Following your passion requires vision, commitment, persistence, and long hours. October challenges your vision and commitment because it brings shorter days, midterms, the distractions of a looming Holiday Season, and the time crunch to meet End of the Year company objectives. This month, we review an energy drink-in-disguise designed to “complement your work hard/play hard lifestyle” with green coffee beans, monk fruit, erythritol, and coconut water.
The Energy Drink of the Month for October is Clean Energy Organics
There are four flavors available at the time of this review. Lavender Lemonade is my favorite (and not just because I’m a sucker for puns and alliterations).
Who is This For – Ingredient Preferences and Phobias
Is this drink for you? What ingredients do you look for (or try to avoid) in an energy drink?
- Low Calorie, low sugar
- Sweetened by cane sugar and also monk fruit and erythritol
- Gluten Free
- BPA Free (referring to the plastic bottle)
- NO stereotypical energy drink ingredients (such as taurine, carnitine, glucuronolactone, and guarana)
- NO vitamin fortification
- NO Stevia – some people get a bitter-metallic aftertaste with this natural sweetener
- NO artificial colors or flavors – the flavor is natural and the color comes from fruit and vegetable juices
Caffeine from Green Coffee Beans
Green coffee beans are regular coffee beans that are spared the roasting. The caffeine is extracted without having to roast the beans, which means they do not give that typical roasted coffee bean flavor. Green coffee beans are a natural source of caffeine that gives a beverage a different taste than beverages with caffeine from green tea extract or guayusa.
Once it’s in your body, caffeine is caffeine is caffeine. It won’t kick in any faster or give you a weaker or stronger buzz than the same amount of caffeine from another source. One of the benefits of getting caffeine from a natural source is that there are often other molecules (such as antioxidants and phytonutrients) that come with the caffeine when it’s extracted. It’s like getting a diamond ring versus getting a diamond ring in a Tiffany’s bag. Sometimes the package makes it that much more special.
If niacin is my favorite B-vitamin then monk fruit is my favorite sweetener.
If niacin is my favorite B-vitamin then monk fruit is my favorite sweetener. It’s a natural sweetener extracted from Luo Han Guo. The molecule responsible for the sweetness is “mogroside V”, and many Luo Han Guo extracts provide ~50% mogroside V. (Can you guess what the other ~50% is? Yummy, tangy monk fruit particles!)
Pronounced “irr-ith-rit-all”, erythritol a natural alternative sweetener like monk fruit and stevia. Except erythritol is is even better than stevia because stevia gives many people a bitter metallic aftertaste. Instead of a bitter taste, erythritol and other sugar-alcohols impart a “cooling sensation” in the mouth.
Erythritol is 60-70% as sweet as sucrose (table sugar) and has a very similar taste profile. While it’s non-caloric, it has a molecular size that gives it more mouthfeel. Think fruit juice versus fruit smoothie: the fruit smoothie has a heavier “mouthfeel”. If you remove sugar from a drink, it can make the drink feel very thin and watery, so using something like erythritol can help give the liquid more body.
Erythritol occurs naturally, like monk fruit and stevia, but it’s made through natural fermentation. It’s a sugar-alcohol, like the Xylitol often used in sugar-free gum. With xylitol, however, too much of it can really upset a person’s stomach. With erythritol, a person could consume twice as much – at least 0.66 grams per kilogram of body weight – before they started getting same stomach issues.
Another benefit to erythritol is that it has been shown in some studies to reduce the risk of cavities or “dental caries”. Dental caries are a huge complaint against Sugar-Sweetened Beverages. Replacing that sugar with something tooth-friendly like erythritol is a win-win!
While tasting Stevia extracts can be considered a form of hazing (see “The Linger – A Food Science Horror Story”), tasting monk fruit extracts is like tasting home recipes for pina colada. There’s something about monk fruit that makes it taste…tropical.
Coconut water can help improve hydration by providing electrolytes like potassium. If the Fall season has you sneezing and coughing, you might find yourself more dehydrated than you realize. It’s harder to stay hydrated when it’s cold outside, but hydration is just as important in the Fall and Winter as it is in the Summer and Spring.
Citric Acid, Tripotassium Citrate, and Gum Acacia
These “other ingredients” don’t have a giant role in this product, but that’s not to say they’re not important. Citric acid and tripotassium citrate can also contribute to the “tanginess” of a drink while controlling the pH (acidity) to prevent spoilage microorganisms from growing in the product. The gum acacia helps with the thickness of the drink, making a liquid solution of all these different ingredients taste like one homogenous, smooth beverage.
When to Consume – The 5 Levels of Fatigue
An energy drink is like your favorite song: what works for YOU may not work for ME, and what works for you on a Monday morning may not be your Go-To for Friday nights.
The 5 Levels of Fatigue is a system I developed to help people pick a drink which matches their situation. This system categorizes products using factors like juice content, carbonation, delivery method, and caffeine content. This system beats caffeine tolerance and dependence. This system prevents people from using caffeine when they’re really just tired from dehydration. This system helps people consume caffeine safely.
Since these drinks have 80 mg caffeine per bottle, this drink is suitable for FATIGUE LEVEL 2. That is when you know you’re not just tired because you’re dehydrated, but you also know you don’t need a super-strong caffeine drink. You want to save those highly caffeinated drinks for when you ABSOLUTELY NEED THEM. A super-strong caffeine drink is one you only want in rare cases of energy emergencies like all-nighters and double-shifts. A Fatigue Level 2 drink like CEO is something you can drink multiple times a week.
If you’re constantly pushing yourself to your limits – whether it’s in the gym or with your “side hustle” – you want an energy drink that won’t damage your diet or put you at risk of caffeine overload. CEO is a terrific tasting energy drink with a great blend of Organic ingredients.
CEO Homepage: http://www.drinkceo.com/
Review the entire ENERGY DRINK OF THE MONTH SERIES
Get your copy of MY BOOK: “Are You a Monster or a Rock Star: A Guide to Energy Drinks — How They Work, Why They Work, How to Use Them Safely”
- Love what I do? – SUPPORT ME ON PATREON
- Explore the CAFFEINE INFORMER database
- Need help with quitting caffeine? I HIGHLY recommend this Caffeine Informer guide: Awake: How to Quit from Caffeine for Good
- Love energy drinks/ coffee/ caffeine? Visit Facebook.com/energydrinkguide
- Love Fitness + Caffeine? Visit Facebook.com/greeneyedguide
- Energy Drinks + Fitness/Bodybuilding on Instagram
- Share your can on Twitter