Category: Motivational Issues
Think you’d hand in your notice if you suddenly struck it rich? You’d be surprised.
When Keith, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, worked at a technology company that went public, he became rich overnight. He was sure he’d never need to work again.
His pay-out from the initial public offering was well into the “tens of millions” of dollars, he says, a life-changing amount. It gave him the type of financial security that most of us can only dream of.
He stayed on at first, but soon stopped working. He spent a year travelling and spending money on “frivolous things” but found it difficult to enjoy his life, he says.
Like most people, Keith (who asked that his last name and identifying details not be used due to the personal nature of his story) had long believed he worked simply to make money. He was wrong. And so even with savings that would last a lifetime, Keith started another job search.
“I just felt unhappy at the lack of structure and not knowing what my purpose in life was. My skills were deteriorating and I was finding it difficult to interact with other people intellectually,” says Keith, now in his mid-thirties. “There’s a higher reason why we all go to work.”
Now, he’s back at work — and significantly happier than he was not working. You’d think striking it suddenly rich would be the ultimate ticket to freedom. Without money worries, the world would be your oyster. Perhaps you’d champion a worthy cause, or indulge a sporting passion, but work? Surely not. However, remaining gainfully employed after sudden wealth is more common than you’d think.
After all, there are numerous high-profile billionaires who haven’t called it quits despite possessing the luxury to retire, including some of the world’s top chief executives, such as Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg.
But it turns out, the suddenly rich who aren’t running companies are also loathe to quit, even though they have plenty of money. That could be, in part, because the link between salary and job satisfaction is very weak.
According to a meta-analysis by University of Florida business school professor Timothy Judge and other researchers, there’s less than a 2% overlap between the two factors. In the long run, we derive job satisfaction from non-monetary sources, which include positive peer relationships, the ability to work on meaningful projects and even leadership opportunities.
But, most of us take our jobs and the nonmaterial things they bring us for granted. We don’t realise that, though, until we’re faced with a situation of extreme wealth, says Jamie Traeger-Muney, an Israel-based therapist and founder of the Wealth Legacy Group who works with clients all over the world.
About 98% of her patients continue working in some way after they are financially secure, she adds. For some, it’s about a sense of purpose; for others it’s a way to keep a much-needed routine.
“Money is a much smaller driver of happiness and fulfilment from work than we anticipate,” she says. “There’s a difference between what they fantasise about and what actually feels meaningful, motivating and fulfilling.”
There’s another, more egotistical reason why some of us can’t stand not being in the game: status. Imagine the embarrassment of being so highly-accomplished, so associated with your work successes and then, as time passes, you can’t answer the question of “What do you do?” so easily, says Brooke Harrington professor at the Copenhagen Business School.
Going back to work — or never quitting — helps maintain an identity that’s derived from our professional achievements, especially if that identity has long been tied to our work, says Harrington.
“We lose status when we’re not employed in a job that can help others place us in the social hierarchy, and help us place ourselves [in the hierarchy],” she says. In short, it’s hard to know where you fit in when you’re not at least on the ladder.
As a serial entrepreneur, Karen Gordon, the founder of an employee engagement firm that she launched more than a decade after starting a telecommunications firm, decided that starting something new — and staying at work — was more important than spending her profits over the years.
“People enjoy accomplishment and enjoy [being] able to be competitive — and to win,” says Gordon, who is based in Austin, Texas in the US. She also craved the daily challenges that come with working as team, she adds.
It is easy to get hooked to nicotine but for many people, it is almost impossible to regulate the intake of nicotine, let alone let go of it. Nicotine is the drug present in cigarettes that causes changes in the brain and triggers your senses to make you want it constantly. Quitting smoking is getting one step closer to getting rid of nicotine once and for all. Smoking is a killer habit, which can turn into an addiction easily. It makes the smoker physically unfit, triggering a series of diseases, majority of them being lethal.
Many people addicted to smoking are not able to get rid of it, mainly because they find it difficult to get through the withdrawal symptoms. However, self-motivation can help them a great deal in overcoming the addiction. If you are one among those who are finding it difficult to quit smoking, go through this article. Browse further and learn how to get rid of smoking addiction, with the simple tips given below.
Ways to Overcome Smoking Addiction
— The first step to overcome smoking addiction will be to get rid of everything that is related to it. Dispose all the leftover tobacco products, such as cigarettes and cigars, which are in your possession. When you do not find any of the products within easy reach, the urge to smoke will automatically start diminishing.
