Energy Drink of the Month – Oct 2017: Clean Energy Organics

Following your passion requires vision, commitment, persistence, and long hours. October challenges your vision and commitment because it brings shorter days, midterms,  the distractions of a looming Holiday Season, and the time crunch to meet End of the Year company objectives. This month, we review an energy drink-in-disguise designed to “complement your work hard/play hard lifestyle” with green coffee beans, monk fruit, erythritol, and coconut water. Read more

Science Behind EMV Jabu Energy Drink – Quick Review

Science behind Jabu Emv

Notable Ingredients

  • green tea leaf extract
  • guarana seed extract
  • yerba mate leaf extract
  • stevia and isomaltulose

Interesting and Unusual Ingredients In This Energy Drink

Isomaltulose is a natural sweetener found in honey and sugar cane extract. It has the same two “members” that make table sugar: glucose + fructose = sucrose. However the glucose and fructose are arranged (i.e., holding hands) in a different way than they do in sucrose.  As a result of this arrangement, isomaltulose is only half as sweet as sucrose.

This energy drink contains JABUTICABA, which is basically a Brazilian grape. Jabuticaba fruit contains protein, calcium, iron, phosphorus, Vitamin C and some B vitamins.

Jabuticaba has polyphenol antioxidants like those in cranberries and grapes. These antioxidants have been shown to have anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties…in test tubes and lab rats. It’s difficult to prove these benefits outside of a controlled cell or rat cage because life is too complicated to prove a cause and effect of this magnitude.  In other words, it’s extremely difficult to control for things like diet, stress, sunlight, exercise, the number of hours sitting down, etc. to conclusively prove whether polyphenols prevent cancer.

When Juice Becomes A Tool

Jabuticaba isn’t very high on the ingredients list, meaning there might not be enough of it in this drink to be an effective dose for those antioxidant health benefits. The same can be said for the other juices in here too: apple, grape, acai, and acerola. All of these juices offer some variety of health benefits related to the benefit of antioxidants. But the dosage makes a difference. So does the order.

Apple and Grape juice are the most predominant, and they are very sweet, which tells me this drink is using those juices more for flavor and sweetness than for health benefits.

Regardless, this is a healthier alternative to the stereotypical energy drink. This energy drink has 80 mg caffeine (same as Red Bull) from 3 leaf extracts: 1.Green Tea, 2.Guarana, 3.Yerba Mate. With 80 mg caffeine, this drink fits Fatigue Level 2. [See 5 Levels of Fatigue to see how to use this system to avoid caffeine toxicity, dependency, and tolerance]

You can find more about the science behind energy drink ingredients here at GreenEyedGuidecom and within 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 now on Audible!!!).

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Energy Drink of the Month – September 2017: Guru Energy Water

The year I started college, Monster and Rockstar were just hitting US markets. Welcome to September 2017, where Red Bull is older than the people entering college this fall. Whether you’re a student, a parent of school-age kids, or an adult savoring the last days of summer, September can bring changes that drain your energy. It’s a great time to consider a new energy drink, but one that won’t blow your summer body, one that keeps you hydrated and refreshed through the summer heat, and one that isn’t too strong. After all, you want to save those strong energy drinks for finals week and Black Friday shopping.

The Energy Drink of the Month for September 2017 is Guru Energy Water.

Energy Drink of the Month - Sept 2017: Guru Energy Water
Energy Drink of the Month – Sept 2017: Guru Energy Water

Guru offers three flavors of Energy Water: grapefruit, lime, and pomegranate. Guru has other energy drinks to offer too, which can all be found at Guru’s Products Page.

Who It’s For: Ingredient Preferences and Phobias

There are so many energy drinks available these days that no one should have to compromise their ingredient preferences and phobias. Not a fan of carnitine? That’s okay. Not sure you trust artificial colors or flavors? That’s fine too! There are plenty of energy drinks on the market to meet all kinds of ingredient combos you may be seeking.

Does Guru Energy Water have the ingredients you’re looking for?

