Caffeine in moderation can help with holiday exhaustion
She offered some important reminders when it comes to energy drinks:
- The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children should never consume energy drinks.
- There’s a difference between a nutrition fact panel such as on a carton of milk and a supplement fact panel. Look for labels that say “supplement” and remember that supplements are not regulated by the FDA.
- “If it says supplement, I say stay away but if there is a nutritional panel, you can have more confidence about the quality and effect of the ingredients,” Anding said.
- Be mindful that energy drinks can result in interactions with certain medications, even if they are purchased in the food section of a grocery store or if they are marketed as “all natural.”
- Alcohol and energy drinks do not mix. This can be a very dangerous and potentially even deadly combination as the excessive caffeine may cause people to not feel the effects of the alcohol.
Maintaining a healthy overall diet and sticking to an exercise routine can also help keep your energy up during the taxing holiday season, Anding said.
Consider your food choices during the holidays since both under and overeating can make you feel tired. Don’t skip meals in an attempt to limit calories – this increases the risk of overeating from hunger. In addition, make sure you have a source of fiber and protein at each meal to keep you satisfied between meals and to provide a consistent source of energy.
“Sugary treats are everywhere during the holidays but many of these contain high glycemic index carbohydrates, which increase fatigue,” Anding said. “Good sustained energy snacks include a small handful of nuts, hummus and whole grain crackers or Greek yogurt with berries or crushed nuts.”