— Deviate your mind from the mere thought of smoking. Go for a walk, listen to music or indulge yourself in any other activity, when you experience a craving for smoking. If you are habitual of smoking immediately after meal, eat a hard candy or chewing gum as a replacement.
— Avoid doing things that make you want to smoke. Identify the smoking triggers and get rid of them. You should avoid the consumption of alcohol and caffeine, because they are found to be amongst the most common things which trigger the urge to smoke. At the same time, stay away from those who smoke.
— An effective antidote to smoking is water. It helps flush out the toxins from your body. In addition, the intensity of withdrawal symptoms gets reduced.
— Whenever you feel like smoking, apply a pinch of rock salt at the tip of your tongue. Repeat this process for about one month. You will find yourself becoming less and less addicted.
— In order to neutralize the urge of smoking, drink fresh fruit and vegetable juices. The consumption of carrots and celery juice also helps to overcome smoking addiction.
— Honey serves as an herbal medicine as well as an antioxidant. Consume 2 teaspoons of honey every day, for about two months. This will decrease the intensity of withdrawal symptoms and will also diminish the urge to smoke.
— Drink orange and grape juice, at least twice a day. These fruits are effective in removing nicotine out of your body. Moreover, they will help reduce your craving for smoking.
— Another important way of getting rid of the smoking addiction is by listing your reasons for quitting and reading them on an everyday basis. The grim effects of nicotine addiction on your health and your relationship with people are countless. Some people quit smoking because they are concerned about their health, whereas, many others quit smoking to save their relationships. These are just a few examples of reasons. What are yours?
— It is very important to let everyone around you know that you are planning to quit smoking and how this is a very important decision for you. Ask your friends, peers or family members not to smoke in front of you or not to persuade you to go for a ‘puff’ with them. Let them be a part of ending your nicotine addiction. Remember, once you have made up your mind about getting rid of the addiction, you are not only committing to yourself, but to your entire social circle. You can start by telling this to someone who is extremely close to you.
— If you are looking for natural ways to quit smoking, try acupuncture, hypnosis or herbal smoking cessation products, such as nicotine patches or gum. Although, patches may release a small amount of nicotine in the body, it will give the body some relief from the withdrawal symptoms and make good alternatives for cigarettes. Whereas, in the case of acupuncture and hypnosis, it is believed that during these processes, small amounts of endorphins are released throughout the body, which is believed to block the physical responses to nicotine.
— Other nicotine replacement drugs are nicotine lozenges, Bupropion and Varenicline. These drugs are available for varying degrees of addiction and are effective in blocking the nicotine from entering receptors in the body. Note that, you should only take these drugs once you have consulted your physician.
— Another great way of getting rid of the smoking addiction is to talk to a person who has already quit smoking successfully and is happy to have done so! The last thing you need to hear is negative words from a person who is dissatisfied to have quit smoking. Not only will this prepare you mentally but you could also talk to the friend at any point of time, if you are encountering any difficulties along the way.
The upsides of having relatively hairless faces are fairly straightforward. Less hair means fewer places for parasites to hide, for example, and more exposed skin allows for sweat to more efficiently do its job keeping us cool.
But then there’s the fact that skin is basically clear. While that allows us to easily communicate our emotions and feelings to others it does come with a downside: it is so, so easy for someone to tell when you’re tired.
There’s nothing medically wrong when those bags appear under your eyes, at least not most of the time. But in a 2007 article in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, Brazilian researcher Fernanda Magagnin Freitag points out that while they are “within the limit of physiology,” many patients can become quite “bothered and concerned by it, even relating the presence of dark circles with significant impairment on their quality of life”. Skin-related conditions that can result in psychological or emotional distress are worth exploring, even if they do not represent a threat to health in more traditional terms.
“Dark circles” or “bags under the eyes” are of course not clinical terms and can refer to a wide range of phenomena that result in a similar appearance. The clinical term is “periorbital hyperpigmentation,” or POH, and because it hasn’t historically been a priority for dermatology researchers, there isn’t all that much known about it.
One of the main problems people have is remembering many different things, from basic names and numbers to complex phrases, tasks phone numbers, etc. The human mind houses many different types of information in different areas of the brain. If we want access to some information, the brain must instantly go through all of these areas just to find that desired date or telephone number.
