The world moves much faster than it did decades ago. Not literally faster of course, but certainly faster-paced for most of us. As a result, our lives seem to move much faster as well. Busy lifestyles and hectic schedules require more energy from our bodies, and often decrease the amount of time we have to sleep. This is why so many people have started to rely on energy drinks to help them get through the day. Popular brands of these drinks are consumed millions of times each day all across America, Europe, Asia, and just about everywhere else around the world.
The usage statistics of energy drinks are actually very surprising. One type of energy drink, called “5 Hour Energy” is consumed more than three million times each day within the United States alone. That does not include consumption in other places across the globe. So why this recent obsession with energy drinks?
First, let’s understand that the human reliance on caffeine is nothing new. It’s not a recent phenomena or fad that has just been discovered to fit the fast-paced lifestyle. Indeed, the caffeine that is found in these energy drinks is exactly the same as the caffeine that you will find in an average cup of coffee – except at higher levels. Not to mention that carbonated soda drinks and tea also include this addictive ingredient.
The fact is, because we feel so harried and rushed these days, we tend to reach for a caffeinated beverage sooner than we used to. When we feel like we are completely spent, and can’t go another step, we reach for a caffeinated drink to give us that sudden boost of energy. To be sure, this is not the healthiest choice we can make, but it is often the fastest solution to the problem when faced with flagging energy and strength.
It has been estimated that the average amount of sleep that adults get within the United States has recently decreased from 8 hours per night to just 6 1/2 hours per night. This is an astonishing drop and likely accounts for the lack of energy many of us experience. Energy drinks help us fill this gap when our energy is low. Even though the boost that we feel from these drinks is not long lasting, it is usually enough to get us through the day. And for many of us, it’s easier to have a caffeine-laced drink than try to change our sleep schedules to include 1 1/2 hours or more sleep each night.
Other than getting more sleep each night, or drinking caffeinated beverages, there is one health-wise thing you can do to increase your energy during the day. Start drinking as much water as you can and forgo the “energy drinks.” Your body craves water, and operates at a higher level when fully hydrated. You will find that when you begin drinking more water each day, you will see a rise in your energy level, feel more alert, and have increased stamina to get you through the day. Water will help increase your energy level the natural way, and you won’t face the risk of becoming addicted to caffeine.
One of my favorite authors, Jerry Bridges, describes a common malady among us evangelical Christians as “Quiet Time Guilt”. (Don’t let the APA find out – they’ll market a new psychotropic drug to cure it). In “The Discipline of Grace”, Bridges writes: “we’ve come to believe that God’s blessing on our lives is somehow conditional...
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