Like with Guru Organic Energy Drink, Guru’s Energy Water is certified-Organic, gluten-free, non-GMO Project Verified, and artificial free. Unlike Guru’s Energy Drink, the Energy Water is Calorie free and sugar-free.

  • Guru’s Energy Drinks (both regular and Lite) are sweetened with Organic cane syrup, Luo Han Guo, and Stevia, but Guru Energy Water is sweetened by Stevia and erythritol

X   Artificial sweeteners
X   Artificial flavors
X   Sugar
X   Calories
X   B-vitamins
X   Stereotypical energy drink ingredients such as taurine, carnitine, glucuronolactone

What’s In It: Key Ingredients and Functions

Guru Energy Waters offer a simple ingredient list: carbonated (or “sparkling”) water, erythritol, flavor, green tea extract (the source of caffeine), juice concentrate, and Stevia. Do you know what these ingredients do?

Nutrition Facts for Guru Energy Water
Guru Energy Water – Nutrition Facts

Sparkling Water

DID YOU KNOW:

  • Beverages labeled as containing “sparkling water,” “seltzer water,” “soda water,” “tonic water,” or “club soda” aren’t included as bottled water under FDA’s regulations. These beverages are instead considered to be soft drinks. [Source: Bottled Water Everywhere: Keeping It Safe]

Green Tea Extract

  • Regardless of whether caffeine comes from green tea extract, coffee beans, or caffeine anhydrous, it works the same way. The difference between getting caffeine from synthetic sources and getting it from natural sources and getting it from synthetic sources is like getting a diamond versus getting a diamond from a Tiffany bag. In other words, you’re not just getting the benefits of the caffeine, you’re getting the benefits of the whole package.
  • Green tea leaves (the kind in nature, before they’re processed) are rich in a type of antioxidants called polyphenols. One family of these polyphenol antioxidants is the catechins.
  • Green tea contains six primary catechin compounds: catechin, gallocatechin, epicatechin, epigallocatechin, epicatechin gallate, and epigallocatechin gallate (also known as EGCG). EGCG is the most studied polyphenol component in green tea and the most active. [Source: Green Tea, University of Maryland Medical Center]
Green Tea Analogy
Caffeine is caffeine is caffeine but what package is it delivered in?

Drinking an energy drink or energy water made with green tea extract is not the same thing (health benefit-wise) as drinking plain green tea, but when you get your caffeine from green tea extract, you’re getting some of those antioxidants too. Green tea antioxidants have been associated with reduced risk of heart disease, liver disease, diabetes, and cancer.

RELATED READING: Should you drink green tea or coffee when you’re emotionally triggered? GreenEyedGuide on caffeine theanine interactions

Stevia Extract

Stevia is a natural sweetener that comes from the leaf of a plant. There is a particular molecule, nicknamed “REB A” that is responsible for the sweetness. This is why you’ll sometimes see brands or ingredient lists that call out REB A specifically – Stevia purity is a big deal.

Finding a high-quality stevia extract is no simple task. Oh sure, we know what molecule is responsible for the sweetness, but isolating that molecule and delivering it is far more complicated than producing table sugar. Sugar is sugar is sugar, right? But water doesn’t always taste the same, even if it’s just water. The same goes for Stevia. In fact, tasting Stevia samples was one of the tasks I dreaded most while I worked as a product developer for a major supplement company. One bad sample, and you’d be experiencing a bitter metallic aftertaste the rest of the day (or week: See “A Food Science Horror Story”).

It turns out that some people are Stevia Super Tasters so they will get a bitter metallic aftertaste with Stevia when many others would taste only sweetness. This bitter metallic aftertaste is why stevia is often paired with another natural sweetener, erythritol.

Erythritol

Erythritol is one of my favorite sweeteners, and we’ve talked about it before in other reviews. Erythritol makes Stevia better when they’re combined. Some people get a bitter-metallic sensation with Stevia extract, but erythritol masks the unfavorable attributes of Stevia. Erythritol is 60-70% as sweet as sucrose and has a very similar taste. It does not raise blood glucose levels and it delivers a cooling effect. While it’s non-caloric like Stevia, it has a molecular size that gives it more mouthfeel. Think fruit juice versus fruit smoothie: the fruit smoothie has a heavier “mouthfeel”.

