Two months ago, I took my last sip of an energy drink. To be fair, I only had as One-Drink-A-Day Habit. But in early November I noticed that I started to crave more each day. And once those cravings became an incessant internal voice badgering for another, I went Cold Turkey. So here is the What, Why, and How of that adventure.
What was I consuming? My drink of choice was Bang. Low calorie. Low/no sugar. Vitamins. Minerals. Branch Chain Amino Acids. CoQ10. Caffeine (of course.) And even creatine! Plus, it tasted pretty nummy. I usually had one, after lunch, to keep me fired up for the rest of the day.
Why did I quit? Despite the promising contents, it came with several negatives. Not the least of which was the price. One per day at nearly $3 each could eventually add up to a thousand bucks a year. Even if money were not a consideration, the volume of caffeine bordered on dangerous. A quick check of PubMed has studies which indicate the “safe” limit on caffeine is 400mg/day. That’s throughout the whole day. One can of Bang contains 300mg. (To put that in perspective, a small RedBull is 110mg!) So I was hitting 75% of my safe limit in just a few minutes. How safe can long term dosing at that level be? Finally, the other ingredients on the can were a cauldron of chemicals, including their secret weapon: sucralose. At upwards of 1000 times sweet than table sugar, a drop or two is enough to light up your taste buds. But checking PubMed shows several studies linking sucralose to gastric issues. Price + ODing on Caffeine + Gut Distress + Increased Cravings was enough to make me jump ship. Sorry, Bang, it’s not you, it’s me!
How my detox go? The first week, I was told I was short fused, and super cranky. (Unusual for me.) I also had a noticeable headache for at least three days, maybe upwards of five days. (Unusual for me!) And I discovered that my habit was also a ritual as after lunch I’d find myself in front of the ‘fridge, looking for my old friend. (Thankfully, they were all gone. If there had been one available, I would have caved in!) I don’t remember being completely free of the cravings until after the first month. But no struggles after that.
60 Days Later, I’m happy to report no cravings, extra money in my pocket, and I don’t feel post-lunch crashes anymore. I honestly think I’d gotten used to the dose of rocket fuel and was telling myself that I needed it in order to feel “normal.” Thankfully, I was wrong. And I’m fine without Bang.
But, now what am I going to spend this extra pocket money on?!?