Energy Drinks and Figure Bodybuilding Training – Part One

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.

 

Red Bull Super Power Figure Prep
Caffeine meets Figure Prep: GreenEyedGuide on Instagram

 

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.

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GreenEyedGuide to speak at Cal State Fullerton April 26th, 2017

Calling all GreenEyedGuide fans in Southern California! I will be speaking at Cal State Fullerton on April 26th, 2017 as part of the COMM Week L.I.F.E. Symposium. I will be discussing “The 5 Levels of Fatigue” and how to use this system to stay healthy, happy, and energized.

This event will take place at the Titan Student Union, Pub (Lower Level), at Cal State Fullerton, at 8:30 pm on Wednesday, April 26th, 2017. Event details are below:

[Event Link]

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Please come support GreenEyedGuide at this free event!

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Let’s connect!

 

Food Waste and a Master’s Thesis dream – GreenEyedGuide on ScienceMeetsFood

“This excerpt comes from the master’s thesis of a food scientist from UC Davis. That food scientist was me, Danielle Robertson, M.S. In my research, polyphenol procyanidin extracts were used, unsuccessfully, to prevent enzymatic browning in bananas. Seven years after that thesis was published, a company named Apeel Sciences has succeeded in creating an effective natural shelf-life extender entirely out of food waste. They succeeded where I did not, which is why I find this product so compelling.”

Read the full post on ScienceMeetsFood

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Read more from the Day in the Life of a Food Scientist series

     

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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