Engr Mansoor Ahmed
In Pakistani culture, the lore is that sugary foods give energy and strength and are required for physical and mental work. This is the worst myth. Energy drinks are marketed to provide the benefits among health effects of caffeine along with benefits from the other ingredients they contain. In the last 25 years, health of Pakistanis has been damaged a lot by the use of products which were advertised on TV as giving instant energy. Many energy drinks contain sugar or other sweeteners, herbal extracts, taurine and amino acids. Sugary food eating boosts the energy level for maximum 1-2 hours – due to the instant release of chemicals insulin and adrenaline.
Release of these two chemicals gives the impression of energy in the person – but after 2 hours, one experiences “sugar crash” with the person feeling weak and depleted. Most of the effects of energy drinks on cognitive performance, such as increased attention and reaction speed, are primarily due to the presence of caffeine. Advertising for energy drinks usually features increased muscle strength and endurance, but there is little evidence to support this in the scientific literature. Only the balanced and healthy diet helps maintain or improve overall health. Therefore, people should eat food with slow releasing carbohydrates which release energy slowly in the blood-stream and gives long term energy to the body – over 8-10 hours after eating such complex carbohydrates.