Energy drinks Do they really deliver energy

By Golf Fitness MagazineFebruary 12, 2009, 5:00 pm
Energy is a hot commodity these days with our fast-paced lives trying to squeeze everything from work to family to the all important play time. The result is often a schedule that is a jam-packed and no energy to do everything we want to be able to do. Instead of getting more rest, eating right, and exercising regularly, many people turn to energy drinks to give them an added boost.
 
Energy drinks are basically soft drinks that either contain a form of sugar or artificial sweetener, caffeine, and various other ingredients. Energy drinks became a unique beverage category in 1997 when Red Bull was introduced to the United States from Austria. From 2001 to 2006, there was a 516 percent increase in U.S. sales of energy drinks. The market hit $5.4 billion in 2007 and is expected to reach $10 billion by 2010. Sugar-free energy drinks are one of the fastest growing segments of the energy drink market due to concerns of calories and excess carbohydrates from sugar.
 

Anatomy of an energy drink


Caffeine
The main active ingredient in energy drinks is caffeine. Caffeine is a stimulant, so it does give at least the appearance of energy because it stimulates the brain and central nervous system. Caffeine can come in a variety of forms, and many energy drinks contain guarana or yerba mate, both plants containing caffeine.
 
Surprisingly, energy drinks are not as high in caffeine as you may think. Most have about 80 milligrams (mg) of caffeine in an 8 oz. can, and the 16 oz. cans may have double that. However, some energy drinks have as much as 350 mg in a can. To put this into perspective, an average cup of coffee has 140 mg per 8 oz., or 250 in a Starbucks tall (12 oz.). A can of soda has between 35-55 mg of caffeine, and a cup of tea has about 50 mg. The FDA does not require caffeine content to be on labels, so it is difficult to know exactly how much caffeine is in a beverage. Some energy drink Web sites reveal the amount of caffeine contained in their products.
 
Some studies have found that caffeine does indeed help improve cognitive and athletic performance, but most studies do not support a significant effect. The risks of excessive caffeine intake can outweigh these potential positive effects. Too much caffeine can cause high blood pressure, rapid heart rate, nervousness, irritability, inability to sleep, anxiety, and may eventually lead to ulcers. Most health organizations recommend a moderate caffeine intake of less than 300 mg per day, or about the equivalent of 24 ounces of energy drinks.
 
Sugar
Most energy drinks contain some form of sugar. Liquid sugar is the nutrient that gets into the bloodstream the quickest, offering instant energy. If you ever feel hypoglycemic (low blood sugar) you know to drink juice or regular soda to get your sugar up fast. But what goes up must come down, and when blood sugar rises quickly, it also falls quickly. Energy drinks can give people a temporary buzz, but the effect is fleeting, says Dawn Jackson Blatner, R.D., a spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association. But once the initial jolt wears off, people often feel more lethargic than before the drink.
 
Some energy drink brands now offer sugar-free varieties. These do not contain sugar or calories, but do contain artificial sweeteners.
 
B Vitamins
In order to process energy in the body, certain B vitamins are necessary. Energy drinks add B vitamins such as niacin, pantothenic acid, pyridoxine, B-12, and folic acid. While these vitamins are important for metabolism, increased amounts will not produce additional energy. If someone is deficient, the additional vitamins may help, but most people are not deficient, since these nutrients are abundant in our food supply and available in all multivitamins.
 
Taurine
Taurine is a non-essential amino acid thought to improve reaction time and concentration. In most people, taurine is abundant in the body. Taurine is also found in meats and seafood.
 
Ginseng
Ginseng is an herbal supplement used to provide energy. Studies do not support the use of ginseng, and long-term side effects are unknown. Short-term side effects include inability to sleep, headaches, and increased blood pressure.
 
D-Ribose
Present in every cell in the body, D-Ribose is naturally occurring sugar needed to produce ATP, or energy in the body. Research is scant as to whether additional ribose in a supplement or beverage will produce additional feelings of energy.
 
L-Carnitine
L-Carnitine is used by the body to break down fat to use for energy. Carnitine deficiencies are rare, and research has not revealed whether more is better.
 