However, this operation does not always go as smoothly as intended because of interruptions. Some examples might include searching for our car keys, forgetting some important date like a birthday or anniversary at the wrong moment. These problems show up for all people from different ages. Although there are many supplements on the market claiming they can improve your memory, they are not the best options. Some of them are true but they are either expensive or contain side effects.
The best ways to improve your memory, proven and natural is to exercise your brain and to maintain healthy habits. One of the best practices is writing down a list. Create a list with all the information in order can improve our short-term memory. The ordinary human cannot remember more than 7 notions at once. Therefore, it is recommended to make lists and keep the information organized when going shopping. Memorizing the order of the information in a list can also improve our memory. Connecting a single element with an image or an object can also help towards that.
Another way to improve memory is to focus on the things we want to remember or becoming fascinated by it. If we are not thinking about something or someone, we are unlikely to keep them in mind. Being enthusiastic will created easier recalling. For instance, when we meet someone for the first time, many of us have problem remembering their names. In order to fix that, try becoming interested about them. Show genuine interest in that individual and spend several minutes asking them questions related to their lives, any sports they might play, hobbies in which they are interested or many other things. Although this looks quite simple, it is a great way to increase your memory and improve your relationships.
The third way to improve memory is by playing games that require thinking. You can start from simple memory games to complex strategy games. One recent experiment was carried out with elder people. They were given the task to play a complex strategy game for two weeks. The end results were the same for all the participants – increased in memorizing ability, increased in reaction time and increased brain activities. Chess, backgammon, cards, puzzles, crosswords, and many other games can help towards better memory. There are other factors that affect memory power as well. These include sleeping, reading, exercising, and listening to the music. These are some of the best ways to improve your memory.
It feels good to be thin!
Keep your goals and motivation in mind – it will keep you on track especially if times get a little hard.
For years overweight women have had numerous types of diet/weight loss plans to choose from when attempting to lose weight. Neglected underweight women never had any type of instructional information which would them lose weight in systematic, scientific, step-by-step fashion. Losing weight isn’t easy and does take effort and dedication, but as your clothes start getting looser and you start feeling healthier, I think that you will find it easier to feel motivated. You won’t be happy making any changes until it does.
It’s just plain and simple– we don’t like to do what we’re not ready and willing to do. You really shouldn’t be trying to lose weight if you’re not prepared to do the hard work it takes to maintain that weight loss. You’re just setting yourself up for failure and the dieting blues! Because how depressing is it to have lost 50 pounds only to gain back 60?! And it’s probably better if you think of it as ‘getting healthy’ instead of ‘losing weight’, but to my shame, I’m not quite there yet!
I have one incentive/motivation or whatever you want to call it: Health. I want to be healthy and you cannot be healthy and obese. Just want to feel happy and enjoy life.
Remember keep to basic, simple things you can do each day to help you – drink lots of water, try to eat at least 5+ portions of fruit and vegetables a day and be as active as possible.
Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s the determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal – a commitment to excellence- that will enable you to attain the success you seek. Sooooo… you have no motivation huh??? How about you work out today and I will too? Look at your goal weight hun… you are closer than you think. Summer is here again… and… you are going to hit that goal. I know that you can.
Stick with your calorie quota and I can ensure that you will lose weight. It is important to stick to your daily calorie quota to achieve weight loss. I can assure you that if you fill in your food diary with everything you eat and drink you will lose weight. If you set yourself small and achievable goals it will motivate you to go further when you reach them.
Related Link: View more Fitness and Weight Loss articles
Kerstin Schneiderbauer, a freelance data analyst, was having trouble sleeping. Her mind would keep running through her work and to-do lists throughout the night when she was overloaded with projects. When she wasn’t working through an assignment, worrying about where the next one was coming from interrupted her night’s rest.
When a friend recommended a sleep coach, Schneiderbauer initially resisted. “I thought, who needs a coach? I’ll keep talking to my husband about it. But I had been doing that for a year and a half,” said Schneiderbauer, who lives near Vienna, Austria. She feared a coach would do nothing but give her a list of dos and don’ts to follow.
To her surprise, her first session with sleep coach Christina Stefan wasn’t so straightforward. The session was more like career, life and sleep coaching rolled into one.
Stefan wasn’t telling Schneiderbauer what to do. “She was asking questions, also about my family,” she said. Her primary problem was not being able to shut down from work. “I never really closed the office door in a metaphorical sense.”
