The world of energy drinks is vast, and there isn’t enough time to give every caffeinated drink the full “Energy Drink of the Month” deep dive review. In my quest to highlight the caffeinated beverages that don’t fit the coffee or energy drink stereotypes, I like to share the science behind the various caffeinated beverages I come across in my travels.
Science Behind Performix Energy
If you’re short on time, here’s the original Instagram post with the gist of the details. If you want more information, keep reading below.
With 275mg caffeine (Fatigue Level 4) this drink is STRONGER than an EXTRA STRENGTH Rockstar Energy! BUT the caffeine is released slowly overtime. (More on this technology in another post coming soon!) BRAIN BOOSTERS: 👍*Cognizin Citicoline – 250mg daily was associated with improved attentional performance 👍*Caffeine + Theanine work together to improve attention switching and alertness & reduce susceptibility to distractions.🐿 BOTTOM LINE: Because of the Caffeine+Theanine and Cognizin, this would be a good drink to try when you hit Fatigue Level 4. Plus, with the delayed release of the caffeine, it's a safer way to get this large dose of caffeine. . #foodscience #caffeine #energydrink
Key Ingredients and What They Do
Aside from the potent caffeine content, Performix SST Energy has some reputable “brain boosters” in its “Performance Focus Blend”. But first, let’s talk about the ingredient doing all the work in this drink:
Surprise! This drink is STRONGER than an Extra Strength Rockstar Energy with 275mg caffeine (Fatigue Level 4) per can. Note, however, that the caffeine is encapsulated so you’re not getting the full dose all up front or all at the same time.
According to the EFSA, 200 mg caffeine is the max adults should consume in one serving.
Citicoline has been used in numerous studies assessing cognitive health and especially cognitive decline with diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease. A double-blind, placebo-controlled (aka legit) study involving healthy participants showed that daily supplementation with citicoline improved cognitive function and performance. That study can be found here:
Improved Attentional Performance Following Citicoline Administration in Healthy Adult Women
In combination, caffeine and theanine are expected to reduce susceptibility to distractions, improve attention switching and alertness, and provide alertness without jitters. Many studies have shown this is true, but not all of them.
In another study we reviewed on GreenEyedGuide, a combination of caffeine and theanine resulted in no better Global versus Local Attention nor Executive Network Control than the placebo.
Note, in that study, participants were emotionally stressed out before having their attention measured, so that may be the difference for whether this combo is effective for you or not.
GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID (AKA GABA)
GABA regulates many of the depressive and sedative actions in brain tissue, which is why it’s critical for relaxation. However, GABA is a highly regulated compound so orally ingested GABA cannot alter human physiology very much, according to the research compiled at Examine.com.
GABA goes well with things that increase nitric oxide because this improves GABA’s ability to get across the blood-brain barrier. However, GABA is here with betaine, not beetroot. The difference is subtle but significant.
Beetroot contains inorganic nitrate (NO3-) as the main bioactive for cardiovascular and endurance exercise interactions and, in tests that measure time to exhaustion, beetroot juice appears help with a prolongation of exercise performance. Betaine is a component of beetroot, but it does not increase nitric oxide levels like beetroot (if at all). According to Examine.com, the betaine-nitric oxide claim was presented in a pilot study but could not be replicated in a controlled intervention.
In three different double-blind studies, daily doses of ashwagandha reduced anxiety in people with chronic stress or anxiety disorders. But it’s still not for certain Ashwagandha can help memory since giving Ashwagandha to an otherwise healthy control group (OF RODENTS!) for one month failed to improve memory when compared to the drug-free control.
It doesn’t appear GABA and betaine are going to do anything significant and the ashwagandha is in a big enough dose to do anything. (Plus, if you’re taking ashwagandha for your anxiety, you might want to avoid the caffeine, right?) Nonetheless, the Caffeine+Theanine combo and Cognizin make this drink a good swap for something like Rockstar Energy when you hit Fatigue Level 4. Just make sure you account for the delayed-release of caffeine.
For more Quick Reviews, they’re compiled here.
I’ve researched the science and safety behind energy drinks and their ingredients since 2003. This book is the culmination of my research:
- 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” on Amazon and NOW ON AUDIBLE***
Need help with quitting caffeine?
- I HIGHLY recommend this Caffeine Informer guide: Awake: How to Quit from Caffeine for Good