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Sep/Oct 2011 13
Most energy drinks contain large
amounts of caffeine, which can provide
a temporary energy boost. Some
energy drinks contain sugar and other
substances. The boost is short-lived,
however, and may be accompanied by
other problems.
For example, energy drinks that contain
sugar may contribute to weight gain -
and too much caffeine can lead to:
Nervousness
Irritability
Insomnia
Rapid heart beat
Increased blood pressure
Mixing energy drinks with alcohol
may be even more problematic.
Energy drinks can blunt the feeling of
intoxication, which may lead to heavier
drinking and alcohol-related injuries.
For most people, occasional energy
drinks are fne. If you’re consistently
fatigued or rundown, however, consider
a better - and healthier - way to boost
your energy. Get adequate sleep,
include physical activity in your daily
routine and eat a healthy diet. If these
strategies don’t seem to help, consult
your doctor. Sometimes fatigue is a sign
of an underlying medical condition,
such as hypothyroidism or anemia.
Drinking a
reasonable
amount of diet
soda a day,
such as a can or
two, isn’t likely
to hurt you.
The artifcial
sweeteners and
other chemicals
currently used
in diet soda
are safe for
most people,
and there’s
no credible
evidence that
these ingredients
cause cancer.
Some types of diet soda are even
fortifed with vitamins and minerals.
But diet soda isn’t a health drink or a
silver bullet for weight loss. Although
switching from regular soda to diet
soda may save you calories, some
studies suggest that drinking more
than one soda a day - regular or
diet - increases your risk of obesity
and related health problems such as
type-2 diabetes.
Healthier choices abound. Start your
day with a small glass of 100 percent
fruit juice. Drink skim milk with
meals. Sip water throughout the day.
For variety, try sparkling water or
add a squirt of lemon or cranberry
juice to your water. Save diet soda
for an occasional treat.
DIET SODA: IS IT
BAD FOR YOU?
I drink diet soda every day. Could this be harmful?
ENERGY
DRINKS:
DO THEY
REALLY
BOOST
ENERGY?
Can energy drinks
really boost a
person’s energy?
PROBIOTICS:
IMPORTANT FOR
AHEALTHY
DIET?
IS IT IMPORTANT
TO INCLUDE
PROBIOTICS IN A
HEALTHY DIET?
You don’t necessarily need Probiotics
- foods or supplements that contain
“good” bacteria - to be healthy.
However, these microorganisms may
help with digestion and offer protection
from harmful bacteria, just as the
existing “good” bacteria in your body
already do.
You can add Probiotics to your diet
through nutritional supplements or
foods such as yogurt, fermented and
unfermented milk, miso, and some
juices and soy drinks. Read product
labels carefully, looking for a statement
that the product contains “live and
active cultures,” such as lactobacillus.
Although more research is needed,
there’s encouraging evidence that
Probiotics may help:
Treat diarrhea, especially following
treatment with certain antibiotics
Prevent and treat vaginal yeast
infections and urinary tract infections
Treat irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Reduce bladder cancer recurrence
Speed treatment of certain intestinal
infections
Prevent and treat eczema in children
Prevent or reduce the severity of
colds and fu
Some researchers believe Probiotics
may improve general health. In a small
Swedish study, for instance, a group of
employees who were given the probiotic
Lactobacillus reuteri missed less work
due to respiratory or gastrointestinal
illness than did employees who were
not given the probiotic.
Most people can safely add probiotic
foods to a healthy diet. If you’re
considering taking probiotic
supplements, check with your doctor
to make sure the supplements are right
for you.