The Truth About Energy Drinks

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When you're dragging, it's tempting to reach for a drink that promises to put some pep in your step. But are energy drinks a healthiest way to get a boost? Here's the truth.

Are energy drinks healthy? No. They have zero health benefits. What they do have is large amounts of caffeine and sugar. Drinking too much caffeine can raise your blood pressure and heart rate, and cause anxiety and insomnia. Drinking them over the long term can raise your risks for heart disease. Getting too much sugar can lead to weight gain, and put you at risk for diabetes.

Is it OK to mix alcohol and energy drinks? No way. The combo may be trendy, but it's also unsafe. The caffeine in energy drinks masks the effects of alcohol, so you may think you're more sober than you are. That can lead to risky actions, like drunk driving. The combo also makes you want to drink more. People who mix the two are more likely to binge drink.

An occasional energy drink is probably OK, as long as you don't mix it with alcohol. But when you want to fight fatigue, a glass of water or a walk are better choices.