PRINCETON — Approaching even hotter days during the summer, people who are on a vigorous workout program may be looking for a boost in energy drinks, but some bottles may contain more than answers.

In the past few years, energy drinks have become extremely popular with young adults, and according to the Forbes Magazine website, popular energy beverages, such as Red Bull, Amp, Source Burn and more, have brought in more than $2 billion in revenue.

People who drink them might be looking for an alternative to gain energy in order to stay more active for exercise or getting through the day, but there may be down sides if they are not used properly.

Princeton Community Hospital dietitian Clarence Tawney said that energy drinks should be used with caution.

“They are very popular,” Tawney said. “[People] are always sipping their Gatorades and their Powerades and Red Bulls too. A lot of people are drinking those even when they’re not working out.”

When it comes down to a healthy, energetic lifestyle, Tawney said that people should not try to acquire all of their energy from just a carbonated energy drink.

“The sugar, which is glucose, from energy drinks typically gives people an energy boost for about 30 minutes,” Tawney said.

Since such beverages contain a large amount of calories, sugar and other supplements, Tawney said that it is important to know when to use them and when not to.

“I think what people need to look at is that [energy drinks] are beneficial in some situations,” Tawney said. “People who want to lose weight should leave their energy drinks at home. They are not trying to produce energy, but trying to produce weight loss.”

Tawney said, for example, if someone drinks an energy drink with 200 calories and goes to the gym and burns off 200 calories, then the purpose of working out is defeated.

“All you did was burn off your energy drink,” he said.

On the other hand, Tawney said that energy drinks such as Gatorade and Powerade can be very beneficial to people who have high-intensity workout programs.

“One, they can provide energy, the second thing is hydration and the third is that they can replace sodium losses,” Tawney said.

When one exercises and sweats a large amount, sodium is lost, Tawney said, and just drinking water would not replace the sodium. He said that Gatorade and Powerade would be perfect for such a program.

He even said that chocolate milk would be ideal for weight lifting if one hopes to build muscle and is looking for a good source of minerals and protein.

“There is a different type of drink for whatever it is you do,” Tawney said.

Other than heavy weight lifting and high-intensity workouts, Tawney said that the ideal drink is water and that everyone should have a least one cup of water after working out for 30 minutes.

Also, Tawney said that people should not try to look for their source of energy from a carbonated, sugar-filled drink and that properly following of the food pyramid should provide a better, more appropriate source of energy.

“I don’t think they’re as good as balanced nutrition,” Tawney said. “Fruits and whole grains would be a healthier choice than just a little bit of sugar. Energy drinks are OK if they’re used correctly.”

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