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Dianna Saa
Finish Fit boot camp has demonstrated to me that I am VERY capable of pushing my body to its limits. Prior to starting the class I was nervous because it had been a really long time since I had been physically active. With Finish Fit I am now 5 pounds away from my pre-baby weight, something I had been trying to lose for two years! Thanks Lauren, Brett and Armen for helping me lose 10 pounds in four weeks!

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David Binns
My name is David Binns. I began working out three years ago and while I was able to lose weight, I still lacked tone. I began lifting but only showed very small results after a year. Since I have started training with Armen, I have gained about 8 lbs of muscle in a short 3 months. I have more energy, better stamina, and my workout regimen has improved as well to be more rounded. These are things that I tried to do myself by reading books on the subject but that I am now convinced only comes with years experience and an extended education in training. These are both things that Armen possesses and has used to guide me to very favorable results. Using his advice I have improved my diet, and focused on foods that help burn fat and build muscle. My workouts have reached new levels with him pushing me to attain the best results. Armen has also helped me to create a workout schedule for the whole week, not just at personal training. I would recommend personal training to anyone who wants fast results that last.

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Health and Fitness News

High-Octane Drinks

What you should know about the wide world of energy drinks.

You stayed up late studying for a big exam in the morning. Or maybe you have a sports competition and want a quick burst of energy to perform your best. Perhaps your kids don’t let you get the sleep you need and you’ve got a huge presentation this morning. In all three situations, your solution may be an energy drink.

Energy drinks do just that—they provide extra energy to improve physical performance and mental focus. Used mostly by teens and young adults, energy drinks are available in either 16-ounce bottles or 2- to 2.5-ounce cans of energy shots that contain concentrated liquid.

Great as you may think they are, not everyone agrees. In recent years, the safety of energy drinks has been called into question. Should you give them up?
When considering whether or not to use energy drinks, here’s what you should know.

Caffeine and Sugar

The two main ingredients in energy drinks that provide that extra burst of energy are caffeine and sugar. An 8-ounce cup of coffee contains 100 mg of caffeine, while a 16-ounce energy drink contains 70 to 240 mg. A tiny energy shot contains up to 242 mg of caffeine.

Besides caffeine and sugar, energy drinks contain other ingredients including amino acids, ginseng root, B vitamins, ginkgo biloba, and the stimulants ephedrine and guarana seed. The effect of these stimulants, vitamins, and herbs may be enhanced by the high caffeine content.

From the list of ingredients, energy drinks fall somewhere between a soda and a nutritional supplement. People claim they taste that way as well.

The Pros

In most cases, people are able to use energy drinks without any ill health consequences. The drink helps keep them focused, energized, productive, and alert. With an assortment of flavors, energy drinks are served cold or room temperature, allowing the user to drink it faster and experience the effects of caffeine in less time. There are even zero-calorie options, so you can get your energy and not sweat added calories.

The Cons

Energy drinks may be easily accessible and affordable, but everyone should be aware of their potential risks. While young people consume the most energy drinks, children, teens, and young adults are at the greatest risk for serious health effects.

The effects of energy drinks are most dangerous for kids under the age of 18, pregnant women, people not used to high amounts of caffeine, and people taking certain medications. There have even been cases of cardiac arrest after consumption of more than one energy drink at a time.

When you consume energy drinks, the caffeine triggers your body’s adrenaline “fight or flight” response, which has a direct effect on the cardiovascular system. High amounts of caffeine increase blood pressure and heart rate and can cause altered heart rhythms. People with heart conditions or who are taking certain medications (including Adderall for attention deficit disorder) are at an increased risk for irregular heartbeat or even a deadly heart arrhythmia. Therefore, it’s best if these individuals avoid energy drinks. Additionally, young children whose nervous and cardiovascular systems are still developing should never drink energy drinks.

There are also general warnings for everyone. Because caffeine is a stimulant drug, people who consume high amounts are more likely to have sleep troubles, anxiety issues, restlessness, and digestive problems. Since caffeine is a diuretic, dehydration becomes a greater risk. For this reason, people must use extreme caution when exercising, especially in the heat.

One of the greatest dangers of energy drinks arises when combined with alcohol. That’s because caffeine inhibits one’s feelings of intoxication, while the effects of alcohol are still present.

And if you’re wondering about sugar content, a single 16-ounce energy drink has nearly twice the amount of added sugar that you should consume in an entire day.

So the next time you need a pick-me-up, take a hard look at the pros and cons of energy drinks. You may be better off doing a few jumping jacks, drinking a glass of water, or taking a nap to rev up your energy levels.

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