Thiamin and Carbohydrate Metabolism – Book Excerpt of the Week

Last week we talked about how some energy drinks have B-vitamins, but not all B-vitamins are relevant to the way the body generates energy. If the B-vitamins were the Avengers, then Thiamin would definitely be one of the strongest members. Thiamin is a crucial part of how the body turns glucose into energy.


Glucose is the most basic unit of a carbohydrate and the preferred fuel for the body. As a glucose molecule is broken down to release energy it must become a molecule/metabolite named pyruvate. Thiamin (as its coenzyme form, thiamin pyrophosphate or TPP) keeps that enzyme humming like a well-oiled machine. So without sufficient thiamin, carbohydrate metabolism screeches to a halt. Thiamin as TPP participates in the metabolism of fat, protein, and nucleic acids, but it’s carbohydrate metabolism that’s first to go haywire with a thiamin deficiency.

Stay tuned as we look at other B-vitamins in our page-by-page tour through my book on the science of energy drinks and their ingredients.

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Carnitine and the Mighty Mitochondria – Book Excerpt of the Week

Carnitine is another popular energy drink ingredient, but WHAT DOES IT DO? Carnitine is a doorman, a carrier. Carnitine carries fatty acids across the threshold, into the place where they’re metabolized: the mitochondria. The mitochondria is basically where molecules that used to be food are converted to energy. 


Carnitine doesn’t just bring things INTO the mitochondria, it also helps REMOVE WASTE. This is an important job because if waste builds up in the mitochondria, it can slow energy production down. 


Stay tuned for next week’s book excerpt from 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” 


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Taurine and the Heart – Book Excerpt of the Week 

The Book Excerpt of the Week deals with TAURINE. This is a very common energy drink ingredients, but have you ever wondered what it does?

In my book, I review the What It Is/What It Does/How Much Do I Need for the most common energy drink ingredients. Taurine has multiple functions (see last week’s excerpt). One of the things it does is control ion balances (ions like sodium, potassium, calcium).

Taurine can help with bloating because taurine helps the body restore the ideal balance of sodium and potassium, reducing water retention. Taurine also helps restore the balance of calcium ions inside heart muscle cells. Calcium imbalances can lead to cell death and heart muscle damage.
Does this mean an energy drink is good for the heart? No. An energy drink contains many ingredients, so the functions of all those ingredients has to be considered.

Get your copy of “Are You a Monster or a Rock Star-A Guide to Energy Drinks: How They Work, Why They Work, How to Use Them Safely” at

How I Got Through Metabolic Biochemistry – Book Excerpt of the Week 

​When I was studying biochemistry and food science, the best way to help myself remember the important stuff was through story. While writing my book, I made a point of sharing all my stories to help others remember what the B-vitamins and other ingredients do.  

This book excerpt comes from Part Three: How Do They Work. In Part Three, we review the 30 most common energy drink ingredients, from the B-vitamins through yerba mate. Each ingredient gets its own section, wherein we review where the ingredient comes from, what it does, and the safe and effective dosages. 

 As we continue the Excerpt of the Week series and move through PART THREE of my book, the excerpts will include highlights of each section on each ingredient. Stay tuned! 

Book Excerpt of the Week from PART THREE, How Do They Work. “ARE YOU A MONSTER OR A ROCK STAR-A GUIDE TO ENERGY DRINKS: HOW THEY WORK, WHY THEY WORK, HOW TO USE THEM SAFELY” (available on Amazon and wherever books are sold)  

Ingredient Focus: Citrulline – What It Is, What It Does, How Much to Take (Part 1)

Since citrulline is one of the key ingredients in the Energy Drink of the Month for June 2016, it’s time to take a closer look. With the help of grapes and toothpicks, GreenEyedGuide answers your biggest citrulline questions.

Citrulline is an amino acid, but not an essential/non-essential amino acid our bodies use to build proteins. Citrulline is called “watermelon extract” and gets its name from watermelon’s Latin botanical name, (Citrullus vulgaris). So you’d think watermelon has a lot of citrulline, right?

Wrong. Read more