The interaction between two ingredients reminds me of the relationship or “synergy” between a wizard and his wand in the world of Harry Potter. Synergy is when two things are stronger together than they are on their own. In other words, the same wizard might feel less powerful using a different wand: the combination of the two makes the difference.

I’ve been seeing a lot about ingredient interaction in the news lately, but this is only half the story. Behold, our Book Excerpt of the Week:

energy-synergy-vs-quality-and-composition

In the world of Harry Potter, a cracked or damaged wand will not be as powerful, even if used by its rightful owner. The quality overrides the synergy or interaction.

In nature, a plant might have a high concentration of caffeine or some other nutrient, but how much of that nutrient survived when that plant was turned into a powder? Some ingredients are commonly adulterated (like ginseng and gingko), and some ingredients are hard to absorb (like quercetin and polyphenol antioxidants).

If someone is telling you two ingredients are powerful or dangerous when combined, they should also address ingredient quality and composition. Poor quality ingredients, poorly absorbed ingredients, or ingredients that have been adulterated will not have the same synergistic/combined effects on your body as they do in a test tube.

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Learn More: 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” from Amazon, here. (Kindle, paperback, hardcover available).

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