EHT and Caffeine – Brain Protection Duo

Drinking coffee reduces the risk of Parkinson’s Disease, but scientists didn’t know exactly how or why. UNTIL NOW! A study by Rutgers University scientists discovered that caffeine and something in the waxy coating of coffee beans (let’s just call it “EHT” for short) work as a dynamic duo to protect the brain. Read more

Can supplements really help you focus? Science Behind FocusAid

To say it was difficult getting good grades in high school while balancing competitive sports, family obligations etc. feels as silly as admitting I cried over a difficult physics exam. Now I laugh at my previous concept of “difficult” with the context of college, grad school, and adulthood. But balancing everything in high school was hard, and I was in high school during the early 2000s, before energy drinks and Starbucks took over the world. Then energy drinks came along, and I balanced two jobs while I was a full-time student in college, then two different jobs while I was in grad school. Caffeine changed my life in more ways than one, and I’ve been studying the science behind energy drinks since the day I declared myself a biochemistry major back in 2003. Read more

Caffeinated Water 101

-updated 7/9/2019

Caffeinated water can be a great alternative to the stereotypical energy drink, but there are some important details to consider before trying it.  This is the first of a three-part series on caffeinated water. In this series, we’ll answer the most commonly asked questions including:

  • Is caffeinated water safe?
  • Is caffeinated water healthy?
  • How does caffeinated water compare to energy drinks?
  • Does caffeine make you dehydrated?
  • How does caffeine affect urine output?

I’ve been researching energy drinks for several years now and I’m always amazed at how far we’ve come from the days when Red Bull and Monster were your only alternatives to coffee and caffeinated soda. Caffeinated waters are another way energy drinks have evolved to meet the desires of consumers. In this case, that desire is for an energy drink with simple ingredients and minimal side-effects.

In This Series:

Caffeinated Water 101

Don’t have time to watch the full video? No worries! The key details are below.

What is Caffeinated Water?

Caffeinated waters lie on a spectrum. Some brands of caffeinated water are literally just caffeine and water; other brands of caffeinated water contain caffeine, water, and other ingredients like flavor, colors, and sweetener.

Where does the FDA stand on this?

The FDA’s definition of water includes the fact it’s zero Calorie. The FDA has issued warning letters to companies for using the word “water” to market/label drinks with added sugars because these drinks are not Calorie-free, and therefore can’t be called “water”.

How to Say Leviosa

Hello, Loophole: If it’s not Zero Calorie, it’s “water BEVERAGE”, not “water”.

For the rest of this discussion, I’m going to define Caffeinated Water as a non-carbonated beverage with caffeine and few other ingredients: no vitamins or electrolytes, no added sugars or juice, maybe some flavor or non-calorie sweetener and some citric acid for flavor and freshness.

Is Caffeinated Water Healthy?

In general, caffeinated waters will have less complicated formulas than the stereotypical energy drink. There (probably) won’t be any taurine, carnitine, glucuronolactone, or guarana in caffeinated water. This is good news for those who think energy drink ingredients interact and make energy drinks more dangerous than coffee. For caffeinated water, that concern is a moot point.

Some caffeinated water does have artificial ingredients.

If you’re trying to avoid this, read the label!

“Healthy” is a relative term but, with the simpler formula, caffeinated water is healthier than sugar-free Red Bull (for example). But being a healthy drink depends on the caffeine content, which brings us to the next big question.

Is Caffeinated Water Safe?

Don’t assume caffeinated water is safer than energy drinks because some brands of caffeinated waters have more caffeine per can than some brands of energy drinks. To be safe, it’s up to you to check the label and confirm the caffeine content is something you can handle. People have overdosed on pure caffeine powder – just because there’s no taurine or ingredients you can’t pronounce doesn’t mean it’s safe for you to drink.

For reference, the max amount of caffeine adults can have in one day is 400 mg caffeine total. The max per serving is 200 mg caffeine. [EFSA Guidelines]

Should You Drink Caffeinated Water?

If you’re looking for something that tastes more like water (meaning flavor is really weak, like cucumber or lemon in your water), caffeinated water is a good alternative to the stereotypical energy drink.