Erythritol occurs naturally, like monk fruit and Stevia. It’s made through natural fermentation. It’s a sugar-alcohol, like the Xylitol often used in sugar-free gum. With xylitol, however, too much of it can really upset a person’s stomach. With erythritol, a person could consume twice as much – at least 0.66 grams per kilogram of body weight – before they started getting same stomach issues. Additionally, erythritol has been proven through clinical studies to reduce plaque build-up.

Natural Flavors and Juice Concentrates

The natural flavors used in the energy waters match the flavor of the beverage itself. For example, the Pomegranate Energy Water has natural flavor from, you guessed it, pomegranate. The same goes for the Juice Concentrates – the Grapefruit Energy Water features a teeny bit of grapefruit juice concentrate and the Pomegranate Energy Water features pomegranate juice concentrate. The exception is the Lime Energy Water, which has with natural lime flavor but lemon juice concentrate. All flavors and juice concentrates are Organic.

 

When to Consume: Caffeine Content and Level of Fatigue

This is another energy drink that breaks the stereotype that all energy drinks are dangerous concoctions of caffeine and sugar. However, this energy drink is not “weak sauce”. It has 100 mg of caffeine per can, which is the limit of caffeine consumtpion per day for those under 18 years old. For healthy adults, that limit is 400 mg caffeine per day.

With 100 mg caffeine per can, this product fits FATIGUE LEVEL 2. Fatigue Level 1 is when you’re tired because of dehydration and need (uncaffeinated) water. Fatigue Level 2 is home to several other “energy drinks in disguise”, healthy alternatives that are as strong as an 8-oz Red Bull but seem so much cleaner and healthier.

<<CLICK HERE TO SEE THE OTHER FATIGUE LEVEL 2 BEVERAGES>>

Bottom Line

This doesn’t taste like an energy drink because it’s an energy water. If you’re looking for something with Organic ingredients, low-moderate caffeine levels, light flavor, no Calories, no sugar, no artificial colors or flavors or sweeteners, this is another “energy drink in disguise” you can feel good about drinking.

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Review the entire ENERGY DRINK OF THE MONTH SERIES

*** The ENERGY DRINK GUIDE is NOW ON AUDIBLE – click here to view ***

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Consumption of Energy Drinks Among College Students in Quebec – Energy Drinks in the News (SPIN ALERT)

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):

source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28252368
Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28252368

 

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?)

inconceivable

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).

hulk-ironman-caffeine-alcohol

 

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!!!

 

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Is V8 Really an Energy Drink? A Primer on the Science of Energy Drinks in Disguise [GreenEyedGuide on ScienceMeetsFood]

In this article I wrote for ScienceMeetsFood.org, I address the problem behind the term “energy drink” and the science behind energy drinks in disguise. (There’s also a Guardians of the Galaxy metaphor!) It’s a great primer if you’ve never heard the term “energy drink in disguise”, or if you never realized that V8 and Ocean Spray make energy drinks. Read this article in its entirety at ScienceMeetsFood.org

“I’ve been studying energy drinks since 2003 and they continue to both fascinate and horrify me. They fascinate me because I’m a biochemistry major, or maybe it’s the other way around. Energy drinks are the reason I pursued my masters in food science (and the reason I survived grad school). Metabolic biochemistry is the closest I’ll ever come to engineering – for me, studying biochemistry is studying the secret rules to how things work.

Energy drinks horrify me because it feels like people with no science background are behind some of the products you can buy online. Sometimes I’ll read a label and think, “What are they doing? Who thought this was a good idea?” The most concerning aspect of energy drinks is we don’t have a proper nomenclature to classify them properly. (#WhatWouldIUPACDo?) Using the term “energy drink” the way we do is like calling pure ethanol “booze”. Let’s talk about why the lack of classification is a problem.

Is V8 Really Energy Drink
Read this on ScienceMeetsFood

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