What does Vitamin B6 do? Book Excerpt of the Week

For last week’s book excerpt from the Energy Drink Guide, we talked about where we get Vitamin B6 (aside from energy drinks, other sports supplements, and fortified foods like breakfast cereals). This week’s book excerpt is about what vitamin B6 does.

Vitamin B6 helps the body make protein. Ever heard of essential and non-essential amino acids? Vitamin B6 helps our bodies make those non-essential amino acids…(through a process called transamination, for you biochem nerds). B6 also helps us maintain optimal blood sugar levels.

what does b6 do

Gluconeogenesis = creating new glucose.
Glycogenolysis = breaking down the stored form of glucose into its itty-bitty pieces.

Breaking down the stored form of glucose means we can tap into those reserves when we need them. And this isn’t just for emergencies – our bodies go through glycogenolysis all the time. If B-vitamins were all Marvel Avengers, Vitamin B6 would be another star member, like thiamin, riboflavin, and especially (my favorite) niacin.

Vitamin B6 has several more jobs that are important and not boring like other vitamins (*cough, #boringbasicbiotin ) BUT we’ll have to talk about that next week and/or you’ll have to get a 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” available on Audible, Amazon, and wherever books are sold.

To learn more about riboflavin and the other B-vitamins, stay tuned for next week’s book excerpt as we continue our page-by-page exploration through the Energy Drink Guide.

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Folate and the Exploding Pen – Book Excerpt of the Week

For the Book Excerpt of the Week we talk about what FOLATE DOES. Folate’s job is to move a single Carbon atom from point A to point B. It SOUNDS boring like how Boring Basic Biotin moves a Carbon Dioxide molecule from A to B. However the stakes are MUCH HIGHER with Folate.

Regardless of whether it came into your body as folate (the natural form from food) or folic acid (the synthetic kind from fortified food) this vitamin becomes the coenzyme tetrahydrofolate, THF.

THF is a key player in DNA synthesis, amino acid metabolism, and the formation and maturation of red and white blood cells.

<<THF = BFD>>

The cells along your GI tract are so constantly used they go through a lot of wear and tear. They need constant supplies of DNA so they can keep growing and multiplying fast enough to keep us healthy. Without THF, the cells can’t divide and conquer. Instead, they grow larger and larger until they explode and die!

Folate is added to energy drinks, but it doesn’t “give you energy”, its job is so much more important than that!

LEARN MORE about the science behind energy drink ingredients on my Insta page (@greeneyedguide) and at Facebook.com/GreenEyedGuide. You can 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 Audible and wherever books are sold!!!

http://www.audible.com/offers/30free?asin=B074R1GR94

❓Does your favorite energy drink have folate❓

STAY TUNED every Monday/Tuesday for more book excerpts and the science behind energy drink ingredients as we continue our page-by-page exploration through the Energy Drink Guide.

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Is Niacin REALLY a Vitamin – Book Excerpt of the Week

Last week we said NIACIN was the Captain America of the Energy Drink Ingredient Avengers – one of the BEST energy drink ingredients – because it participates in numerous reactions to form ATP (the chemical form of energy) in the human body. But is niacin really a vitamin?

Vitamins are essential to life and, by definition, something we need to get from the diet because we can’t make on our own. Did you know the human body can MAKE niacin? As this book excerpt explains, tryptophan and protein are the key ingredients for this magic.

Niacin is still considered a vitamin because we can make some but we can’t make enough to survive and thrive.

The amount of niacin our bodies can make in a day from the amino acid tryptophan is not the full amount we’d need in a day, but it helps. Moreover, our bodies cannot make tryptophan: it is an ESSENTIAL amino acid, meaning we have to get from the diet.

STAY TUNED every Monday for more book excerpts and the science behind energy drink ingredients.  Stay tuned for next week’s book excerpt as we continue our page-by-page exploration through the Energy Drink Guide.

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Uptime Energy, Bawls Guarana, Amp Energy Zero, and V8 + Energy: May Recap of Quick Reviews – Science of Energy Drinks

Here’s a recap of the quick reviews posted this month for the “Science of Energy Drinks” series on the GreenEyedGuide Instagram and Facebook pages: Uptime Energy, Bawls Guarana, Amp Energy Zero, and V8 + Energy.