After five of her 10 sessions, Schneiderbauer was sleeping better. She had learned a visual imaging technique for calming herself if she was awake at night and changed key habits that became apparent after keeping a sleep log. For starters, Schneiderbauer began writing down in the evenings all her work to-dos for the next day so she could switch gears, and expressing worries about work was banned from evening conversation.
Almost half of us don’t sleep well: 45% of the world’s population is impacted by sleep problems that threaten health and quality of life, according to the organisers of World Sleep Day, citing a 2008 study. And the health impacts are serious. Poor sleep can be linked to obesity in children and many psychological conditions such as depression, anxiety and psychosis in adults. In the UK alone, more than 10 million prescriptions are written every year for sleeping pills, according to a report by the Royal Society for Public Health.
In the US, more than 2,800 sleep clinics have been opened. Revenue was roughly $7.1bn in 2015, according to IBIS World. And the global sleeping aids market – which includes products such as herbal and over-the-counter drugs, sleep labs, mattresses and pillows, and sleep apnea devices – was valued at an estimated $58 billion in 2014, P&S Market Research reported.
Once just a resource for sleep-deprived parents or professional athletes seeking peak performance, the sleep coach is now for everyone. Sleep coaches charge different rates, depending on location and experience, but anecdotal evidence suggests the coaching costs 70-130 euros an hour in Europe.
It’s good business
Steven MacGregor, the founder of Leadership Academy Barcelona and an expert on executive health, describes sleeping as a “key professional skill” that must be learned and practiced, an activity that needs top priority every day. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, is said to prioritise eight hours of sleep as the most important thing after his 12 hours at the office, according to MacGregor. And Huffington Post founder Arianna Huffington frequently talks about the value of good sleep.
Huffington fell asleep at her desk one day and knocked her head so hard that she broke her cheekbone. MacGregor, who teaches at IESE, IMD and other business schools, researches health and wellness for top performers. “We ask executives how they can take their own health and well-being more seriously to improve their thinking, decision-making and life as an executive,” he said. “The type of work that is affected by sleep deprivation is executive thinking, like dealing with uncertainties.”
Stefan also sees proper sleep as a personal “resource” for executives that can help them make the right decisions and handle stress. Yet many people fail to get help if they’re struggling to rest. According to World Sleep Day organisers, most sleep disorders are preventable or treatable, yet less than one-third of sufferers seek professional help. “Sleep is still a taboo topic,” Stefan said.
Fitting sleep in
The good news is that sleep doesn’t need to be done in a controlled environment, like your bedroom. Napping or nodding off for a few minutes between meetings is equally beneficial. The National Sleep Foundation says a nap of under 30 minutes can help you feel more alert and improve your performance, without interfering with night-time sleep.
MacGregor advises executives who fly frequently to teach themselves to sleep on planes, perhaps by rehearsing it at home. Or maybe you’re among the lucky few whose company has installed a sleeping pod in a break area. It’s there for a reason.
While counting sheep never really works, there is something to be said for distraction. In Schneiderbauer’s case, her coach advised her to create an image in her mind that stimulates relaxation and evoke that image as needed. At Stefan’s Vienna office, she was stretched out on a sofa and asked to describe in words and pictures an ideal state of relaxation.
Schneiderbauer imagined diving over a coral reef, feeling weightless and hearing only the sound of her own breathing. “I see myself over the corals and with the fish, and I hear myself breathing. Then I begin to shut down,” she said. Schneiderbauer evokes the image one to two times a day in low-stress periods and up to 10 times a day when she needs to calm down or nod off. “I really try to not only see a picture, but to feel it. Now it’s automatic. Now it takes only minutes [to get calm],” Schneiderbauer said.
A willingness to change
A sleep coach alone cannot make a client sleep. The desire to change has to come from within, said Sibylle Chaudhuri, a coach and trainer in Ratingen, Germany, who offers individual sleep coaching as well as workshops.
Chaudhuri once turned down a client who was caring for her sick mother, wasn’t getting help with the kids and house from her husband, and had a job. She wasn’t willing to find help to lighten her load. The woman frequently woke up in the night and couldn’t fall back asleep. She would say, “Can’t you just make me sleep? You’re [certified] in neuro-linguistic programming, can’t you just make my brain do it?”, Chaudhuri recalled. “This is self-development and you have to be ready to change your thinking. Coaching is about change, and change is difficult for most people.”
