Is Monster Energy Zero Ultra Bad For You
A zero-sugar energy drink sounds too good to be true. If you want all the energy, but none of the sugar, then at first glance Monster Energy Zero Ultra appears to be a healthy and tempting proposition.
Drinks retailers have been quick to jump on the zero sugar bandwagon and Monster is no exception, but is the high caffeine drink a revolution in the energy drinks marketplace or is Monster Energy Zero Ultra bad for you?
Lets Take A Closer Look At The Caffeine Levels
The most well-known stimulant in all energy drinks is caffeine. Its the most widely used stimulant in the world and is used to improve concentration and give our body and brain a boost when we feel tired.
The NHS recommends that adults should not exceed 400mg of caffeine a day, which is roughly four cups of coffee. If a woman is pregnant or breast-feeding, then it is advisable to reduce caffeine levels to not exceed 200mg a day.
Heres how the caffeine levels of Monster Energy Zero Ultra compares to other popular drinks.
Compared to the Regular Monster Energy Drink the Zero version contains much less caffeine, but still has four times as much caffeine as a regular can of Coke and three times more than a cup of tea.
Quick Read Your Sweet Tooth May Be Sabotaging Your Health
- Eating a high-sugar diet can have serious consequences for your mental and physical health.
- Even the healthiest people arent exempt from sugars negative side effects.
- Sugars addictive qualities make it difficult to avoid.
- Learning to spot added sugars can help you limit your intake.
If you were to name something in your diet that causes inflammation or health problems, things like gluten, dairy or soy might come to mind. But what about sugar?
Its true that some people are gluten or dairy intolerant, but lots of people can also handle eating those things just fine. Sugar is a different story, says Heidi Turner, M.S., R.D.N., a medical nutrition therapist at The Seattle Arthritis Clinic.
Sugar is the universal inflammatory, says Turner, who specializes in anti-inflammatory diets to help reduce the pain and symptoms related to autoimmune conditions and inflammatory arthritis. Everyone is sugar intolerant.
Why exactly is sugar so bad for you and so hard to avoid? Heres what you should know about the added sugar thats lurking in your diet.
Read Also: Is 134 Blood Sugar High
Increases Your Risk Of Type 2 Diabetes
The worldwide prevalence of diabetes has more than doubled over the past 30 years .
Though there are many reasons for this, there is a clear link between excessive sugar consumption and diabetes risk.
Obesity, which is often caused by consuming too much sugar, is considered the strongest risk factor for diabetes .
Whats more, prolonged high-sugar consumption drives resistance to insulin, a hormone produced by the pancreas that regulates blood sugar levels.
Insulin resistance causes blood sugar levels to rise and strongly increases your risk of diabetes.
A population study comprising over 175 countries found that the risk of developing diabetes grew by 1.1% for every 150 calories of sugar, or about one can of soda, consumed per day .
Other studies have also shown that people who drink sugar-sweetened beverages, including fruit juice, are more likely to develop diabetes .
A high-sugar diet may lead to obesity and insulin resistance, both of which are risk factors for type 2 diabetes.
Why Quitting Sugar Is So Darn Hard
Are you ready to quit sugar cold turkey? Good luck. Not only is sugar-free food hard to find, but evolutionary and cultural influences come into play, too.
Back when food was way scarcer, our ancient ancestors needed to take every advantage they had to consume high calorie foods. So the human brain evolved to perceive sugarand fatas very rewarding, says Schwartz. Today, our brains are still wired for feast or famine, even though you can buy thousands of calories of food for a couple bucks at the local convenience store.
Schwartz agrees that sugar can cause major health problems, but says it isnt acting alone. The most potent way to activate the brains reward system is actually by combining sugar with fat, he says. And much of the American diet contains both of these components.
Thats why one bite of ice cream never feels like enough and before you know it, youre looking at the bottom of a pint. Or why you find McDonalds french fries so hard to resistthe ingredient list includes both dextrose, an added sugar, and fat in the form of canola oil, corn oil, soybean oil and hydrogenated soybean oil. Dip those fries in ketchup and youre getting even more sugarthis time high fructose corn syrup.
I wouldnt say people become dependent on it in the way they become dependent on a drug, says Schwartz. But for some people, the anticipation of eating something that is highly rewarding becomes an important focus for how they live each day.
Also Check: What Are Some Sugar Free Gums
How To Spot Added Sugars In Processed Foods
Dont be fooled just because you stay away from obviously sweet foods like cake, cookies, doughnuts, and candy. Added sugars hide in a number of foods you may not expect, like processed frozen foods, baby food, dried fruit, cereal, granola, instant oatmeal, salad dressings, ketchup, barbecue sauces, pasta sauces, flavored yogurt, protein bars, and more. Theyre also found in organic foods and plenty of foods youll find at your local health food store.
The good news is that tallying up added sugars on packaged foods just got easier. The Nutrition Facts Label now includes added sugars underneath where it says total sugars.”
