Bang Keto Coffee vs Placebo for Exercise Performance

If you use caffeine for your workouts, this post is for you. If you have wondered whether Bang Keto Coffee would make your workouts even better, this post is for you. Caffeine Scientist GreenEyedGuide is your guide to a double-blind, placebo-controlled study on Bang Keto Coffee versus placebo for exercise performance. What does this study mean to you? GreenEyedGuide has those answers and more.

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  1. Summary of research study on Bang Keto Coffee versus placebo on exercise performance
  2. Review of placebo dos-and-donts
  3. Recap of the International Society for Sports Nutrition official position on caffeine and exercise performance

How does Bang Keto Coffee compare to placebo for exercise performance?

A Primer on Types of Studies Involving Humans

This research study I’m referring to is called, “Effects of Bang® Keto Coffee Energy Drink on Metabolism and Exercise Performance in Resistance-Trained Adults: A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Crossover Study”. This is a research paper that was published in August 2020 in the Journal of the International Society of Sports and Nutrition.

A randomized trial is one in which the people are randomly assigned to a test group which receives the treatment, or a control group which commonly receives a placebo. So it’s randomized in that when you participate in this research study, you’re randomly assigned to either the placebo group or the control group.

In blind trials, participants don’t know if they’re getting the treatment or the placebo. And in double blind trials, neither the neither the experimenters nor the participants know what they’re getting. 

Essentially, double-blind, randomized control trials, means that they’re doing a lot of different things to remove bias. If the scientists don’t know who’s getting the placebo or the treatment, they can’t make any type of hints or suggestions that might sway the participants behavior. And since the participants don’t know if they’re getting the placebo, or the treatment, that usually eliminates any type of like psychological bias that might happen.

Bang Keto Coffee vs Placebo Dos and Don'ts

First of all, protein is a popular workout supplement. Caffeine is also a popular workout supplement. However, as this research paper pointed out, there’s not a whole lot of information on how combinations of caffeine and protein affect people’s exercise performance. The goal of the paper was to try to find some answers. Unfortunately, that brings us to topic number two: placebo do’s and don’ts.

In this study, the “treatment” is the Bang Keto Coffee. That’s what they’re testing to see how it improves exercise performance. In Bang Keto Coffee, keto coffee, there’s 130 calories, 300 milligrams of caffeine and 20 grams of protein. In the placebo, there was only 30 Calories, 11 milligrams of caffeine, and only 11 grams of protein.

The whole point of having a placebo is to isolate the cause and the effect of the treatment.

In other words, if the treatment has the same amount of caffeine as the placebo but a different amount of protein, then you can say, “A-HA! It’s the combination that makes the difference, because the people in the placebo group had the same amount of caffeine, and they didn’t do as well ergo, it’s the combination of caffeine and protein.”

And that’s how they failed here.

Bang Keto Coffee vs the ISSN Position on Caffeine

The title of the research paper (much like the words atop a can of Bang) misrepresents what’s inside.

In this research study, the placebo should have had either the same amount of caffeine or the same amount of protein as Bang Keto Coffee. Without matching either of those, there’s not enough there’s not enough evidence to differentiate whether it’s the caffeine, or the protein, or the combination that made the participants perform differently than the placebo group.

In short, this double-blind placebo controlled randomized crossover trial didn’t prove their initial goal that combinations of caffeine and protein make people perform better. They just proved that getting caffeine makes you perform better.

This isn’t news, this is and has been for some time now, the official position of the International Society for Sports Nutrition.

“Supplementation with caffeine has been shown to acutely enhance various aspects of exercise performance. In many but not all studies. small to moderate benefits of caffeine use include but not but are not limited to muscular endurance, movement, velocity and muscle strength, sprinting, jumping and throwing performance, as well as a wide range of aerobic and anaerobic sport specific actions”

International society of sports nutrition position stand: caffeine and exercise performance

Bottom Line: Do you really need protein and coffee for your workout?

In short, unfortunately, this paper on Bang Keto Coffee doesn’t prove anything about their drink. And it certainly doesn’t prove anything about combinations of caffeine and protein.

So this is a little bit disappointing. When I saw the magic keywords of this paper, “randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study,” I got excited. I thought it was going to be something meaningful; something helpful to caffeine consumers like me that use caffeine for working out.