Seeing the light
Part of achieving a breakthrough is challenging your own beliefs. “Most people think that sleep is something that just happens naturally, and it’s just supposed to happen, no matter how you treat your body. I think the worst thing is to take [sleep] for granted. It’s like going to the gym, we have to do something for our psyches and bodies to sleep properly,” Chaudhuri said.
Chaudhuri said the secret to sleeping better is really a change of lifestyle, and there’s rarely only one reason that you can’t sleep well. “Usually it’s the sum of several bad habits. Usually it’s us who have done this to ourselves,” Chaudhuri said. “The most difficult thing is that people have to change their habits.”
The people who are thriving and will continue to thrive in this era are those who are agile and skilled at changing easily and elegantly in response to their changing environment, and as they proactively create more of the life they want. So here are some tips to help you become more agile:
Accept yourself exactly as you are
I know that sounds totally counter-intuitive, but the paradox is that when you try to change yourself from a perspective of negative judgment of yourself, your self-criticism will make you feel bad, which will have a negative impact on your motivation.
Attacking yourself with self-criticism will also activate your stress response, which actually changes the biological functioning of your brain and body and reduces the flexibility and quality of your thinking. This in turn uses up more of your energy, makes you think and behave defensively rather than proactively, stresses your body out and makes you tired and even ill.
When you accept yourself, you stop fighting yourself and your relaxed state will improve your motivation and the flexibility and quality of your thinking. This makes it much easier for you to make your changes – and to enjoy the process of making them. We think and perform much better when we’re in a state of love, rather than fear. Love opens our hearts and minds and we change much more easily when we have open hearts and minds.
Focus on what you want, not what you don’t want
We have a natural tendency to focus on problems and sources of stress in our lives. And, this makes sense – we do it because we want to “keep an eye” on potential threats so that we can respond more quickly, and ensure our survival. This usually is a good strategy for ensuring survival but it’s not a good strategy for thriving.
Focusing on what you don’t want will elicit your stress response and close down your thinking, making it more difficult to think creatively when you respond to the threat. Knowing, and focusing on what you want, rather than focusing on what you don’t want is also important because it’s the beginning of getting familiar with what you want.
Get familiar with what you want
We move towards what’s most familiar, and we resist what’s unfamiliar. If you’re familiar with how your life has been or is, but the way you want your life to be is unfamiliar and vague, then a part of you will resist going towards the unfamiliar and you will seek to repeat your current habits.
Because you’ve survived by doing what’s familiar, a part of you assumes that familiar is safe, even if it doesn’t make you happy. Guess what, if we ever feel that we have to choose between safe and happy, we’ll usually move towards what’s safe. So, to dissolve your own internal resistance, get familiar with being the way you want to be by going their mentally, and filling out the detail even before you start making your changes.
Focus on changing your thinking, rather than focusing on changing your behavior.
Our behavior flows from our emotional state, which is informed by our thinking patterns and the stories we tell ourselves. So discover the thinking patterns and stories you’ve been using that have prevented you from already having the life you want and being the person you want to be. You can do this by asking yourself,“What have I been assuming that’s prevented me from having what I want?” And then question those assumptions, ask yourself what other assumptions are possibly true in that context, and choose to operate under those liberating assumptions instead.
Focus on the feelings
Ultimately, it’s feelings we want and we only want other stuff because of the feelings we think it’ll give us. So become aware of the feelings you’re seeking. This will have two great results: first you’ll have what you ultimately want right now rather than having to wait till you’ve changed your circumstances. Second, by feeling the way you want to feel, you’ll be getting familiar with the changes you want to make, making it easier to make those changes without your own internal resistance.
Break your change into small, achievable steps you can take on a daily basis
It’s much easier to make change incrementally than it is to make major changes in a few areas of your life all in one go. This is because more change means more unfamiliarity and the greater the unfamiliarity, the more likely that a part of you will resist the changes and try to go back to what’s familiar.
Focusing on big changes can also cause overwhelm and stress, which closes down your thinking, causing de-motivation and making it harder for you to make your changes. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by the changes you want to make, break your changes into small steps and focus on doing only the next step that feels achievable and liberating.
Alcohol use can be a slippery slope. Moderate drinking can offer some health benefits. But heavy drinking can have serious consequences.