Are Some Types Of Sugar Better Than Others
Celebrities and high-profile chefs have touted the benefits of replacing refined white sugar with purportedly more natural, healthier sugars, such as honey, maple syrup, or molasses.
But there’s no truth to these common misconceptions, Johnson says. “In terms of something being inherently better about those sweeteners as opposed to table sugar or sucrose — no.” The bottom line: All are simple sugars.
“A calorie of sugar is a calorie of sugar, so whether you’re getting it from white sugar or some other type of sweetener, you’re still adding empty calories to your diet,” Johnson says.
However, there may be one redeeming quality, she says. “Some of those sweeteners — like maple syrup, molasses, honey — may have a stronger taste, so you might be able to get the sweetness that you want with less of it, using less calories.”
What about substituting artificial sweeteners? Despite public worries that they might cause cancer, “They’ve been approved as safe by the FDA and I think that they can be a good tool to lower the calories in your diet,” Johnson says. “But you need to be careful that it’s about the total calories. You always hear about the person who puts the non-nutritive sweetener in their coffee and then has a piece of cheesecake.”
Read Also: How To Lower Your Sugar
Which Sugars Are Better And Healthier
Sugar is far more than just the white stuff you spoon into your coffee.
In biochemistry, sugar is either a monosaccharide or a disaccharide .
- A monosaccharide is a simple sugar.
- A disaccharide is a sugar composed of two simple sugars.
- An oligosaccharide is composed of two to ten simple sugars.
- A polysaccharide is composed of two or more simple sugars .
In short, all carbohydrates are composed of single sugars. If we go back to the example of sucrose, or table sugar, thats actually a disaccharide of the simple sugars glucose and fructose.
Meanwhile, starch, dietary fiber, and cellulose are polysaccharides. Thats an important distinction for those of you keeping score at home: fiber something most people know as good is also a form of sugar.
Of those three, we can only digest starch, which is composed of glucose. Starch is also what youve probably heard call complex carbs or slow carbs slow because the body needs time to break them down into single sugars .
So the idea of a true non-sugar diet means kicking out a lot of foods that are perfectly healthy. Sure, you can live without ingesting sugars, or even carbs but only because your body can synthesize the glucose its needs out of fatty acids and amino acids.
This happens because your body needs sugar. Glucose is needed as fuel for important functions, like your nervous system and your brain.
Maybe more importantly: there are many perfectly healthy foods that contain sugar .
Develops A Resistance To Insulin
Fructose can deceive your metabolism by preventing the stimulation of insulin, which means the lack of production of ghrelin, or hunger pangs.
The lack of ghrelin, in turn, stops the production of leptin, the satiety hormone. As a result, you overeat and develop insulin resistance over time.
Insulin resistance also brings related ailments like obesity, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, sleep problems and food cravings.
Insulin resistance can have more harmful effects as pancreas struggles to produce more and more insulin and maintain blood sugar levels.
Eventually, blood sugar levels shoot up out of control and give way to diabetes.
Read Also: What Are Good And Bad Blood Sugar Levels
How Sugar Appears On Ingredients Lists
Sugar goes by a lot of different names more than 60, if were talking about whats listed on nutrition labels. Here are a few of them.
- Brown sugar
- Turbinado sugar
To identify an added sugar, look for words that end with -ose, as well as phrases that contain syrup or malt.
Remember: Ingredients on a packaged food are listed in descending order in terms of weight, so when you see these names at the top of the ingredients list, the product contains a lot of sugar.
Sugar Attracts Bad Bacteria And Lowers Your Mouths Ph
Sugar is like a magnet for bad bacteria.
The two destructive bacteria found in the mouth are Streptococcus mutans and Streptococcus sorbrinus.
Both of them feed on the sugar you eat and form dental plaque, which is a sticky, colorless film that forms on the surface of the teeth .
If the plaque is not washed away by saliva or brushing, the environment in the mouth becomes more acidic and cavities may start to form.
The pH scale measures how acidic or basic a solution is, with 7 being neutral.
When the pH of plaque drops below normal, or less than 5.5, the acidity start to dissolve minerals and destroy the tooths enamel .
In the process, small holes or erosions will form. Over time, they will become larger, until one large hole or cavity appears.
Sugar attracts harmful bacteria that destroy the tooths enamel, which can cause a cavity in the affected tooth.
Also Check: Is There Sugar In Smirnoff Ice
What Are The Claims Against Sugar
Youre reading this article because you want to know if eating sugar is terrible for you.
I understand your concern, because the mantra sugar will kill you is so pervasive in our culture its almost taken as a given.
Like a lot of things in life, including Rubix cubes, the answer to this is complex.
Well let science and studies guide us , but we should introduce a caveat for the rest of this section: human beings are diverse and varied:
- Some people do well on low-carb diets, while others like myself do better on a low-fat protocol.
- Your neighbor might be able to handle a nightly piece of cheesecake, but it might completely derail you. Or vice versa.
We truly are unique snowflakes.
Now that we got that disclaimer out of the way, lets get right to it.
