A few people believe that caffeine-ingredient interactions are what make energy drinks inherently more dangerous than coffee. Using the ingredients in this drink’s “energy blend”, let’s review the research available on energy drink ingredient interactions. Read more
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.
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).
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.
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!
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
How does caffeine affect weight loss and physical activity? Caffeine encourages several small metabolic changes, and all these changes encourage the use of fat for fuel instead of glucose. But how does caffeine trigger all these small changes? The answer has to do with adenosine’s throne.
Okay, so let’s say that adenosine has a throne that only adenosine can fit into. When adenosine sits on its throne, it can send signals to make us sleepy. Fortunately for us, caffeine is similar enough in size to fit adenosine’s special throne. When that happens, caffeine blocks adenosine, preventing those sleepy signals from being sent. But adenosine has more than one throne. In fact, we have adenosine receptors all over the body. Interacting with all those adenosine receptors is how caffeine is able to trigger these small metabolic changes that encourage fat-burning over glucose-burning for fuel.
This fat-burning boost sounds awesome! But there is one more thing about caffeine and physical activity we need to consider: the effect on blood pressure. This brings us to the Excerpt of the Week:
Both caffeine and exercise raise heart rate and blood pressure, so combining them can have a scary, additive effect. In general, 200 mg caffeine per “sitting” or occasion is considered safe by multiple sources, including the EFSA. But if you’ve never consumed a pre-workout supplement or other source of caffeine before a workout before, start small.
We’ll talk MUCH MORE about caffeine and fat metabolism/weight-loss when we get to the GREEN TEA section of this book. For now, let me just say that no one should expect an energy drink to be a safe or effective weight-loss method. If an energy drink helps you make it to your workout, that’s a different story. Remember – caffeine is not a miracle weight loss tool!
When is the last time you saw a story or post about someone who lost weight because they started drinking Product X? Unless it comes with a diet and exercise regime, you can ignore that story.
An energy drink may give you wings, but it will not make you lighter all by itself.
You can get your copy 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” on Amazon and wherever books are sold.
💥 💚📚 http://amzn.to/2bjHRbk
Stay tuned for next week’s book excerpt, as we continue to move page-by-page through the Energy Drink Guide.
Ever wonder whether there’s an interaction between caffeine and taurine? Caffeine and taurine both influence something called angiotensin II, which raises blood pressure. Caffeine augments the action of angiotensin II, but taurine tones it down [source: European Commission’s Scientific Committee on Food, 2003].
So what happens to your blood pressure and heart rate when you consume an energy drink with caffeine and taurine? How do these two ingredients work with each other?
In one study, a drink with 80mg caffeine and 1,000mg taurine increased blood pressure and heart rate of the study participants. On the seventh straight day of the study, heart rate increased by 11% after consuming the drink. However there were no significant electrocardiogram (EKG) changes. It’s worth repeating that you should LIMIT CAFFEINE if you have heart or blood pressure conditions.
- This study also suggests you shouldn’t have an energy drink every single day… (#moderation!)
Maybe taurine keeps the heart rate from escalating further, but it’s hard to say because this study wasn’t blind or placeo controlled, and there was no taurine-free caffeinated drink to compare the results against.
Caffeine-Taurine interaction remains questionable and unproven.