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!!!

 

Let’s connect!

 

 

Widespread and Pointless? Pantothenic Acid – Book Excerpt of the Week

Vitamin B5 aka pantothenic acid is everywhere. If you were assembling your dream superhero squad for an energy drink, I would argue that pantothenic acid is the last vitamin worthy of making the team.

Sorry B5, we can’t all be like Niacin, the Captain America of Energy Drink Ingredient Avengers.

Here’s why pantothenic acid is not worthy.

Rich sources of pantothenic acid include mushrooms, peanuts, eggs (especially the yolk), yeast, broccoli, milk, sweet potatoes, legumes, and whole grains.

Milk, meat, vegetables, and carbs are all sources of pantothenic acid so it’s hard to imagine a diet that isn’t getting pantothenic acid from somewhere.

all carb diet

I have yet to discover why anyone needs to supplement with panthothenic acid, yet its included in several energy drink vitamin blends. Of course, pantothenic acid has an important role when it comes to facilitating energy production in the body, but a vitamin B5 deficiency is rare because this vitamin is in so many foods.

STAY TUNED every Monday for more book excerpts and the science behind energy drink ingredients as we continue our page-by-page exploration through the Energy Drink Guide.

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Thiamin (vitamin B1), the Avengers, and Beriberi – Book Excerpt of the Week

Energy drinks are often referred to as “concoctions of sugar, caffeine, and B-vitamins”, but some B-vitamins aren’t considered essential or even relevant to energy levels. Obviously they’re all essential to life, but if the B-vitamins were all members of the Avengers, would you know which B-vitamin is like Hulk and which is more like Hawkeye?

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Many vitamins are discovered as “That thing that keeps (something bad) from happening.” In the case of thiamin, the bad thing is a disease called beriberi.

beriberi

There are two kinds of beriberi: wet and dry. A diet high in carbohydrates, combined with strenuous physical exertion can use up a significant amount of thiamin, leading to wet beriberi. Insufficient energy from food and inactivity are associated with dry beriberi. Wet beriberi includes an enlarged heart and buildup of excess fluid in intracellular spaces (called “edema”). Dry beriberi includes muscle wasting in addition to impaired sensory, motor, and reflex functions (called “peripheral neuropathy”).

With this book excerpt, you might come to the conclusion that “people are lethargic without thiamin”. While this is true, it’s also misleading.

Thiamin does not give people energy. It’s more of a facilitator than fuel.

Thiamin participates in the metabolism of fat, protein, nucleic acids, and especially carbohydrates. That’s why carbohydrate metabolism is the first to go haywire with thiamin deficiency.

Thiamin is definitely a major player in the B-vitamin Avenger squad, but we’ll get into  (the nerdy, biochemical bits on) WHAT THIAMIN DOES next week as we continue our page by page tour through my book on the science of energy drinks and their ingredients.

Let’s connect!

 

 

All the Energy at Expo West 2017 – a recap in pictures

Expo West is one of my favorite shows because there’s always a plethora of new caffeinated products and health beverages to sample. Enjoy the highlight reel below, and stay tuned to GreenEyedGuide as we review these products in further detail in the coming months.

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Review the entire ENERGY DRINK OF THE MONTH SERIES

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GreenEyedGuide Caffeine Challenge Day 9/10 – Fatigue Level 2 and Benefits of Tea vs Caffeine

For the 2nd-to-last day of the GreenEyedGuide Caffeine Challenge, we talk about FATIGUE LEVEL 2 and the benefits of GREEN TEA vs benefits of CAFFEINE.

Fatigue Level 2 is one of my favorite levels because there are so many great, healthy options – there are so many caffeinated beverages that don’t even seem like energy drinks because they are fueled by green tea, green coffee beans, or coffeeberry/coffee fruit.
See https://greeneyedguide.com/tag/fatigue-level-2 for examples

Through this challenge, you’ll learn how to use the 5 Levels of Fatigue to reap the benefits of caffeine while avoiding addiction, dependence, tolerance, and toxicity.

***PLAY ALONG-share your favorite “energy drink in disguise” or Fatigue Level 2 product on Instagram/ Facebook/Twitter and tag @GreenEyedGuide, or add your pictures to the Caffeine Challenge Event page at Facebook.com/GreenEyedGuide/events

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Review the entire ENERGY DRINK OF THE MONTH SERIES