So part way during the bootcamp class I became aware that I was struggling a little more than I think I should be. In my exhausted state I figured it was because of my lax approach the last few weeks (I only managed 3 workouts last week) and that my conditioning was starting to suffer. Then I realized that in my hurry I had grabbed a can of Red Bull on my way out of the house and what I was feeling was the rush of adrenaline and caffeine from the (sugar free) energy drink. Now I am not a big fan of energy drinks other than to keep you alert while driving. I have a tendency to zone out a little when we go on long car trips so I often will consume a Red Bull or 5 hour energy before to make sure I’m up for the mind-numbing trip. But when it comes to exercising I have long believed that the stimulation that you get from energy drinks is not doing you any good. So I decided to look into it.
I found a few things that give balanced reviews of not only the drink themselves but also the idea behind the marketing and so on, but since it was the specific health aspect I was interested in I read on to discover that what I was feeling was probably a caffeine overload. Since most energy drinks contain caffeine and also Guaranine (which has an active ingredient of… you guessed it, caffeine) then the amount of caffeine you are taking in during a very short time can be upwards of 3 cup equivalents. In short, after reading up on the subject I found a startling conclusion that was reached by almost everyone who has studied the effects of these kinds of drinks:
- Energy drinks should not be consumed before or during exercise or manual labor.
- Energy drinks are not a substitute for water or sports drinks for hydration.
- Monitor your kids. Children or adolescents should not consume energy drinks.
- Do not mix energy drinks with alcohol. Period.
- Do not drink energy drinks if you have hypertension, have an underlying medical condition, or are taking any kind of prescription medication.
- Do not drink energy drinks if you’re pregnant.
- Do not exceed the recommended daily allowance (usually one can per day).
- Know the signs of too much caffeine (jitters, restlessness, fidgeting, anxiety, excitement, insomnia, flushing of the face, increased urination, gastrointestinal disturbance, muscle twitching, a rambling flow of thought and speech, irritability, irregular or rapid heart beat)
The point that was made over and over was the distinction between “energy drinks” and “sports drinks” such as Gatorade, Powerade etc. Although for some people the distinction is not clear, sports drinks are designed for SPORTS and to be consumed during or after sports or both. Energy drinks, as far as I can tell are designed to place your body into an alert, high performing state which can emulate intense exercise. Having and energy drink and exercising is like pouring gasoline on a barbecue, it’s just not a good idea and the intensity of the result may cause heart attack, stroke, seizures and yes, definitely death. They must be thinking of Angel Wings when they say “Red Bull give you wings…”. I guess I will be taking my old standby water bottle from now on!
The second thing is sleep. I am guilty of not getting enough sleep and although I have been operating on 5 hours a night for many m any years I can’t deny that I feel better after 7 or 8 IF I CAN DO IT! Most often I can’t, my body just wants out after 5 hours. I ran into a good infographic today which tell sof the health risks of getting what I would call chronic lack of sleep:
As for bootcamp, it was intense and enjoyable, and a repeat of a class from a few weeks back. I like it because it has plenty of backwards running, something that increases agility, focus and works the legs in a new and painful way! We also welcomed back a visitor to the class and like I have said on previous occasions I love having new victims to torture especially if they try to make both classes in a week. The second class is almost always a new height in pain and suffering for them. But kudos to her for coming back and partying with us a second (and hopefully third) time!
D21 – 2.11.1 Cardio and abs
20 Hit The Floor
10 2 line Suicides
20 switch kicks
20 in and out abs
4x 8Jump rope with 4jump half turn
10x 8 sprint 4 switch lunge
10 stance jacks (foot touch)
5x long jump run back – single double triple repeat
20 side to side hopjump with squat foot touch
10 2 line forward and back suicides with pancake
10 ski abs
5 burpee with 4 run
5 burpee with 4 run and 4 in and out
20 plank jacks
10 plank jacks with in and out
2 foot tap circles
4x 1 foot tap circles with med ball carry 3 lengths
4x 20 foot taps, 5 burpee holding ball
each line ball place and return (place ball on line return to wall)
10 full situp with med ball
10 side crunch each side