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Nutrition Myth-busters: Vitamin Supplements and Energy Drinks

Nutrition Myth-busters: Vitamin Supplements and Energy Drinks

Dietetic Intern Dana Mortell addresses some common nutrition myths surrounding vitamin supplements and caffeine-laden drinks in the first of a mini-series of blog posts.

Myth:

 

“Vitamin supplements provide you with optimal health and adequately replace nutrients from real food.”

 

Facts:

  • Since there are many phytonutrients that haven’t yet been identified in food, it isn’t possible to receive all of their associated benefits from a single pill
  • There is actually a higher risk of vitamin toxicity if too much of a dietary supplement is consumed. Toxicity doesn’t occur when the vitamins/minerals are absorbed from food
  • Most foods are sufficient in at least two vitamins and minerals, meaning it is often easier to maintain a diet rich in vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients when they are consumed from food
  • Supplements can’t neutralize the negative effects of a diet high in saturated fat, salt and sugar
  • Think color – if you consume a balanced diet with a wide range of fruits and vegetables that vary in color, it is likely that you are receiving a variety of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients

 

Myth:

 

“Energy drinks will provide me with a safe boost of energy to get through the day.”

 

Facts:

  • If energy drinks are consumed at least once a day, there is a risk of increased blood pressure and/or palpitations
  • According to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, the mental and physical effects of energy drinks such as altered sleep patterns and arrhythmias (abnormal heart beat) can be detrimental to workplace safety
  • Energy drinks are the fastest growing segment of the soft drink industry and are sometimes marketed as “supplements”
  • The FDA does not regulate the amount of caffeine in energy drinks as it does for soda. This leads to extremely high amounts of caffeine being present. Some energy drinks even have over 100mg of caffeine in 12 ounces -- close to twice the amount found in sodas
  • Lack of sleep, nutritional deprivation, dehydration, stress or lack of exercise can all be causes of fatigue. If one of these issues is improved, you may lessen or even lose completely your desire to consume energy drinks

 

What are your thoughts on energy drinks and vitamin supplements? Let us know in the comments section below.

nutrition advice, nutrition facts, myths, energy drinks, supplements


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