Before you crack open an energy drink…

April 8, 2014

If you need a quick boost before stepping onstage, energy drinks are one thing you should definitely avoid. Why? Though tempting, the caffeine rush can be too much of a good (and sometimes dangerous) thing, since many drinks can have up to 500 mg of caffeine. That’s equivalent to downing about five cups of coffee!


And if you think being a savvy nutrition label reader can help you choose a drink without too much caffeine, you’re wrong. Many popular brands of energy drinks fail to list the amount of caffeine on their packaging. How do companies get away with this? Many labels have a “supplemental facts panel” in addition to the normal nutrition facts box, and doing so means the drinks don’t have to be approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Even with the recently proposed updates to the nutrition facts label, the FDA doesn’t require information about caffeine to be included.


While having some caffeine—like one cup of coffee, around 100 mg of caffeine—can give you increased focus and add a punch to your performance, too much could negatively affect your stage time, resulting in wobbly balances, jittery turns and a racing heart rate that affects your timing.


And there are negative health effects offstage, too, like increased blood pressure and a greater risk of heart arrhythmias. Plus, if you’re in a habit of guzzling a can before each performance, you’re also increasing your risk of cardiovascular disease.