Sugary drinks can play a big impact on your waistline as well as your overall health. However sugar is just the first problem in your drink of choice. Too many caffeinated beverages could be bad for your heart and your body.
Making sure the Avera Heart Hospital stays clean and functioning, is a busy, hands on job. So every morning Steve Becker makes sure the coffee pot is on.
"I do, my wife gets up she heads to work before I do and she makes a pot of coffee and she'll have a cup out of there so there's about 8 cups left when I get to it and I drink it all before I come to work." Said Becker.
"A lot of people choose caffeine containing beverages whether it's soda and energy drink or coffee to be able to give them the next boost whether it's they're not sleeping well at night sometimes they use it to replace their breakfast to get them going in the morning and a lot of times we get dependent on it." Said Nikki Ver Steeg, a registered dietitian at the Avera Heart Hospital.
Caffeine addictions are an accepted vice in our society, but for those with heart issues it may be a habit you want to break.
"The big concerns for us related to over consumption of caffeine is the fact that people who have heart rhythm issues or arrhythmias, that can complicate it further and make it even harder for it to be controlled with medication." Said Ver Steeg.
The key word is over-consumption. A cup of coffee to start the day won't kill you. But if you're constantly refilling, your ticker and your waistband could be placed in jeopardy.
"A lot of times when you're consuming some of these caffeinated beverages there are hidden things in there too, whether it's added fats or added sugar and we all know that sugars are bad we've talked about that too and making sure that when we look at that we see we get a lot of extra calories and other things we don't really want to have which can definitely progress into being overweight and leading two more heart disease because of obesity and that's a concern." Said Ver Steeg.
Choosing the right beverage also makes a difference. For example, many people might look down on others who pick an energy drink over an espresso.
"I've got to tell you that when you're looking at size wise and comparing these energy drinks with some very common sources of coffee or where people frequent quite a bit the end up being equal or the coffee has more caffeine than the energy drink even has." Said Ver Steeg.
Too much off anything can be bad for you, so it's best to set limits. That way you don't find yourself returning to the coffee pot or the soda fountain. Steve and his wife brew half-caf during the week to help cut back.
"We just don't like that 100% caffeine in the morning. On the weekends we will drink a coffee blend and that's 100% caffeine but that's kind of what time we do it is for a little treat for ourselves." Said Becker.
The moral of the story: if you're thirsty choose water. And take it from Steve, sip and enjoy your caffeine kick starter.
"It's just something relaxing in the morning, I like to sit there and watch the morning news and have my couple coffee and I get wound up before I come to work!" Said Becker.
You won't develop an irregular heart beat from drinking too much caffeine. But if your beverage of choice has too much sugar in it you can develop heart disease and be forced to limit your caffeine intake. For more information just call 877-AT-AVERA.