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

When Food Products Try to Be Energy Drinks – GreenEyedGuide on ScienceMeetsFood

In this article I wrote for, I discuss the growing world of caffeinated food in general and caffeinated peanut butter in particular. How does caffeinated peanut butter compare to regular peanut butter? To energy drinks?

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GreenEyedGuide on Science Meets Food

Science Meets Food is the official blog of the IFT Student Association (IFTSA), which has over 2,500 members from around the world. IFT Student Association members love science and have an everyday passion for food. They are Official Food Geeks, and IFT is their home.

Visit to read the full article

“Moderating caffeine intake can be a challenge. There are some days it seems there’s not enough caffeine in the world to keep your mind focused or your eyes from drooping, and there are other days when it seems like the smallest cup of coffee makes your heart race and hands shake. I’ve studied energy drinks and the science behind their ingredients for 10 years, and I find these products fascinating. I may know a lot about caffeinated drinks, but caffeinated food – well, that’s a whole new ballgame.

According to Caffeine Informer’s caffeine database [1], there are almost two hundred different food products enhanced with caffeine, including ice cream, granola, brownies, waffles, marshmallows, jelly beans, candy, gum, jerky, and good old fashioned dark chocolate. Okay, so that last one is actually naturally caffeinated… However, the food that interests me most on the list is the caffeinated peanut butter (because hello, it’s peanut butter and it’s delicious).

Visit to read the full article


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

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Energy Drink of the Month – April 2017: AvitaeXR

What if you could delay caffeine delivery and make it last longer? This month we review the newest addition to the “energy-drink-in-disguise” brand that continues to defy energy drink stereotypes. We discuss key ingredients, how it compares to other caffeinated beverages of the same strength, and when to consume it per Level of Fatigue.

The Energy Drink of the Month for March 2017 is AvitaeXR.


There are three flavors available, and all of them are refreshing and delightful, in my personal opinion. These flavors are Orange, Lemon Lime, and Mixed Berry.  They all have the same caffeine content, the same key ingredients, and the same number of Calories and grams of Sugar.

Key Ingredients and Benefits

The ‘Xtended Release’ beads of caffeine – ZUMXR Proprietary Energy Blend

This energy blend is what makes up those tiny little beads you see floating around in the clear can of AvitaeXR. These beads contain caffeine but since the caffeine is tucked inside the little ball, it delays the delivery of caffeine to your system.

Attention Science Nerds and Chemistry Buffs: How this delayed delivery works is worth a separate post (coming soon). If you’re a science nerd like me, we can geek out together over the magic of delaying (not preventing) digestion in the complex gradient of digestive juices and pH levels in the GI tract.


Natural Caffeine

For the rest of the Avitae line, the source of caffeine is green coffee beans. It’s safe to assume the ‘natural caffeine’ in this product comes from the same source.

To see the GreenEyedGuide reviews of Avitae caffeinated water and sparkling caffeinated water, see “Redefining ‘Energy Drink'” and Energy Drink of the Month – April 2015


Other ingredients

  • Carbonated Water – makes the beverage crisp and refreshing; Notably, carbonation slightly irritates the stomach, which slightly improves delivery of caffeine through the stomach lining
  • Cane Sugar
  • Citric Acid  – helps combat the bitterness of caffeine
  • Natural Flavors
  • Sodium Citrate – the sodium salt of citric acid; Used for flavor and as a preservative; has a sour-salty taste
  • Pectin – gives a little more mouthfeel (liquid thickness/heaviness)

Look for these in your convenience and drug stores

Caffeine Comparisons

It’s unusual to find an energy-drink-in-disguise so clean, ingredient-wise, and yet so powerful, caffeine-wise. Avitae has 250 mg caffeine per can, which is about the same as a can of Rockstar Energy (240 mg)!!! However, it’s crucial to note that with AvitaeXR you are only getting 125 mg of caffeine at a time: 125 mg free floating caffeine immediately in the liquid; 125 mg later once your body finally breaks open those little beads. This makes AvitaeXR almost more powerful than Rockstar because of its ability to last.

When to Consume = Fatigue Level 4

***Because this energy drink has an extended release of caffeine, you’ll want to avoid drinking this one if you plan on sleeping in the next 6 hours.***

During the GreenEyedGuide Caffeine Challenge (Day 6), we talked about how Fatigue Level 4 is for Energy Emergencies! This is Level 4 out of 5, and Level 5 is the point where no caffeine can save you. [watch the whole YouTube video]

For Fatigue Level 4, the caffeinated beverage you choose should have the following characteristics:

  • Carbonated or concentrated (energy shots)
  • Over 200 mg caffeine per serving (400 mg is the daily max for adults)
  • Does not have to be sugar-free

To learn more about how carbonation and juice play a role in a drink’s potency, visit the 5 Levels of Fatigue page. The 5 Levels of Fatigue system helps people reap the benefits of caffeine while avoiding addiction, dependence, tolerance, and toxicity,

Bottom Line

If you are entering an Energy Emergency and want something STRONG without having to settle for something super sugary and artificial, AvitaeXR is the solution.

Norm Snyder, Avitae President and CEO



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Energy Drink Spottings in New Zealand

On a honeymoon to New Zealand, I couldn’t help myself. I dawdled at every store looking for energy drinks and caffeinated beverages I’d never seen before. I only found a few, but I’ve shared my gallery below. I was only there for a week or so, but I was surprised how seldom I saw any energy drinks at all. In Southern California, I spot people drinking energy drinks on a daily basis, or spot the crushed empty cans in a trash can. My fascination for energy drink habits in other countries is not a new interest, but it certainly is growing. If you’ve got a story to tell about energy drink habits in your neighborhood, I’d love to hear it. (See below for all the ways you can connect with all-things-GreenEyedGuide and share your stories with me)


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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 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