LA Fit Expo 2016 Recap Part II: Energy Drink / Fitness Supplement Cross-Overs


At the 2016 LA Fit Expo, I scoured thousands of booths looking for the best of the best. Among the fitness supplements, I found three that were energy drinks in disguise. Are these right for you? We review the pros and cons of three different products.

If you’ve noticed the explosion of products with branched-chain amino acids, and beta-alanine, this review is for you! If you like having caffeine before a workout to pump you up, but aren’t sure how much you need, THIS REVIEW IS FOR YOU!

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Featuring:

How NOT to remove a weight from a rack (pictorial)

VPX Bang Potent Brain and Body Fuel

Cytosport Mobilized Amino 6:1:1

P.S.P. (Physique Stimulating Pre-workout)

 

Fitness Meets Food

LA Fit Expo 2016 Recap Part I: When Fitness Meets Food


At the 2016 LA Fit Expo, I scoured thousands of booths looking for the best of the best. Among the food products, I found three that deserve to be on your next shopping list. Learn what those brands are, and also how much protein you really need per age/activity level.

If you love peanut butter, and/or frozen yogurt, this is for you. If you are constantly disappointed by the variety of protein bars out there, this is for you!

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Featuring:

IFIC Protein Needs by Gender, Age, and Activity Level chart

Oh Yeah! One Bar protein bars

ProYo protein-rich frozen yogurt

Yumbutter nut butters

 

Love_Hate December

What Consumers Should Know About Chipotle and Norovirus — GreenEyedGuide feat. on The Scientific Parent


On The Scientific Parent, I share my food science and food micro insight to help consumers understand the implications of the Chipotle foodborne illness outbreaks, and why the Norovirus outbreak is so different.

Read it now on The Scientific Parent

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Energy Drink of the Month – Jan 2016: Cran-Energy


If your New Year’s Resolution is to consume fewer energy drinks, you may be looking for some healthy swaps. How healthy is fruit juice, really? Obviously, it’s not as healthy as whole fruit, but usually healthier than soda. This energy drink (alternative) of the month is a healthy alternative to the stereotypical energy drink, but it is also an example of how “healthy” and “good for you” is a matter of context and perspective.

The Energy Drink of the Month is Cran-Energy Cranberry Energy Juice Drink.

On their own page, Ocean Spray’s clever distinction, “energy JUICE drink” highlights the ambiguity of how to classify this product. Since this product walks the line between the JUICE category and the ENERGY DRINK category, we’ll compare how healthy this product is relative to other products in each category.

Is it Juice or an Energy Drink? Product Category Confusion

If it was up to you to tally the annual sales of different types of beverages, would you put this in the “energy drink” category or the “juice” category? In their article “Juice Gone Wild”, the Center for Science in the Public Interest has effectively put this in the juice category. However, on their own site, Ocean Spray compares this product to “other energy drinks”. Furthermore, BevNet’s product assessment definitively puts this drink in the energy drink category as this product was specifically designed to give people energy.

 

Cran-Energy versus the stereotypical ENERGY DRINK

Since Red Bull is the number one selling brand in the ENERGY DRINK product category, we’ll compare Cran-Energy to Red Bull.

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Click here to open and download the Cran-Energy vs Energy Drink DATASHEET

Against a stereotypical energy drink, Cran-Energy IS a healthy swap. The 2015-2016 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) recommends sodium intake not exceed 2300 mg per day. With such a low limit, the lower sodium of Cran-Energy is a healthier option than Red Bull.

Furthermore, the 2015-2016 DGA recommendation is to limit intake of added sugars (like those in the Red Bull) to less than 10% of total calories per day [Source – FoodInsight.org].  It’s also important to note that since the sugars in the Cran-Energy come from grape and cranberry juice, they’re not TECHNICALLY “added sugars” because they’re natural in grape juice. (Though grape juice isn’t naturally added to cranberry juice, is it? Hello, loophole!)