It sounds like a mixed message: Drinking alcohol may offer some health benefits, especially for your heart. On the other hand, alcohol may increase your risk of health problems and damage your heart.
So which is it? When it comes to drinking alcohol, the key is doing so only in moderation. Certainly, you don’t have to drink any alcohol, and if you currently don’t drink, don’t start drinking for the possible health benefits. In some cases, it’s safest to avoid alcohol entirely — the possible benefits don’t outweigh the risks. Here’s a closer look at the connection between alcohol and your health.
Health benefits of moderate alcohol use
Moderate alcohol consumption may provide some health benefits. It may:
— Reduce your risk of developing and dying from heart disease
— Possibly reduce your risk of ischemic stroke (when the arteries to your brain become narrowed or blocked, causing severely reduced blood flow)
— Possibly reduce your risk of diabetes
Even so, the evidence about the possible health benefits of alcohol isn’t certain, and alcohol may not benefit everyone who drinks.
Guidelines for moderate alcohol use
If you choose to drink alcohol, do so only in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger.
Examples of one drink include:
Beer: 12 fluid ounces (355 milliliters)
Wine: 5 fluid ounces (148 milliliters)
Distilled spirits (80 proof): 1.5 fluid ounces (44 milliliters)
Moderate alcohol use may be of most benefit if you’re an older adult or if you have existing risk factors for heart disease. If you’re a middle-aged or younger adult, some evidence shows that even moderate alcohol use may cause more harm than good. You can take other steps to benefit your cardiovascular health besides drinking — eating a healthy diet and exercising, for example.
Myth: Energy drinks have “high” or “dangerous” amounts of caffeine.
Fact: The vast majority of energy drinks consumed in the United States – including Monster, Red Bull, Rockstar, AMP, Full Throttle and NOS – have similar or lower levels of caffeine than home-brewed coffee which many Americans enjoy on a daily basis. And many contain about half the caffeine of a similarly-sized coffeehouse coffee. A 16 fluid ounce energy drink typically contains between 160 and 240 milligrams of caffeine, while the same size coffeehouse coffee contains around 300 to 330 milligrams. Moreover, caffeine has been safely consumed around the world for hundreds of years.
Myth: With the recent growth of the energy drink category, Americans are getting dangerous amounts of caffeine in their diet.
Fact: The FDA commissioned an in-depth analysis of caffeine consumption among the U.S. population in 2009, which was then updated in 2010. This report concludes that, despite the growth of energy drinks in the marketplace, the average amount of caffeine consumed by the adult U.S. population remains consistent with past FDA estimates – at approximately 300 milligrams of caffeine daily.
The report also found that coffee and tea remain the primary source of caffeine in the American diet. Furthermore, that same report indicated that teens and young adults ages 14 to 21 years consume, on average, approximately one-third the amount of caffeine as people over 21 – about 100 milligrams per day – and that most of their caffeine consumption is from beverages other than energy drinks.
Myth: Energy drinks aren’t regulated.
Fact: Energy drinks, their ingredients and labeling are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)— even those that are labeled as a dietary supplement using a Supplement Facts panel, instead of a conventional food using a Nutrition Facts panel. And, as with most consumer products, energy drink advertising is subject to oversight from the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Myth: Youth are major consumers of energy drinks.
Fact: A report on caffeine consumption among the U.S. population commissioned by FDA in 2009, and then updated in 2010 and again in 2012, indicated that teens and young adults ages 14 to 21 years consume, on average, approximately one-third the amount of caffeine as people over 21 – about 100 milligrams per day – and that most of their caffeine consumption is from beverages other than energy drinks (Somogyi 2012). Importantly, the 2012 report also showed that the average amount of caffeine consumed has remained constant.
Myth: There’s no way for a consumer to know how much caffeine is in an energy drink.
Fact: There are several ways to find out exactly how much caffeine is in an energy drink. Most mainstream energy drinks voluntarily list the total amount of caffeine from all sources right on the label. In addition, this information is readily available on company or product websites, as well as through their toll-free numbers.
Myth: Taurine is a stimulant.
Fact: Taurine is an amino acid that is naturally found in the human body, as well as in common food items such as seafood, scallops and poultry. Because taurine exists naturally in breast milk, it also is used as an additive in infant formula, one of the most researched products sold.
Myth: Guarana is a dangerous drug.
Fact: Guarana, another ingredient found in some energy drinks, is a nut-like seed from plants native to South America and is a natural source of caffeine. Guarana contributes caffeine to beverages – just as coffee, tea, cocoa, yerba mate or other natural sources of caffeine do.
Myth: Energy drinks are a new product about which too little is known.
Fact: Energy drinks have been enjoyed safely by millions of people around the world for more than 25 years, and in the United States for more than 15 years.
Myth: Energy drink companies target children.
Fact: Energy drinks are not intended for children. The leading energy drink makers have voluntarily pledged not to market these products to children or sell them in K-12 schools. In addition, these companies voluntarily display an advisory statement on energy drink packaging, stating that the product is not intended (or recommended) for children, pregnant or nursing women, and persons sensitive to caffeine.
Myth: Because of the caffeine content, combining energy drinks with alcohol is more dangerous than consuming alcohol alone.
Fact: The United Kingdom’s Committee on Toxicology (COT), an independent committee of experts that provides advice to agencies such as the Food Standards Agency (FSA), was asked by FSA to conduct an in-depth review of alcohol and caffeine. In December 2012, COT published a report which concluded that “the current balance of evidence does not support a harmful toxicological or behavioral interaction between caffeine and alcohol.” Nevertheless, leading energy drink makers have voluntarily pledged not to make claims that consuming alcohol with energy drinks counteracts the effects of alcohol.
Myth: Energy drinks are driving an increase in emergency room visits.
Fact: Although a recent government report showed that of the more than 136.1 million visits made to emergency room facilities, 20,783 involved energy drinks – either as the alleged reason or a contributing factor for the visit – in fact, as the FDA itself acknowledged, no conclusion about causation can be drawn from these reports.
This statistic is of concern as our industry is committed, first and foremost, to the safety and integrity of its beverages. Unfortunately, it is difficult to draw hard conclusions about the role of energy drinks in these hospital visits because the report did not provide information on the general health of the people involved or other circumstances which may have contributed to their hospital visit.
Nonetheless, our industry takes this information seriously and will continue to safeguard consumers through voluntary steps such as listing caffeine content on our product labels and displaying an advisory statement reminding consumers that energy drinks are not intended for children or recommended for pregnant or nursing women or other people sensitive to caffeine.
Caffeine is a safe ingredient. In fact, caffeine is safely consumed every day, in a wide variety of foods and beverages. It has been consumed by BILLIONS of people around the world – and has been for HUNDREDS of years.
Most energy drinks contain significantly less caffeine than a similarly-sized coffeehouse coffee. In fact, many contain about half. A 16 fluid ounce energy drink typically contains between 160 and 240 milligrams of caffeine, while the same size coffeehouse coffee contains around 300 to 330 milligrams.
Energy drink products first appeared in Europe and Asia in the 1970s, and became available in the United States in the late 1990s.
While energy drinks are a growing category they remain a niche product accounting for just under 2 percent of the total U.S. non-alcoholic beverages market (Beverage Marketing Corporation)
A report on caffeine consumption among the U.S. population commissioned by FDA in 2009, and then updated in 2010 and again in 2012, indicated that teens and young adults ages 14 to 21 years consume, on average, approximately one-third the amount of caffeine as people over 21 – about 100 milligrams per day – and that most of their caffeine consumption is from beverages other than energy drinks. Importantly, the 2012 report also showed that the average amount of caffeine consumed has remained constant.
Energy drinks, their ingredients and labeling are regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and, as with most consumer products, their advertising is subject to oversight by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Many of the common ingredients found in energy drinks occur naturally in other foods that we enjoy regularly such as seafood, poultry and grains, as well as plants.
Taurine, a common ingredient in energy drinks, is an amino acid that is naturally found in the human body, as well as in food items such as seafood, scallops and poultry. Because taurine exists naturally in breast milk, it is also used as an additive in infant formula, one of the most researched products sold.
Guarana, another ingredient found in some energy drinks, is a nut-like seed from plants native to South America and is a natural source of caffeine.
Leading energy drink makers voluntarily:
display total caffeine amounts – from all sources – on their packages;
display an advisory statement on their packages indicating that the product is not intended (or recommended) for children, pregnant or nursing women, or persons sensitive to caffeine; and
do not market energy drinks to children or sell or market them in K-12 schools.
These labeling and marketing guidelines, among others, are included in the American Beverage Association’s Guidance for the Responsible Labeling and Marketing of Energy Drinks.