When our son was brand-new, my husband and I agreed I would take the night shift because A) I did not have to work the next day, B) I’m a lighter sleeper and C) [most importantly] I can handle my caffeine. The poor guy (husband, not baby) can hardly function on lack of sleep but also runs around like a crazy person on acid when he has an amount of caffeine I’d consider “weak sauce”. Do not give this man a Red Bull – it’s only 80 mg caffeine (half the caffeine in a Grande PSL) but he will be as hyper as a puppy golden retriever.
The video below includes a portion of GreenEyedGuide’s presentation from California State University-Fullerton, Peer Health University Network meeting. Learn how caffeine content isn’t always what it seems, how consumption changes as people get older and how caffeine helps one focus for exams.
- The graph of caffeine consumption by age comes from a study discussed in detail at https://greeneyedguide.com/2014/01/30…
- The graph was created by Caffeine Informer based on the study above and can be found here: https://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-safe-limits
- Peer Health University Network – https://www.instagram.com/phunstagram/
- The caffeine/theanine study referenced can be found at https://greeneyedguide.com/2017/07/28…
Watch the video above to learn how to become an advocate for safe caffeine consumption
Thank you to Cal State Fullerton’s Peer Health Univerity Network for hosting this presentation!
To contact GreenEyedGuide about speaking at your event, use the contact form below:
With school back in session, it’s the perfect time for a refresher course in caffeine. Check out this article I wrote for the Avitae blog!
Don’t miss this article, featuring everything you need to know about caffeine:
- 1-How Caffeine Works
- 2-Natural Sources of Caffeine
- 3-Unnatural Sources of Caffeine
- [Source: Caffeine Informer’s Caffeine Database – https://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-in-candy ]
- 4-The Biggest Consumers of Caffeine
- [Source: Caffeine Consumption in the USA (Part I and Part II) – https://greeneyedguide.com/2014/01/29/caffeine-consumption-in-the-usa-energy-drinks-in-the-news/ ]
- 5-Caffeine Limits
- [Source: Caffeine Safe Limits – https://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-safe-limits ]
- 6-How Fast Caffeine Is Metabolized
- 7-How Long Caffeine Takes to Kick In
- 8-How Caffeine Gets Absorbed
- [Source: Caffeine Absorption – https://www.caffeineinformer.com/caffeine-absorption ]
- 9-Caffeine Side Effects
- 10-Caffeine Benefits
Turns out not a lot of college students in Quebec drink energy drinks, but watch out for how the news will spin concern about those who do.
Here’s the journal article (via capture because there’s no link to read the full thing):
This study involves over TEN THOUSAND college students across THIRTY-SIX different public colleges in Quebec.
Out of the 10,283 people who participated in the survey, only ~9.1% reported consuming an energy drink at least once a week in the previous month.
This means 9,348 out of 10,283 college students surveyed do not have an energy drink every week (like, zero energy drinks at all? For the whole week? In college?)
SPIN – ALERT
Because this is college, the study also looked at alcohol consumption and use of cannabis, glues/solvents, and amphetamines.
FACT – Mixing energy drinks and alcohol is a baaaaaaaaadddd idea. This study properly suggests that combination of alcohol and energy drinks poses a risk for serious adverse effects.
FALSE – Any statements like “college students who use energy drinks are more likely to abuse psychoactive substances…more likely to demonstrate excessive use of alcohol”
Approximately 1-in-4 people (247 out of 935, ~26%) who said they drink at least one energy drink said they also use psychoactive substances. This finding is not proof that energy drinks were a gateway to psychoactive substances for these people. How many people use psychoactive substances but not energy drinks?
There were even fewer people who reported consuming alcohol-energy drink combos (109 out of 935 people. 1.1%).
That means I have at least 109 more people to convince that this combo is a waste of booze (because you won’t feel it/can’t enjoy it) and a dangerous idea (because you won’t feel drunk, but you ARE in fact impaired).
The journal article conclusion reads
“A majority of respondents are not heavy users of ED (energy drinks), AED (alcohol+energy drinks), or ED with drugs.”
Can we just stop there and celebrate that for a minute before we give fodder to the “Energy Drinks are Poison” camp?
“Yet, the profiles of ED consumption potentially harmful to health that characterize some participants indicate that the potential health consequences of such behaviour are of concern.”
I am worried this last line will get translated as, “some participants who consume energy drinks exhibit behavior that is potentially harmful to health, so we should probably be worried about all energy drink consumers.”
WATCH OUT FOR SPINS!!!
- Science of Energy Drinks: Facebook.com/energydrinkguide
- Fitness + Caffeine: Facebook.com/greeneyedguide
- Energy Drinks + Fitness/Bodybuilding: Instagram
- 10 Second Label Reviews (and a few nerdy food scientist rants): Twitter
My heart was pounding. I was out of breath, but I felt exhilarated. Something inside me was ready to explode with power, like an ocean wave the second before it crashes.
For me, energy drinks and bodybuilding have a lot in common. I’m not talking about the use of caffeine for a workout. To me, it’s much more than that: I’m a biochemist who studies energy drinks and trains for bodybuilding competitions.
One fine day in the gym I had just finished my warm-up when it happened. My competitive drive collided with the realization that my next bodybuilding competition was only 7 weeks away. Like a rubber band being pulled to the limit or the moment of transition after “for meeeeee” in “Bohemian Rhapsody”, I knew I was about to unleash considerable power. I always have caffeine before my workouts, but this energy surge was something new. I turned my music up two notches, took a deep breath, then launched into my set.
[Internal energy = potential energy + kinetic energy = Yay for Laws of Thermodynamics!]
I was doing a long jump/sideways medicine ball throw circuit. I honestly can’t remember the last time my legs have jumped that far and that fast. At one point my legs were springing from one jump to the next so fast, I thought I’d fall on my face. But I kept pushing forward. During the sideways med ball throws I felt I could have punched a hole in the wall, so I used the metal post of the multi-station instead. This surge of energy stayed with me through my entire workout. I hit a new max for deadlifts and didn’t feel tired like I normally do after plyo-pushups.
For me, hitting a new max in the gym and discovering a new level of strength is very similar to finding a new energy drink. In both scenarios, I feel like I’m acquiring superpowers and the confidence that comes from knowing I can do things that were previously impossible.
I remember the first few times I tried Monster for all-nighters in college: I felt calm and focused despite the fact I was memorizing metabolic biochemical pathways at 3 a.m. I also remember my left bicep would tingle sometimes – not all the time, and not consistently, just like an eye twitch (which I also got when I was stressed: correlation is not causation).
In the gym, a foundation of strength is a prerequisite to the exhilarating energy surge like the one I described above. With energy drinks, the prerequisite is trust in the brand and knowledge of the ingredients. If it’s a brand I know and trust, the science nerd in me gets excited before the caffeine enters my system. When I first laid eyes on Red Bull Purple and Lime sugar-free Editions, I was so excited I literally jumped up and down in the grocery store.
When it’s a new energy drink from a brand I don’t know, or when I don’t understand the logic behind the ingredients, that’s a different story. We’ll save that for Part Two.
- 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”
- SUPPORT ME ON PATREON