#1) Does sugar cause fat gain?
We probably all know somebody who eat lots of sugary products and are overweight.
The number one question we get as part of our coaching program, outside of Whats Steves favorite video game? is Does eating sugar make me fat?
Its a valid question, one with a theory behind it: the consumption of carbs are the main drivers of insulin release. One of the functions of insulin is to help us store fat.
So if we do the math here, eating carbs and sugars releases insulin, which then makes us fat, right?
The question then is: are people eating too many calories in sugar form and becoming overweight?
So, whats the science say?
Luckily, we have the exact answer to that question:
Why Is Too Much Sugar Bad For You
30 May 2013
Each week, MyHealthNewsDaily asks the experts to answer questions about your health. This week, we asked nutritionists and diabetes specialists: Why is excess sugar bad for you? Here’s what they said.
Dr. Zachary Bloomgarden, professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City:
Sugar is bad for you a because it has calories, and because if you have diabetes or a diabetes-related condition lets say high blood fat levels then having sugar will increase your blood sugar and your triglycerides, which is a risk factor for heart disease.
If you have someone who has diabetes, their problem is that either they aren’t producing insulin, or are resistant to it. Without insulin, eating sugar will increase blood sugar. But, essentially, diabetes is not just about blood sugar. It’s about, blood sugar and triglycerides, and lipid levels.
Sugar is very calorie-dense. So you can easily consume a lot of sugar in soft drinks, and in all kinds of food that contain added sugar. It’s not that the sugar calories are more fattening than any other calories. It’s just calories are calories, and sugar packs a lot.
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Rachel Johnson, professor of nutrition at the University of Vermont in Burlington:
There’s also been some research that has shown that added sugars increase your risk of high blood pressure. And added sugars seem to promote inflammation, and more and more we find that inflammation is not good for the heart.
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How To Eat Sugar And Avoid ‘sugar Hangovers’
First, you should try to stay in the recommended range for daily intake of sugar, which is about 50 grams of added sugar per day. “You should aim to keep your added sugar intake at 10 percent or less of daily calories. For a 2,000-calorie daily diet that would be no more than 200 calories or 50 grams of added sugar per day,” says Gorin.
“Besides keeping your daily total sugar intake at or below the 50 grams per day guidelines, you should also avoid eating lots of sugar in one sitting,” she adds. “Spacing out the sugar you eat throughout the day will be easier on your body and blood sugar. Again, combining sugar with other foods that contain protein, fat, and or fiber will also help you feel more balanced.”
Another tip from Gorin on reducing sugar intake and avoiding a sugar hangover is to make your own dessert at home. This way you can control exactly what goes in your food and there is no guessing about how much sugar you could be eating. “One of the easiest ways to reduce your intake of added sugars is to make your own desserts that don’t contain any added sugars,” says Gorin. “For instance, you can make a homemade ‘nice cream’ or even a chocolate pudding that doesn’t contain any added sugars. These recipes are sweetened naturally with fruit,” says Gorin.
Added Sugar Is High In Fructose Which Can Overload Your Liver
In order to understand what is so bad about sugar, you need to understand what it is made of.
Before sugar enters the bloodstream from the digestive tract, it is broken down into two simple sugars glucose and fructose.
- Glucose is found in every living cell on the planet. If we dont get it from the diet, our bodies produce it.
- Fructose is different. Our bodies do not produce it in any significant amount and there is no physiological need for it.
The thing with fructose is that it can only be metabolized by the liver in any significant amounts.
This is not a problem if we eat a little bit or we just finished an exercise session. In this case, the fructose will be turned into glycogen and stored in the liver until we need it .
However, if the liver is full of glycogen , eating a lot of fructose overloads the liver, forcing it to turn the fructose into fat .
When repeatedly eating large amounts of sugar, this process can lead to fatty liver and all sorts of serious problems .
Keep in mind that all of this does NOT apply to fruit. It is almost impossible to over-eat fructose by eating fruit.
There is also massive individual variability here. People who are healthy and active can tolerate more sugar than people who are inactive and eat a Western, high-carb, high-calorie diet.
Recommended Reading: How Much Sugar Level Is Normal After Eating
How Does The Body React To So Much Sugar
So, whats a smart shopper to do? Its tempting to look to alternative sugars as a magical solution. Products made with honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar or turbinado sugar, high fructose corn syrup, corn syrup, and dextrose, for example, are perceived as healthier choices. Dont be fooled. Your body sure isnt! Too much sugar is too much, no matter the source.
It all comes down to how fast the sugars get absorbed. For example, your body spends more time digesting an apple because of the fiber content, so the natural sugar absorbs more slowly. On the flip side, the added sugar in soda arrives all at once in your system like a sugar bomb. All that extra sugar gets converted to calories much more quickly. Not so good for your system!
If youre looking for no calories, your best option might be a plant-based sweetener like stevia or monk fruit. These sweeteners are generally recognized as safe based on published research, a conclusion which has been reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration .