At one point or another, you may have tried an energy drink to help get you through a particularly sluggish day. You may even have heard that it’s better than soda. But did you know that energy drinks are one of the worst culprits for anti-aging nutrition, and that consuming even just one of these beverages can contribute to the development of lines and wrinkles? Energy drinks are no healthier than soda—they both contain many of the same harmful ingredients that have detrimental effects in our body and on our skin. Consuming both soda and energy drinks can result in more fine lines and wrinkles, which is why, for the sake of anti-aging nutrition, you should steer clear of them.
The two star ingredients in energy drinks and sodas that cause fine lines and wrinkles are sugar and caffeine.
How Sugar Causes Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Sugar is a major ingredient in soda and energy drinks because, as we all know, it increases energy levels. But one can of cola contains about 33g of sugar—that’s more than seven teaspoons of sugar. One serving of an energy drink (depending on the brand and size of the can) can contain well over 40g of sugar.
Sugar works against anti-aging nutrition and accelerates the development of lines and wrinkles because it causes collagen and elastin to break down—these are the proteins in our skin that keep it looking firm and youthful. Lines and wrinkles surface because the sugar actually attacks these essential fibers of the skin. This connection between sugar and the formation of lines and wrinkles is a process called glycation. When there is so much sugar in the blood that the body cannot get it out of the blood cells, the sugar starts to stick to proteins, resulting in malformed “advanced glycation end-products” (AGEs). Collagen and elastin proteins are both prone to glycation—the process weakens their ability to do their job of keeping skin supple and healthy. This, in turn, accelerates the skin’s aging process, which can then result in more fine lines and wrinkles. Essentially, an overflow of sugar destroys the building blocks of the skin and will make you more susceptible to lines and wrinkles.
What’s worse, with each sugar-high, there is an inevitable crash, which only makes you crave more sugar—the vicious cycle continues, as does the formation of more lines and wrinkles. Plus, the constant sugar cravings only make following an anti-aging nutrition plan that much harder.
How Caffeine Causes Fine Lines and Wrinkles
Caffeine is a stimulant that makes you feel more awake and energized, which is why many of us need to start the day with a cup of coffee. However, there is an excessively high amount of caffeine in soda, and especially in energy drinks—many energy drinks don’t even list the caffeine content, because they’re not required to, and the ones that do list it actually end up containing more caffeine than they claim. Some energy drinks have been shown to contain more than 500mg of caffeine.
Consuming excessive amounts of caffeine is counter productive to anti-aging nutrition because too much caffeine robs our skin of vital moisture, and dry skin is more prone to lines and wrinkles. Your skin needs moisture to be able to bounce back from daily stressors, like environmental pollutants and the array of facial expressions you make throughout the day. Caffeine can constrict blood vessels, making it difficult to supply the skin with nutrients—a deficiency of nutrients causes lines and wrinkles.
Energy drinks are by no means healthier than soda—in fact, their high-caffeine count might actually make them worse—but both of these beverages should be avoided to improve anti-aging nutrition. Both are powerful contributors to the formation of fine lines and wrinkles as well as a plethora of other health maladies. By opting for healthier drinks, like fresh fruit juices and good old-fashioned H20, you will be saving yourself from having to deal with premature lines and wrinkles that you could have very well avoided in the first place.
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