 

 

uptime energy

Science Behind Uptime Energy drink: 3-Ingredients to Focus on:

⛾1-Angelica Root Ext (aka Danggui) is used for female reproductive disorders in Traditional Chinese Medicine. After 15 minutes on Pubmed & SciDirect I DON’T KNOW WHY it’s in here. (Dear science nerds, please help if you do).
⛾2-Bee Pollen has vitamins, polyphenols, and enzymes, and has shown health benefits in studies but ONLY WHEN USED IN GRAM AMOUNTS! This product’s whole “Power Base” combined is only 20% of a gram. [1 gram = weight of 1 paperclip].
⛾3-Caffeine is the only ingredient that (kind of) “produces energy” but this bugs me. (#stickler #rant #chemnerd) There’s 142 mg caffeine in here = ALMOST a Monster (160mg).

bawls guarana energy

LET’S TALK ABOUT GUARANA. BAWLS Ingredients include caffeine, HFCS, citric acid, sodium benzoate, natural AND artificial flavor, caramel color. No B-vitamins, taurine, carnitine, or other stereotypical energy drink ingredients.

CAFFEINE CONTENT: from guarana and pure caffeine; 100mg Caffeine per can from all sources, according to the CAFFEINE INFORMER database. That’s LESS caffeine than 12 oz Red Bull (114 mg). The limit for those under 18yrs old is 100mg.

GUARANA is a vine from the rainforest bearing orange-red fruit with black seeds. Caffeine is in the seeds. Multiple studies show guarana improves cognitive performance, mental fatigue, and mood, and it is supposed to boost fat metabolism by encouraging the body to burn fat instead of protein and carbs. HOWEVER, the same benefits are true of caffeine in general and caffeine from green tea in particular. So these benefits are not specific to guarana… and this product gives you 50g sugar per can.

amp energy

 

PART ONE: WHAT DOES EDTA DO?
EDTA, Sodium benzoate, and Sodium hexametaphosphate: All 3 are in this drink. Does a canned drink need so much preservation?
1. EDTA: the ingredient statement says “to protect flavor”…from WHAT? From metal ions of the can, which can oxidize and degrade the natural+artificial flavor and the B-vitamins.
PURPOSE: Chelating agent, meaning it binds metal ions to limit their deleterious effects; EDTA stabilizes food color, aroma, texture, inhibits oxidation of fats, oils.
SAFETY NOTES: Some sources say EDTA “robs the body of nutrients” but EDTA is safe to consume **up to 3 grams per day **and AMOUNTS USED IN FOOD are in the milligram per kilogram or parts-per-million range. CPSI puts this in the “Safe” column.
***FUN FACT: EDTA is actually used to treat people with heavy metal poisoning because EDTA can grab the heavy metals and escort them out of the body.

PART 2 of Amp Preservative review: WHAT does Sodium benzoate do?
Sodium Benzoate: “preserves freshness”… but it’s not like this is a fresh ripe watermelon right? Well, this IS an acidic drink…
PURPOSE: Prevents growth of microorganisms like yeast and mold; used for preservation of sour food pH 4 and lower, often used with other preservatives especially at low pH (meaning acidic food).
SAFETY NOTES: Consumers can ingest up to 5mg per kg of body weight of benzoic acid and its salts
***FUN FACT: Benzoic acid occurs naturally in cranberries, prunes, plums, cinnamon, ripe cloves, and most berries. http://wp.me/p3SHzu-It

PART 3 of AMP preservative review: “Hexa-meta-huh?”
3. Sodium hexametaphosphate: “to protect flavor”… YOU’D THINK AMP’S FLAVOR IS LIKE GOLD with all this PROTECTION!!!
SAFETY NOTES: This ingredient is widely accepted as safe in many countries. It has the additive number E452. In controlled studies, it was not carcinogenic in rats, nor did it cause any reproductive or developmental toxicity symptoms. It’s fine if you consume a little bit every now and then, but consuming it regularly can have some negative effects due to mineral imbalances. MODERATION IS KEY!

v8 plus energy

Energy drinks are dangerous, right? V8 Energy, busting stereotypes since 2011! The caffeine in V8 Energy comes from green tea extract which provides a natural lift as well as the amino acid L-theanine which is believed to provide added focus. [CaffeineInformer.com]
🔹️L-theanine can reduce anxiety and blood pressure increases in high-stress individuals (ie people more susceptible to biological changes when stressed)
🔹️This can contains 80 mg caffeine (as much as Red Bull) BUT…
🔹️ the Academy of Pediatrics says people <18 can have UP TO 100 mg caffeine per day.
🔹️With 34% juice, only 11 grams of sugar, and caffeine from green tea extract, this is one of the BEST healthy alternatives!
🔹️See V8 Energy Drink of the Month http://bit.ly/2p5yykZ

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Do you need energy drinks in your 20s? [Guest Post]

The following is a guest post provided by Walter Hurley, who works as a freelance writer for https://eduzaurus.com/There are several good points here, and I am one of those people who would not have made it through college and grad school without the help of energy drinks. Balancing multiple jobs and rigorous studies in biochemistry, “get more sleep” was not an option. 

