Energy Drinks and Hospitalizations Checklist: How to Ask The Right Questions

It’s happened again: someone was admitted to the hospital after consuming an energy drink. Reporters covering the story warn readers about the dangers of energy drinks…something is missing. In this post, I’ll review real headlines about energy drink to demonstrate how the omission of a few minor details hurts consumers, as well as the scientists who study energy drinks.

If you read a news story about someone being hospitalized because of a vegetable, you’d have some questions.

On the surface, the mere idea sounds ridiculous.

“Hospitalized…because of a VEGETABLE? People eat veggies all the time without dying, why would someone go to the hospital?”

In fact, leafy green vegetables were the number one source of foodborne illnesses from 1998-2008. Moreover, this hypothetical news story is a perfect example of how asking the right questions can save lives.

When someone is hospitalized because of a vegetable, scientists and doctors are able to piece together the clues and figure out whether or not to issue a recall, if so, what food and even what brand and lot numbers. The end result is information which saves people from eating something that could hurt them. If only we could do the same thing for energy drinks.
(Hint: we are not)

When it comes to energy drink-related hospitalizations, we are not asking the right questions. There are several examples of real energy drink news stories where small but critical details were omitted. Not only does this hurt consumers, but it also hurts scientists who desperately need this data to study the health effects of energy drinks.

The good news is these missing critical details can be summed up in just five questions.
Yes, just FIVE QUESTIONS!
Let me walk you through these five questions and why they matter so much, using real news stories about energy drink-related hospitalizations.

Have we met? I’m Danielle, the “GreenEyedGuide”.
I started studying biochemistry in college the same year Monster Energy hit US markets. Ever since, I’ve put my education to use studying the science behind caffeine and energy drinks. I’ve always been disappointed with the black-and-white “Energy Drinks Will Kill You” messaging because the science is a lot more complex…after all, how can coffee be so good and other forms of caffeine be so bad? My goal is and always has been to answer questions about these controversial energy drinks using the latest research so people can decide what’s right for them based on facts, not fear.
Read more

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:

 

When Does Coffee Become an Energy Drink? Science Behind Starbucks Doubleshot

As a biochemist who researches energy drinks, I get asked all the time why people need energy drinks and why people can’t just drink coffee instead. There’s no easy way to answer these questions, but it helps if we look at the products which blur the lines between “coffee” and “energy drink”. Read more

GreenEyedGuide Caffeine Challenge Day 7/10 – Coffee vs Energy Drinks

Coffee VS Energy Drinks! For Day 7 of the GreenEyedGuide Caffeine Challenge we compare the health benefits of caffeine from ALL sources and the benefits of caffeine from COFFEE.

***PLAY ALONG – tell me what side you’re on, or share your favorite coffee-energy drink HYBRID on Instagram/ Facebook/Twitter and tag @GreenEyedGuide, or add your pictures to the Caffeine Challenge Event page at Facebook.com/GreenEyedGuide/events

Through this challenge, you’ll learn how to use the 5 Levels of Fatigue to reap the benefits of caffeine while avoiding addiction, dependence, tolerance, and toxicity. 

Support GreenEyedGuide on Patreon at Patreon.com/greeneyedguide
Love energy drinks/coffee/caffeine? Visit Facebook.com/energydrinkguide
Love Fitness + Caffeine? Visit Facebook.com/greeneyedguide

References: Caffeine and Coffee Health Benefits – Caffeine Informer

Science Behind Hiball Energy Coffee

Succeeding in the energy drink market can be both challenging and liberating: while it’s challenging for a brand to overcome negative perceptions associated with energy drinks, there’s freedom and possibility in developing a novel energy blend with a unique flavor and sweetness profile. However, in developing an energy drink that more closely resembles coffee than soda, there are a whole new set of challenges. People can be rather particular about how their coffee tastes, and a quick glance at a coffee flavor wheel demonstrates the multitude of different flavor characteristics available. How do you develop a product that pleases both energy drink consumers and coffee drinkers alike? Read more