Potential risks
Energy drinks are often heavily promoted to people involved in sports. However, they are not recommended to rehydrate after exercise, due to the fairly high caffeine content.
 
Since concentration is such an important aspect of golf, a small amount of caffeine may enhance this ability during play. But, according to Dawn Jackson Blatner, author of The Flexitarian Diet, Too much caffeine can negatively affect performance by making it difficult to focus, and increased nervousness and jitters.
 
If you have any medical conditions related to high blood pressure or heart disease, you definitely should exercise caution before using any products that contain large amounts of caffeine or other stimulants.
 
Caffeine has a half-life of six hours, meaning that only half the amount of caffeine you drink is depleted after six hours. Since it can linger in your system for up to 12 hours after ingested, dont have caffeine after noon, or it could affect your quality of sleep.
 
Energy drinks often contain ingredients that are not well studied in humans. For that reason, use caution with energy drink consumption. If you want to drink one, start out with a small amount to see how your body reacts. Everybody responds differently to food additives. The stimulant nature of many of the ingredients in energy drinks, especially when combined with alcohol, could have serious consequences.
 
How the body gets energy
Our body gets real physical energy from calories. The definition of a calorie is energy. But since most of us do not have a deficit of calories, why are we often still so tired? Our bodies can only use a certain amount of energy at a given time. When we give our body too much energy it stores it as fat. That excess fat causes us to feel lethargic and not burn as much energy because we are too tired and heavy to move around. When we skip meals or go too long between meals without a snack, our body is low on energy and it is forced to take primarily from our muscle.
 
Bottom line
Energy drinks may be harmless in small quantities for most healthy people. However, if you rely on energy drinks to boost your energy, it is much better to discover why you are feeling low on energy in the first place. Energy drinks are expensive and just dont live up to the claims they make.
 
Maintain energy levels naturally

1.Get 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep nightly.
2.Stay well hydrated with 70-100 ounces of fluid daily.
3.Exercise your heart regularly through 30-90 minutes of moderate to intense aerobic exercise daily.
4.Eat light and eat often. Do not go more than 3-4 hours between meals without having a snack to bridge your glucose in between.
5.Eat complex carbohydrates for your bodys preferred source of energy. Foods like bread, rice, pasta, cereal, and tortillas are good choices, especially the whole grain variety.
6.Manage the stress in your life.
7.Guard your time so you do not over-schedule yourself. Allow time for relaxation and rest.
8.If you are smoker, quit smoking. Smoking depletes the oxygen in your blood, leaving you fatigued.

 
EDITORS NOTE: Golf Fitness Magazine is the only national consumer publication dedicated to golf-specific fitness, mental focus, and improving ability, performance and health among all golfers. Our priority is to maximize your potential, lower your scores, reduce your risk of injury, and extend your golfing years. Each issue has departments dedicated to men, women, seniors, and juniors along with tips, advice and simple exercise routines from GFMs team of experts. If you want to improve your golf game, and hit the ball farther, click here for special offers on a subscription so you can have all this and more in-depth advice delivered right to you! Get cutting edge fitness & mental tips sent to your inbox each month with our FREE golf performance eNewsletter, Shape Your Game. To contact our Senior Editor, Publisher or Online Editor with questions or comments, please visit our web site golffitnessmagazine.com for more information.
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Garcia leads as Valderrama Masters extends to Monday

By Will GrayOctober 21, 2021, 3:52 pm

Weather continues to be the enemy at the Andalucia Valderrama Masters, where Sergio Garcia remains in front as the tournament heads for a Monday finish.

European Tour officials had already ceded the fact that 72 holes would not be completed this week in Spain, but players were not even able to finish 54 holes before another set of thunderstorms rolled in Sunday afternoon to once again halt play. Garcia remains in front at 10 under, having played seven holes of the third round in even par, while Lee Westwood is alone in second at 7 under.

Officials had previously stated an intention to play at least 54 holes, even if that meant extending the tournament to Monday, given that this is the final chance for many players to earn Race to Dubai points in an effort to secure European Tour cards for 2019. Next week's WGC-HSBC Champions will be the final event of the regular season, followed by a three-event final series.


Full-field scores from the Andalucia Valderrama Masters


Garcia, who won the tournament last year, started the third round with a four-shot lead over Ashley Chesters. He balanced one birdie with one bogey and remains in position for his first worldwide victory since the Asian Tour's Singapore Open in January.

Westwood, who has his son Sam on the bag this week, made the biggest charge up the leaderboard with four birdies over his first eight holes. He'll have 10 holes to go when play resumes at 9:10 a.m. local time Monday as he looks to win for the first time since the 2015 Indonesian Masters.

Shane Lowry and Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano are tied for third at 6 under, four shots behind Garcia with 10 holes to play, while Chesters made two double bogeys over his first four holes to drop into a tie for sixth.

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Austin wins Champions tour's playoff opener

By Associated PressOctober 21, 2018, 9:35 pm

RICHMOND, Va. -- Woody Austin knew Bernhard Langer was lurking throughout the final nine holes, and he did just enough to hold him off.

Austin shot a 3-under 69 for a one-stroke victory Sunday in the PGA Tour Champions' playoff-opening Dominion Energy Charity Classic.

Langer, the defending tournament champion and series points leader, made the turn one shot off the lead, but eight straight pars kept him from ever gaining a share of the lead. Austin's birdie from 6 feet on the closing hole allowed him to hang on for the victory.

''It seemed like he couldn't quite get it over the hump,'' Austin said about Langer, who also birdied No. 18. ''I'm not going to feel bad for the guy. The guy's kind of had things go his way for the last 12 years. Now he sees what it's like to have it happen.''

The 54-year-old Austin finished with an 11-under total for three rounds at The Country Club of Virginia's James River Course. He won his fourth senior title and first since 2016, and said windy and cool conditions that made scoring difficult played to his advantage.

''I was happy to see it. I really enjoy a difficult test,'' he said. ''... I enjoy even par meaning something. That's my game.''

Langer closed with a 70. The winner last week in North Carolina, the 61-year-old German star made consecutive birdies to finish the front nine, but had several birdie putts slide by on the back.


Full-field scores from the Dominion Energy Charity Classic


''I made a couple important ones and then I missed a couple important ones, especially the one on 16,'' Langer said. ''I hit three really good shots and had about a 6-footer, something like that, and I just didn't hit it hard enough. It broke away.''

Austin dropped a stroke behind Jay Haas and Stephen Ames with a bogey on the par-3 14th. He got that back with a birdie from about 5 feet on the par-4 15th and then got some good fortune on the final hole when his firmly struck chip hit the flag and stopped about 6 feet away.

''I always say usually the person that wins gets a break on Sunday,'' he said. ''That was my break.''

The 64-year-old Haas, the second-round leader after a 65, had a 74 to tie for third with Fran Quinn (69) and Kent Jones (70) at 9 under. Haas was bidding to become the oldest winner in the history of the tour for players 50 and older.

''Disappointed, for sure,'' Haas said. ''Not going to get many more opportunities like this, but it gives me hope, too, that I can still do it.''

The top 72 players qualified for the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs opener. The top 54 move on to the Invesco QQQ Championship next week in Thousand Oaks, California, and the top 36 after that will advance to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Phoenix.

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After Further Review: American success stories

By Golf Channel DigitalOctober 21, 2018, 8:35 pm

Each week, GolfChannel.com takes a look back at the week in golf. Here's what's weighing on our writers' minds.

On the global nature of Koepka's rise to No. 1 ...

Brooks Koepka is an American superstar, and a two-time winner of his national open. But his rise to world No. 1 in, of all places, South Korea, emphasizes the circuitous, global path he took to the top.

After winning the CJ Cup by four shots, Koepka was quick to remind reporters that he made his first-ever start as a pro in Switzerland back in 2012. He cracked the top 500 for the first time with a win in Spain, and he broke into the top 100 after a good week in the Netherlands.

Koepka languished on the developmental Challenge Tour for a year before earning a promotion to the European Tour, and he didn’t make a splash in the States until contending at the 2014 U.S. Open at Pinehurst.

