Science behind energy drinks and their ingredients, shared by green-eyed food biochemist and author 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"


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Short Bio


Danielle Robertson Rath, known as “GreenEyedGuide”, is the food biochemist behind the 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”, and the creator of the “5 Levels of Fatigue” system. Starting her studies in metabolic biochemistry and nutrition at the very beginning of the US energy drink boom, GreenEyedGuide understands what it’s like to grow up without caffeine. As someone who’s held multiple jobs throughout college and grad school, she also knows what it’s like to depend on caffeine. GreenEyedGuide uses her biochemistry background and 10 years of research on energy drink ingredients to explain the science behind these products. She believes energy drinks are not for everyone, and that some ingredients are to be avoided, but that not all energy drinks are as unhealthy or dangerous as they are portrayed. She has publicly advocated against alcohol-energy drink combinations in multiple outlets, including a letter to Time Magazine. She has also lectured at campuses such as Cal State Fullerton about the effects of energy drinks and caffeine on stress, anxiety, and sleep. She has been a contributing author for,, and


My Story

Like Paracelsus, the “Father of Toxicology”, I believe that the dose distinguishes a poison from a cure. Sugar isn’t going to kill you, but too much sugar might. Same thing with caffeine; same thing with water. I do not believe that all natural foods are automatically healthy, nor do I believe that all processed foods are automatically unhealthy. Case in point: some plants are toxic; vegetables that are washed, cut, canned and/or frozen are all technically processed food.

The details matter – that’s where I come in.

I earned my bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of California San Diego and a master’s degree in food science and food biochemistry from the University of California Davis. I grew up without energy drinks and without coffee shops on every corner.

I hated the bitter taste of coffee and tea and learned to live without soda thanks to those years of wearing braces. In short, I learned how to make due without caffeine. And yet, I could not have balanced two part-time jobs as a full-time biochemistry major without the help of energy drinks.

When Monster Energy hit US markets, I had just started my advanced studies in nutrition and biochemistry. I heard the hype, I read the news stories about kids having energy drinks for breakfast, and I knew how and why energy drinks worked thanks to my college courses. I was immediately fascinated by these caffeinated products, and that’s when the dream to share my insight with others began.

My primary goal, right from the beginning, was to help people understand these products like I do, so they could make informed decisions to skip them or sip them safely.

Energy drinks are not for everyone, but it is folly to assume that no one can benefit from them. For one thing, there are far too many products marketed as “energy drinks” to assume they are all good or all bad.

Changing the World 1 book at a time

My Book – THE Energy Drink Guide

Since 2003, I’ve collected research on energy drinks and supplements, while also collecting and assessing hundreds of energy drink products from New Zealand, Mexico, Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom.

In my book ARE YOU A MONSTER OR A ROCK STAR: a guide to energy drinks, I review 20 of the most common ingredients used in energy drinks. From the B-vitamins to yerba mate, this book explains what the ingredient is, what it does in the body and how much is too much (or too little in the case of vitamin deficiencies). Instead of using confusing science jargon or overly generic terms like everybody else, I use clever anecdotes and examples that anyone (not just science-nerds) can relate to. Want an easy way to understand how B-vitamins work? Niacin is like the person everyone wants at their party and vitamin B5, also called pantothenic acid, is like a dog on a leash. Read one vitamin section in this guide and you’ll never forget that vitamin’s role again.

In this book, I also review the ABC’s of caffeine safety: Adverse Event Reporting, Biological Sensitivity, and Consumption Specifics. Did you know that how fast someone consumes caffeine can alter its efficacy? Did you know that a carbonated energy drink can feel more potent than a non-carbonated energy drink with the same caffeine content?

I share these tips and tricks through my blog and my book, in the hopes of helping people see past the confusion and find what works for them.

I hope you enjoy looking at food science and caffeine through my green eyes.

envious eyeAre You a Monster or a Rock Star: a guide to energy drink – book details:

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-62646-457-5
Hardcover ISBN: 978-1-62646-456-8
EPUB ISBN: 9781626465138
MOBI ISBN: 9781626465145
(This is a number assigned by Amazon. It is unique to Amazon. It is not an ISBN.)

Published by Booklocker:

Available on Audible, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, eBay and more (ask your local bookstore).

Contact GreenEyedGuide

I am no longer accepting guest posts – unless you can convince me you are a TRUE FAN of my site and that you have a passion for energy drinks, caffeine, and/or food science. Thank you for understanding.

Use the form below to contact me – I almost always respond within 24 hours



7 thoughts on “About/Contact

    1. I like to start by reviewing paperwork before I actually taste any samples. If you would like to submit a product for review you can visit the “About” page on and use the submission form at the bottom. I love looking at different products and labels, thank you.


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