GreenEyedGuide is a girl with GREEN EYES who wants to GUIDE you through the space where food science, nerdy metaphors, and caffeine collide!
Danielle Robertson Rath, known as “GreenEyedGuide”, is the 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”, and the creator of the “5 Levels of Fatigue” system. Starting her studies in metabolic biochemistry the 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 TheScientificParent.org, BroBible.com, and ScienceMeetsFood.org.
(a.k.a. how the stars aligned to make me so passionate about energy drinks)
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 do 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.