It’s a testament to Koepka’s adaptability and raw talent that he can handle the heights of Crans-Montana as well as the slopes of Shinnecock Hills or rough of Nine Bridges. And as the scene shifts to China next week, it highlights the global nature of today’s game – and the fact that the best in the world can rise to the occasion on any continent. - Will Gray


On the resurgence of American women  ...

American women are on a nice roll again. Danielle Kang’s victory Sunday at the Buick LPGA Shanghai was the third by an American over the last five events. Plus, Annie Park and Marina Alex, emerging American talents looking for their second victories this season, tied for second. So did American Brittany Altomare. Two years ago, Americans won just twice, their fewest victories in a single season in LPGA history. Overall, women from the United States have won seven times this season.

The Americans are making their move with Stacy Lewis on maternity leave and with Lexi Thompson, the highest ranked American in the world, still looking for her first victory this year. Yes, the South Koreans have won nine times this season, but with four LPGA events remaining in 2018 the Americans actually have a chance to be the winningest nation in women’s golf this year. With all the grief they’ve received the last few years, that would be a significant feat. - Randall Mell

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In Buick win, Kang overcame demons of mind and spirit

By Randall MellOctober 21, 2018, 3:33 pm

Danielle Kang beat three of the most formidable foes in golf Sunday to win the Buick LPGA Shanghai.

Anxiety.

Frustration.

Anger.

Kang overcame these demons of mind and spirit to win for the second time on tour, backing up her KPMG Women’s PGA Championship victory last year.

“I’ve been going through a lot mentally,” Kang said.

Kang birdied four of the last eight holes to close with a 3-under-par 69, coming from one shot back in the final round to win. At 13-under 275, she finished two shots ahead of a pack of seven players, including world No. 2 Ariya Jutanugarn (71) and former world No. 1 Lydia Ko (66).

It hasn’t been easy for Kang trying to build on her major championship breakthrough last year. She started the fall Asian swing having missed three cuts in a row, five in her last six starts.

“I had to go through swing changes,” Kang said. “I had the swing yips, the putting yips, everything possibly you could think of.

“I was able to get over a lot of anxiety I was feeling when I was trying to hit a golf ball. This week I just kept trusting my golf game.”

Through her swoon, Kang said she was struggling to get the club back, that she was getting mentally stuck to where she could not begin her takeaway. She sought out Butch Harmon, back at her Las Vegas home, for help. She said tying for third at the KEB Hana Bank Championship last week felt like a victory, though she was still battling her demons there.

“Anxiety over tee balls,” Kang said. “People might wonder what I'm doing. I actually can't pull the trigger. It has nothing to do with the result. Having to get over that last week was incredible for me. Even on the first round, one shot took me, I think, four minutes.”

Kang, who turned 26 on Saturday, broke through to win last year under swing coach David Leadbetter, but she began working with Harmon while struggling in the second half this year.


Buick LPGA Shanghai: Articles, photos and videos


“I was actually very frustrated, even yesterday,” Kang said. “Things just weren't going my way. The biggest thing that Butch tells me is to stay out of my own way. I just couldn't do that. If I had a short putt, I just kept doubting myself. I couldn't putt freely.”

Kang said her anger and frustration built up again on the front nine Sunday. She made the turn at 1 over for the round. She said her caddie, Oliver Brett, helped her exorcise some anger. After the ninth hole, he pulled her aside.

This is how Kang remembered the conversation:

Brett: “Whatever you need to do to let your anger out and restart and refresh, you need to do that now.”

Kang: “Cameras are everywhere. I just want to hit the bag really hard.”

Brett: “Here's a wedge. Just smash it.”

Kang did.

“Honestly, I thank him for that,” Kang said. “He told me there are a lot birdies out there. I regrouped, and we pretended we started the round brand new on the 10th hole. Then things changed and momentum started going my way. I started hitting it closer and felt better over the putts.”

Kang said the victory was all about finding a better place mentally.

“I'm just so happy to be where I'm at today,” Kang said. “I'm just happy that I won.

“More so than anything, I'm finally at a place where I'm peaceful and happy with my game, with my life . . . . I hope I win more. I did the best I can. I'm going to keep working hard and keep giving myself chances and keep putting myself in contention. I'll win more. I'll play better.”