Unfortunately, this paper doesn’t do anything to increase our knowledge of caffeine, and how it helps us or hurts us.

Essentially, we know that caffeine improves exercise performance by itself. So do you really need anything else?

Probably not.


[1] Harty, P.S., Stratton, M.T., Escalante, G. et al. Effects of Bang® Keto Coffee Energy Drink on Metabolism and Exercise Performance in Resistance-Trained Adults: A Randomized, Double-blind, Placebo-controlled, Crossover Study. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 17, 45 (2020).

[2] Guest, N.S., VanDusseldorp, T.A., Nelson, M.T. et al. International society of sports nutrition position stand: caffeine and exercise performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 18, 1 (2021).

Cool Blue Revitalizer, Red Bull Purple Edition, Iconic Protein Coffee Drink, Monster Hydro Mean Green, F’Real Frappe Coffee, and West Coast Chill: June 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: Cool Blue Revitalizer, Red Bull (sugarfree) Purple Edition, Iconic Protein Coffee Drink, Monster Hydro Mean “Green” (more like yellow), F’Real Frappe Coffee, and West Coast Chill (caffeine free!) energy drink.

Cool Blue Revitalizer

  • Caffeine Content 100 mg = Fatigue Level 2

Science Behind Cool Blue Revitalizer

Science Behind Cool Blue Revitalizer: This drink makes a big deal about 3 natural ingredients but it’s UNNATURALLY blue.

✔1. “Real Sugar” – true, but it ALSO has sucralose.
✔2. “Natural Flavor” – I guess BLUE drink =BLUE-berries? To me this drink tasted like CITRIC ACID OVERLOAD!!! WOAH BUDDY!
✔3. “Natural Caffeine” – From where? The label doesn’t specify but it’s 100 mg caffeine [#fatiguelevel2]
🤓PET PEEVE: 1 container= 1.3 Servings? Really…you couldn’t change your formula or can size?
🔬SODIUM BENZOATE— Did you know that benzoate salts like this one prevents growth of microorganisms like yeast and mold; it’s used for preservation of sour food (pH 4 and lower) and is often used with other preservatives especially at low pH (acidic food).
🔬SODIUM BENZOATE SAFETY NOTES — Consumers can ingest up to 5mg per kg of body weight of benzoic acid and its salts according to European Commission – Scientific Committee on Food. There are safety concerns suspected but unconfirmed for benzene formation from benzoic acid with ascorbic acid. However, this risk “cannot be reliably assessed on basis of data available” per BfR Expert Opinion. [More Info on the “Panera KNOW-No List“]

Red Bull Purple Edition (sugarfree)

  • Caffeine Content 114 mg = Fatigue Level 3

Science Behind Red Bull Purple Sugar Free

The Science Behind RED BULL PURPLE EDITION: Red Bull has less caffeine and fewer ingredients than Monster and Rockstar. No guarana, carnitine, glucuronolactone, ginseng, or ginkgo; NO PRESERVATIVES! NO SUGAR!

🤓Since Red Bull has been around a long time there are mounting scientific studies testing its effectiveness
🤓Red Bull is not only the NUMBER ONE SELLING ENERGY DRINK BRAND  on the PLANET, they also set the standard for energy drink industry SAFETY GUIDELINES. Red Bull was the FIRST ENERGY DRINK Company to list caffeine content on their cans several years ago, paving the way for other companies to follow suit.
🤓FURTHERMORE Red Bull has been open about their commitment to food safety and quality – you can read all about that HERE: ⚡ Red Bull on Caffeine Safety and Transparency
✔This MAY NOT BE FOR YOU IF you are trying to avoid artificial flavors and/or sweeteners – This drink has Sucralose and Ace-K but I am more concerned about the KNOWN effects of high sugar intake than the DEBATABLE effects of these two sweeteners.
✔Ace-K has been USED AROUND THE WORLD for 15 years and used in the US since 1988.
✔Sucralose was approved by FDA in 1998, and it’s considered safe by government/regulatory agencies worldwide.
✔As far as caffeine interactions that (maybe?) make energy drink more dangerous than coffee, I enjoy Red Bull’s simple ingredients, sugarfree options, and moderate caffeine content. 🤓💚⚡⛾⚡🔬⚡

