For many years now I have seen them, empty ones hiding on windowsills around the house, in the foot well of my car or lined up on the bedside cabinet. Fresh ones crammed precariously into my fridge hiding all signs of wholesome products. But now the drought has arrived…
This post is about my husband and his addiction. He has a drink problem. You may now be picturing me; a bedraggled housewife, slowly losing her sparkle caring for her alcoholic husband and 3 small children. However alcohol is not the drink of choice. My husband’s poison is energy drinks and one in particular called Boost.
Boost energy drink is the second largest energy drink brand in the UK. Cans retail from 49p which is substantially cheaper than brands such as Red Bull and Monster. The company, established in 2001, claiming to stimulate the mind and improve athletic performance. It’s ingredients include; Carbonated Water, Sugar, Glucose-Fructose Syrup, Citric Acid, Taurine (0.4%), Flavouring (including Caffeine (0.03%)), Acidity Regulator (Sodium Citrate), Inositol, Colour (Ammonia Caramel), Preservative (Sodium Benzoate), Vitamins (Niacin, Pantothetnic Acid, B6 Riboflavin, B12).
My husband began drinking Boost when he was just 12 years old he is now 28. On average he drinks 6 cans a day with no other drinks included. By this I mean he drinks no tea, coffee, water or any other type of soft drink. He can drink a maximum of 10 Boost drinks in a day. If it was a case of just one or two a day with other “normal” drinks included, this situation would probably never have bothered me. Drinking an energy drink as your first drink in the morning and last drink at night, however I feel indicates a problem. On many occasions he may not have a can in the fridge upon waking, or we would be out with the children and not have one on him, this would then cause him huge stress until he got his can. Those who know my husband, know that he is kind and friendly, a great father and husband and enjoys a “good craic.” They also know that without Boost he is extremely moody, irritable and quite honestly unbearable to be around. No other substitute energy drink will even satisfy this craving. For example once he was desperate for one and I bought him a Red Bull. It was never drunk. Another time we were on holiday in a remote place and there were few shops far and between. I managed to find him bottled Boost this was also unacceptable, it had to be from a can. Around this time I began googling “energy drink addicts” and was shocked with the amount of information I found. Something was clear, I was definitely married to one!
Signs of Energy Drink Addiction
- People express concern with the amount of energy drinks you consume.
- You start your day with energy drinks.
- You drink more energy drinks than water.
- You delay daily activities/work to stop to buy energy drinks.
- You spend over £15 on energy drinks a week.
- You become irritable and moody without them.
- You drink them with your meals.
- You experience withdrawal symptoms when without one e.g. headaches, shaking, mood swings, lethargy, constipation, anxiety (panic attacks) etc.
So what do we know about energy drinks and their effects on our health? I am sure many of us have heard talk about how energy drinks are detrimental to heath. Heart problems, headaches, increased anxiety, diabetes, addiction and high blood pressure are only some on the list of possible side effects conducted by research across the UK.
These factors have always caused me great concern for my husband’s health. His mood when he needs a Boost drink is alarming and the tell – tale signs of addiction withdrawal. Recently my husband has complained about the taste of his beloved beverage. It was only after he decided to study two different cans that he realised the “nutritional values” have changed. He is refusing to drink the new branding. Of course this is good news in the long run but what does that mean for the foreseeable future in terms of our marriage and my sanity!
Tips to Overcome Energy Drink Withdrawal
- Gradually weaning off and cutting down your intake at first – don’t go cold turkey.
- Vegetables high in natural sources of vitamin B such as kale, parsley and spinach – all of which “enhance physical performance and mental clarity”
- Green tea also naturally improves physical and mental performance and has small amounts of caffeine
- Set goals for yourself as to how much per week you will cut down. Write down if necessary and look for hidden sources of caffeine you may be substituting your energy drinks with such as chocolate, soft drinks, headache medication.
- Herbal supplements from health food stores such as ginseng, wild oats seed or Lion’s mane mushroom have been suggested on other sites. (If anyone actually finds a lion’s mane mushroom send me a photo as this sounds amazing and magical)
- Address fatigue issues by resting or eating small protein snacks such as a handful of nuts.
There is plenty of advice online about energy drink addiction and I imagine I will be frantically googling some more advice over the next couple of months. Thank you for reading. To my husband, as I know you will be reluctantly reading this, grimacing at the thought of me whizzing up a kale, spinach smoothie for you tomorrow morning, remember I love you dearly! Everybody else I shall see you on the other side of energy drink withdrawal, if you do not hear from me I will be lost somewhere in the Amazon rainforest frantically foraging for a lion’s mane mushroom.