns consumers to beware of energy drinks. Drinking many throughout the week can prolong the QT interval, a measure of the heart’s electrical activity. A prolonged QT interval can develop into a dangerous and possibly fatal arrhythmia.
Men drinking several energy drinks rapidly in a short window of time are more likely to make an emergency room visit. That’s because high levels of caffeine results in dangerous side effects, including heart palpitations, high blood pressure, nausea and vomiting, and convulsions.
Of course, soda is expected to be on a list of not-so-healthy beverages to be drinking. And yes, it also includes diet soda.
Let’s start with soda first. The problem is most people don’t always drink them in moderation. Some individuals consume dozens of ounces of these sugary beverages every single day. The two main ingredients in soda are high fructose corn syrup or sugar. Both offer no nutritional value whatsoever other than calories. Several sodas a day leaves little room for healthier food options – in other words, sugar has no vitamins, minerals, fiber, antioxidants, or phytochemicals. Most large sodas contain approximately 150-200 calories (or more), likely leading to excess weight gain. Drinking soda sends blood sugar soaring, increasing the need for the pancreas’ to put out more insulin increasing the risk of diabetes.
All sugar offers is calories and that’s it. And excessive sugar consumption appears to have a role in causing inflammation in the body putting you in harm’s way of developing chronic conditions such as heart disease, arthritis, and autoimmune disorders.
Now, time to turn our attention to diet soda. Diet sodas can be a good option if consumed in moderation – no more than two twelve-ounce cans a day. They can also be a bridge between weaning yourself off of regular soda while attempting to switch to drinking more water or other healthy beverages like green tea. While they are low-calorie options, the problem is diet sodas are linked to various health issues. Some researchers believe that artificial sweeteners, used to sweeten diet sodas, may lead to weight gain. Your body is tricked into perceiving something sweet, but with no calories. Therefore, it might make you hungrier wanting to eat more food. Even some experts have found links between diet soda and type 2 diabetes.
The CDC reports that almost 1 in 3 adults drinks alcohol excessively. Binge drinking on multiple occasions tends to be the standard method of drinking for many. Alcohol dependence affects around 1 in 30 adults.
Excessive alcohol consumption includes binge drinking (for men, drinking five or more drinks during a single occasion) and heavy drinking (for men, having 15 or more drinks per week). Surprisingly, most consumers of alcohol who drink excessively are not considered to be alcoholics or alcohol dependent.
Moderate drinking for men is defined as having two or less alcoholic beverages in one day.
Beverages containing alcohol are legal but do come with responsibility. Excessive alcohol use increases risk for risky behavior that can affect others around the person drinking. This includes drinking while driving a vehicle or boat, having unprotected sex leading to unintended pregnancy or sexually transmitted diseases, or increasing violence towards others.
But, excessive alcohol use also increases the risk of developing several chronic diseases, and other serious health problems, including:
Dr. David Samadi is the Director of Men’s Health and Urologic Oncology at St. Francis Hospital in Long Island. He’s a renowned and highly successful board certified Urologic Oncologist Expert and Robotic Surgeon in New York City, regarded as one of the leading prostate surgeons in the U.S., with a vast expertise in prostate cancer treatment and Robotic-Assisted Laparoscopic Prostatectomy. Dr. Samadi is a medical contributor to NewsMax TV and is also the author of The Ultimate MANual, Dr. Samadi’s Guide to Men’s Health and Wellness, available online both on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. Visit Dr. Samadi’s websites at robotic oncolo gy and prostate cancer 911.