Iconic Protein + Coffee Drink

  • Caffeine Content 180 mg = Fatigue Level 3

Science Behind Iconic Protein Caffeine drink

If caffeine is best for PREworkout and protein is best for POSTworkout, what do you do with a CAFFEINE+PROTEIN COMBO?
But seriously, here’s what you should know:

✔ This drink has 180 mg caffeine per container. That’s as much as a Monster Energy (160 mg)
✔Caffeine doses of 3-6 mg caffeine per kg bodyweight are the best for pre-workout. That’s the range used in “[X] Til Exhaustion” studies (cycling, running, rowing…)
✔ Protein doses of 20-25 grams* protein taken in the 30 min window after workout is ideal for muscle growth but overall protein consumption matters too. *NOTE bigger protein doses don’t mean bigger results
✔ONLY 3 GRAMS SUGAR from Agave. Sweetness also comes from MONK FRUIT (aka Luo Han Guo) & STEVIA! I LOVE seeing these natural sweeteners used in caffeinated beverages 🤓💚🔬➕⛾➕🏋️‍♀️

Monster Hydro Mean Green

  • Caffeine Content 125 mg = Fatigue Level 3

Science Behind Monster Hydro

As the GREENEyedGuide I’m bummed “Mean GREEN” is yellow.

As a Food Scientist, I know artificial green is hard to keep green and natural green often involves spirulina, which has the slightest seawater taste. I don’t normally talk about taste in my reviews bc it’s subjective, but this tasted like flat Moutain Dew or old lemonade to me. 🤓💚🔬⛾

KEY Ingredients:
✔Sugar sources include sucrose (table sugar), glucose, and artificial sweetener sucralose. 23g! Not awful but <10g is my sweet spot (food pun!)
✔NO GUARANA OR TAURINE OR CARNITINE so really different than the typical Monster Energy Blend.
125 mg caffeine per bottle, compared to 180mg in most flavors of Monster Energy.

Is Monster Hydro a healthier alternative to Monster Energy?
YES in terms of lower caffeine content and FEWER Caffeine-(other ingredient) INTERACTIONS, which some people* think make some energy drinks more dangerous than coffee.
*I’m on the fence about this. Caffeine-Taurine-glucuronolactone combos are fine but no data for or against caffeine-carnitine combos yet.

F’real Frappe Coffee

  • Caffeine Content not disclosed – Unknown Level of Fatigue

Science Behind FReal Frappe Coffee

That Moment When you want to hide your CAFFEINE CONTENT so badly, you COMPARE yourself to something AMBIGUOUS. “2x caffeine as leading frozen coffee” 

Who is the leading FROZEN coffee and HOW MUCH caffeine do they have? It is FALSE to assume a cup of coffee has a standard amount. 1 cup at Starbucks doesn’t equal 1 cup at Pikes or 1 cup at your hotel.
Neat concept with the DIY F’Real Blender machine but if we’re going to GET REAL (or “f’real”) ABOUT CAFFEINE SAFETY we need EVERYONE to report caffeine content.

Have you ever seen a bottle of ALCOHOL that DID NOT disclose the %?
PS – sixty-one grams of sugar y’all. Sixty. One. But look at how clean and simple the ingredients are. Too bad simple doesn’t = healthy. 🤓💚⛾🔬

West Coast Chill (caffeine free energy drink)

  • Caffeine Content = ZERO! Fatigue Level 0-1 Energy Drink

Science Behind West Coast Chill

An energy drink with NO CAFFEINE?!? Does the term “energy drink” mean anything anymore!?!

Let’s inspect it: 🤓💚⛾🔬Active ingredients include:
🤓Ribose – a compound that participates in an odd (pun) energy producing reaction called the Pentose phosphate pathway. Promising science, just hasn’t caught on yet.
🤓Ginseng – be skeptical of benefits!
🤓Arginine – amino acid with important jobs in the body (Urea Cycle Waste Removal). HOWEVER the BEST way to supplement arginine is to TAKE Citrulline!
🤓B-vitamins AND minerals – minerals aren’t usually in energy drinks. Curious… 🤓💚🔬⛾📚

Click HERE to learn more about how to use the 5 Levels of Fatigue.

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