Avoid Energy Drinks and Caffeinated Sodas
You don’t need us to remind you that sugary, fizzy drinks and caffeine laden energy drinks are bad for our health and rank amongst the worst foods to eat. Quite aside from the dozens of teaspoons of sugar present in each can, the caffeine and other energy boosting ingredients such as taurine (an amino acid) are questionable too.
Caffeine is known to be healthy due to its numerus polyphenol antioxidant compounds that are known to support a healthy immune system. But more than a cup or two of coffee a day (preferably ‘proper’ ground coffee, not instant coffee which can contain processing chemicals) could be detrimental to immunity.
Caffeine, particularly lots of it at once, such as from an energy drink, boosts levels of cortisol. Cortisol is a stress hormone, that gives us that blissful post-coffee feeling of euphoria. But like with most things, too much isn’t good. High levels of cortisol can dampen our immune system. To add to that, caffeine can supress the amount of T cells produced by the body. T cells are types of white blood cell that play an important role in immunity.
Diet sodas, which might be free from sugar, still contain caffeine and artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharine and sucralose. All of which can affect the delicate balance of gut bacteria that scientists now know are crucial for regulating the immune system. So avoid all of these types of drinks where possible.