Keeping Pace in the Holiday Marathon

How to Shop Without the Drop and Stay Awake on New Year's Eve.

If you had trouble surviving Black Friday and the first full weekend of the official holiday shopping season, just wait until all of the parties, school pageants and family festivities kick in. The holidays can be every bit as long and physically demanding as a marathon. Unless you pace yourself and make sure you're stoked with enough high-quality energy, you could end up snoozing instead of celebrating.

If you're suffering from a personal "energy crisis," you're not alone. Millions of Americans seem to have "More Energy" near the top of their holiday wish lists. More and more of us are turning to energy drinks to help get us through our increasingly hectic, stressful and exhausting holiday schedules.

A recent report by revealed that, in the one-year period ending April 15th 2012, Americans spent $6.9 billion on energy drinks – a 15.7 percent increase over the previous year. It also said that, for the first time, energy drinks outsold bottled water.

"Many of these so-called energy drinks contain large amounts of sugar and stimulants," stated Cindy Nachman, CEO of Altrient, Inc. "Caffeine is a drug with addictive properties and some serious side effects. And the problems caused by excessive sugar in the diet are well documented and well known. Yet, Americans are increasing their consumption of these substances at an alarming rate."

Nachman cited another study by The Values Institute at DGWB, a social science research organization, that identified energy drinks as one of their top five "health and wellness trends consumers are most likely to embrace in 2012". It reported not only strong growth in youth markets, but also a growing popularity among seniors.

"Regardless of your age, a substantial increase in sugar and stimulant consumption is hardly a health and wellness trend," Nachman declared. "It's a heath and wellness threat. And adding energy drinks to your traditional menu of holiday treats, eggnog, cocktails and champagne can really take its toll on your body."