Why Drinking Energy Drinks Is Important in Your 20s

walter-hurley-guest-post-photo

Source: https://www.pexels.com/photo/drinks-supermarket-cans-beverage-3008/

When you’re in your 20s you have a lot on your plate, whether it is going through the rigors of college or graduate school, playing sports, raising a young family, or all of the above. With such high demands on your body, it is essential that you supplement your diet with natural products that increase your alertness and overall physical performance. One thing you might not have known is that consuming energy drinks can be a healthy, beneficial way to achieve these results for both men and women. Energy drinks tend to get a bad rap, but with the right knowledge, you will see that they really can make a positive difference. But don’t just take our word for it; the research is in and energy drinks are the way to go.

Essential Nutrients

The website Livestrong.com provides a review of four important ways in which energy drinks can act as a booster whether you’re in an office or at the gym.

  • CARBOHYDRATES. A typical 8-ounce can of energy drink contains between 18 and 25 grams of carbs [according to the National Federation of State High School Associations’ Sports Medicine Advisory Committee]. Carbs are important for replenishing your body’s energy levels and the result can include better performance and recovery.
  • CAFFEINE. Caffeine is a common ingredient in most energy drinks that is good at boosting performance. While caffeine content can vary from brand to brand, the top-selling energy drink contains 80 milligrams of caffeine [according to Caffeine Informer]. The recommended daily limit of caffeine consumption is 400 milligrams for healthy adults.
  • ELECTROLYTES. As your body sweats, you lose electrolytes. Electrolytes are nutrients that serve a variety of important functions such as regulating your heartbeat and allowing your muscles to contract. Electrolytes also help keep your body hydrated. For best results, seek out energy drinks with 460 to 690 milligrams of sodium per liter.
  • SIMPLE SUGARS. You are typically told to avoid simple sugars because of their negative side effects such as raising unhealthy blood sugar levels. However, when you are loading up on carbs before highly intensive athletic activities, simple sugars are key. Unlike complex sugars, the simple forms of sugar are devoid of fiber, which is good because, as you are exercising, fiber can cause digestive problems. The liquid form of simple sugars is an easy, instant way to gain the benefits, which is yet another reason why energy drinks can be beneficial.

walter-hurley-guest-post-photo-2

Source: https://pixabay.com/en/runner-track-athlete-relay-race-1544448/

Good for the Heart

The European Society of Cardiology found concrete evidence that consuming energy drinks can improve heart function. This study, which involved subjects with a mean age of 25, found that drinking energy drinks containing caffeine and taurine improved left and right ventricular functioning one hour following consumption. The amount of energy drink that each participant consumed was based on their body surface area, which amounted to 168 ml/m2. Taurine serves as one of the beneficial ingredients in energy drinks because it regulates the flow of calcium, which is necessary for a healthy heart.

Improves Physical and Mental Performance

A study published in the medical journal Amino Acids also discovered some good news involving energy drinks. In this particular case, Red Bull Energy Drink (which contains caffeine, taurine, and glucuronolactone – a naturally occurring chemical that contributes to the structure of connective tissues)  was measured against non-energy control drinks. The study found that subjects who drank Red Bull saw improvements both physically and mentally. The physical benefits were found after having the participants ride cycle ergometers: those who drank 500ml Red Bull saw increases in aerobic endurance (the ability to maintain a high heart rate) and anaerobic performance (maintaining maximum speeds). The indicators of higher levels of alertness included better reaction time, concentration and memory. This is not to say that Red Bull is the best energy drink, although its aforementioned key ingredients are common among other energy drinks.

Of course, there are many energy drinks that contain higher and lower amounts of caffeine, some that are sugar-free, and even caffeine-free energy drinks that contain ginseng, acai berry and other ingredients that can increase alertness and energy levels. Ultimately, which energy drink is the best for you comes down to your own lifestyle choices and what you seek to achieve in terms of physical and mental benefits.

Consume Energy Drinks in Moderation

Of course, the main thing to note is that just like everything in life, when consuming energy drinks, you would want to make sure to do it in moderation. It goes without saying that high levels of caffeine and sugar are bound to have negative health consequences, so always keep to the daily recommended levels as espoused by the medical experts and use energy drinks as part of an active lifestyle. So go out there and choose the best, healthy energy drink that is right for you!

This guest post is provided by Walter Hurley who works as a freelance writer for https://eduzaurus.com/.

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Learn how to find the best energy drink using the 5 Levels of Fatigue

Review the entire ENERGY DRINK OF THE MONTH SERIES