If you’re looking at a specific brand, ask yourself these 3 questions:

  1. Is the caffeine a good amount for me
  2. Does this contain any ingredients I’m trying to limit in my diet?
  3. Am I thirsty / Would a non-caffeinated water mix-in work just as well?

Now on to Part Two: Caffeine and Hydration

Love this info? Want to learn more?

I’ve researched the science and safety behind energy drinks and their ingredients since 2003. This book is the culmination of my research:

Need help with quitting caffeine?

Delayed Release Caffeine – GreenEyedGuide on ScienceMeetsFood.org

“It’s 3:00 pm and you’re exhausted. You woke up exhausted, but you had coffee for breakfast, and now you’re exhausted again. You are now thinking that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea to stay up ‘til 1 am watching Olympic snowboarding after all. Or maybe you’ve recently discovered you do your best thesis writing at 10:00 pm when you finally have time to sit down and relax. Whatever the reason, we all have all those days where the struggle is real to stay awake and remain focused.”

sci meets food delayed caffeine IG post

In this ScienceMeetsFood post, I share the three methods for making caffeine last longer: The Gilmore Girl Method, the Violet Beauregarde Method, and the Russian Doll Method. Discover the science behind delayed-release caffeine, and how this technology is reshaping caffeine consumption (and safety?) as we know it.

Read the full article on ScienceMeetsFood –>

science meets food caffeine release snippet

REFERENCES AND RESOURCES:

[1] Caffeine Informer. “Caffeine Informer Database” https://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-in-candy  ;  https://www.caffeineinformer.com/efs-guide-to-caffeine-gum

[2] Heckman, M. A., Weil, J. and De Mejia, E. G. (2010), Caffeine (1, 3, 7-trimethylxanthine) in Foods: A Comprehensive Review on Consumption, Functionality, Safety, and Regulatory Matters. Journal of Food Science, 75: R77–R87. doi:10.1111/j.1750-3841.2010.01561.x

[3] Caffeine Informer. “Top 25+ Caffeine Health Benefits” https://www.caffeineinformer.com/top-10-caffeine-health-benefits

[4] Caffeine Informer. “20+ Harmful Effects of Caffeine” https://www.caffeineinformer.com/harmful-effects-of-caffeine

[5] Caffeine Informer. “Caffeine Hangover and Crash: What It Is and How to Avoid It” https://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-hangover-caffeine-crash

[6] US FDA. “Added Caffeine in Gum.” Food Additives and Ingredients, 19 Dec. 2017, http://www.fda.gov/food/ingredientspackaginglabeling/foodadditivesingredients/ucm396885.htm.

[7] Caffeine Informer. “Guide to Caffeinated Gum” https://www.caffeineinformer.com/efs-guide-to-caffeine-gum

[8] ZumXR. “Patented Innovations” http://www.zumxr.com/patents

[9] Medscape. “Upper GI Tract Anatomy” https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1899389-overview

[10] EFSA NDA Panel (EFSA Panel on Dietetic Products, Nutrition and Allergies), 2015. Scientific Opinion on the safety of caffeine. EFSA Journal 2015;13(5):4102, 120 pp. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2015.4102

[11] Maxx Performance. “The Case for Sustained-Release Caffeine” http://www.maxxperformance.com/stories/supplements/sustained-release-caffeine/

—————————————–

I’ve researched the science and safety behind energy drinks and their ingredients since 2003. This book is the culmination of my research:

Need help with quitting caffeine?

 

8 Facts for Caffeine Awareness Month [infographic]

March is Caffeine Awareness Month! To commemorate this occasion, I’ve assembled the information (all of it with reference citations) every caffeine consumer should know.

March is caffeine awareness month

This infographic was prepared by food scientist and biochemist Danielle Robertson Rath, founder of GreenEyedGuide.com and author of “Are You a Monster or a Rock Star: A Guide to Energy Drinks”. This infographic is possible thanks to the generous support of CaffeineInformer.com. Thanks also goes to Dr. Clay Jones.

REFERENCES: