IS all the hoopla surrounding energy drinks is just hysteria, or fact? Sure, drinking them by the six-pack isn’t a good idea, but in moderation, a single can of cold, tangy, eyeball-popping energy fuel can’t be bad for you . . .Or can it?

Well, the truth is that while massive doses of energy drinks are obviously dangerous, adding even a single can a day of some of them to your liquid intake could cause more than 10-20 kilos of weight gain in a year!

Below are some of the worst energy drinks, and some much saner alternatives.

What’s really in 5-Hour Energy? Wouldn’t you like to know! The company claims the product is packed with a variety of vitamins and other compounds that promote energy, but when Consumer Reports recently requested a copy of the supporting research, the company balked.

Here’s a golden rule of food and drink: If the company selling the product won’t put its money where its mouth is, don’t put their product where your mouth is.

Bottom line: The only proven ingredient in this bottle is caffeine, and one bottle contains about as much as a cup of coffee. You know what costs much less, contains loads of natural antioxidants, and also has as much caffeine as a cup of coffee? You guessed it, a cup of coffee. No energy drink on the planet is more reliable.

No energy drink exposes the blurred line between energy and soda better than Amp. It is, after all, an offshoot of Mountain Dew. The difference is it’s shot through with more caffeine and all the dubious additives that give energy drinks their questionable energy appeal.

But the problem with this can is the same problem that afflicts every other soda on the market—sugar. Guzzling this thing fills your stomach with 14 spoonfuls of sugar. If it’s energy you want, Xenergy promises all the same additives without any of the sugar. Consider it a modest vice.

Be wary of any “energy” shot that comes in gel form. These packages are specifically formulated to replenish sugar stores to overworked muscles during bouts of high-intensity training. If you’re not doing some serious athletics, expect it to go straight to your thighs, butt, and belly. For a more sustainable—and less fattening—form of energy, opt for green tea.

One of these tacked on to your daily routine can only do your body good.

And here it is, the biggest loser in the battle of the energy drinks. Vault packs in more sugar than any other energy drink on the market. In terms of sheer calories, Starbucks Coffee Frappuccino fares just as bad. If you’re looking for the daily energy beverage most likely to give you diabetes, this might be it. Otherwise, pick something with less sugar. Rockstar’s Recovery is as fine as any energy drink on the market. It contains 160 mg of caffeine—about as much as 14 ounces of Dunkin’ Donuts coffee—and it’s flavored with lemon juice.

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