But what about the Sucralose in Cran-Energy? The 2015-2016 DGA agrees with leading global authorities including the European Food Safety Authority that sweeteners like sucralose are safe to consume, though the DGA does note that “replacing added sugars with high-intensity sweeteners may reduce calorie intake in the short-term, yet, questions remain about their effectiveness as a long-term weight management strategy.” [Source – FoodInsight.org].

 

Cran-Energy versus Cranberry JUICE

To the rushed shopper, Cran-Energy might pass as fancy cranberry juice. Comparing Ocean Spray’s Cran-Energy to Ocean Spray’s Cranberry 100% Juice, Cran-Energy IS NOT a healthy swap.

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Click here to open and download the Cran-Energy vs Cranberry 100percent Juice DATASHEET

While the Cran-Energy offers a cluster of B-vitamins, it also contains artificial colors and sweeteners that aren’t in the Cranberry 100% juice. Furthermore, consider the juice content itself! Looking at the front of the label, you might think Ocean Spray Cranberry 100% juice is 100% cranberry juice, when in fact other fruits like grape, apple, and pear are also used to make this 100% juice. (When you can’t add plain sugar, grape juice is a very sweet natural source) Cran-Energy is only 23% juice, and is mostly filtered water. If you wanted to reap the benefits of cranberry juice, Cran-Energy is not going to help you.

 

BOTTOM LINE

It’s short-sighted to call anything (even 100% juice) healthy, because a term like this deserves context. With proper context, we can see that Cran-Energy IS NOT a healthy swap for 100% juice (let alone whole fruit), but it IS a healthy swap for the stereotypical energy drink.

~GreenEyedGuide

 

EXPLORE THE CAFFEINE INFORMER DATABASE

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Get your copy of “Are You a Monster or a Rock Star: A Guide to Energy Drinks — How They Work, Why They Work, How to Use Them Safely”

 

 

 

Bread and Coffee

Comments on Caffeinated Flour


While I am all for food science innovation, I am extremely cautious to with anything that makes it harder for one to keep track of how much caffeine they’ve consumed. Yes, I know there’s an app for that. But in a world that both loves coffee and loves to talk about the “dangers of energy drinks”, coffee flour warrants some concern.

An article in FWx discusses new caffeinated flour which can provide 100 mg (aka more than an 8 oz Red Bull) per 4 g flour. The innovation implications are enormous, and wonderful — a product developer’s dream come true! For caffeine and carb lovers, this innovation is the greatest thing since sliced bread! HOWEVER, the application can easily cause problems for those who do love all things caffeine (and/or carbs).

What if someone uses the new caffeinated peanut butter on their caffeinated toast? What if they then wash it down with a large cup of coffee or tea (caffeine amounts vary) or even just something made with green tea extract (such as a V8 V-fusion: 80mg caffeine from green tea extract)?

The European Food Safety Authority confirmed that up to 200 mg caffeine can be consumed per sitting, and 400 mg caffeine is the maximum daily dosage that is safe for healthy adults (anyone under 18 should stick to 100 mg, unless you’re Canadian then it’s just anyone under 14). How easy will it be for one too many (caffeinated) bagels or bear-claws to put someone past the point of safe caffeine consumption?

This innovation should be celebrated, with caution. Let us take this opportunity to revisit caffeine safety and how energy drinks aren’t the only “danger” for over-consumption.

~GreenEyedGuide

RELATED READING

EXPLORE THE CAFFEINE INFORMER DATABASE

Support the GreenEyedGuide on Patreon
Visit the Energy Drink Guide Facebook page (sooo close to 100 Likes!)
Follow the GreenEyedGuide on Twitter
Follow GreenEyedGuide-the-NPC-Figure-Athlete on Instagram and Tumblr

Get your copy of “Are You a Monster or a Rock Star: A Guide to Energy Drinks — How They Work, Why They Work, How to Use Them Safely”