I declared myself a biochemistry/chemistry major in 2003 – right at the beginning of the Energy Drink Boom. Fascinated by these drinks and all the fears surrounding their use, I’ve applied my education (and basically all my free time) toward understanding the science behind energy drinks and their ingredients. In 2003, energy drinks contained synthetic caffeine as well as caffeine extracts from guarana and yerba mate. While synthetic caffeine was often criticized for being synthetic, guarana and yerba mate were often criticized for being “dangerous stimulants”. Then along came green coffee bean extract and coffeeberry/coffee fruit. As a caffeine consumer, you may be wondering, what is it about green coffee beans and coffeeberry that make it special? I encourage you to geek out with me over these game-changing energy drink ingredients.
How does caffeinated water compare to energy drinks in terms of ingredients and safety? What does the latest research say about caffeine and hydration? As a food scientist who’s studied the science behind energy drinks since 2003, I believe caffeinated waters can be a great alternative to the stereotypical energy drink, but there’s a lot more to consider before deciding whether caffeinated waters are right for you.
- Caffeinated Waters 101 – Safety, Science, and Preferences
- Caffeine and Hydration – What does research tell us?
- Caffeinated Water Spotlights
“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.”
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.
REFERENCES AND RESOURCES:
 Caffeine Informer. “Caffeine Informer Database” https://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-in-candy ; https://www.caffeineinformer.com/efs-guide-to-caffeine-gum
 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
 Caffeine Informer. “Top 25+ Caffeine Health Benefits” https://www.caffeineinformer.com/top-10-caffeine-health-benefits
 Caffeine Informer. “20+ Harmful Effects of Caffeine” https://www.caffeineinformer.com/harmful-effects-of-caffeine
 Caffeine Informer. “Caffeine Hangover and Crash: What It Is and How to Avoid It” https://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-hangover-caffeine-crash
 US FDA. “Added Caffeine in Gum.” Food Additives and Ingredients, 19 Dec. 2017, www.fda.gov/food/ingredientspackaginglabeling/foodadditivesingredients/ucm396885.htm.
 Caffeine Informer. “Guide to Caffeinated Gum” https://www.caffeineinformer.com/efs-guide-to-caffeine-gum
 ZumXR. “Patented Innovations” http://www.zumxr.com/patents
 Medscape. “Upper GI Tract Anatomy” https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1899389-overview
 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
 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:
- 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
Glucuronolactone is fun to say, in my opinion. Once you’ve got it down, it’s a musical mouthful. When doing research for my book, I remember being most intrigued by this energy drink ingredient because it was such a mystery ingredient. It’s certainly not a star player as far as effective ingredients go — if energy drink ingredients were football players, you definitely wouldn’t want to draft this one before the fourth round for your fantasy lineup.
For last week’s book excerpt, we talked about what glucuronolactone is. For this week’s Book Excerpt from “Are You a Monster or a Rock Star”, we consider one theory behind what glucuronolactone does and why it might be useful in energy drinks. Read more
Caffeine, taurine, carnitine, and glucuronolactone are traditional energy drink ingredients. But what is this glucuronolactone exactly? For the Book Excerpt of the Week from the Energy Drink Guide, we look at what this weird, chemical-sounding ingredient is, and what it has to do with glucose.