The Science Behind Turbo Tea Zero from A.B.B. – Energy Drink of the Month: May 2018

Energy drinks are a spectrum. While there are some that look exactly like the stereotypical energy drinks from the early 2000s, there are a growing number which look nothing like their forefathers. Every month I try to highlight an energy drink which doesn’t fit the stereotype. This month, we’ll review the science behind a drink which could be considered an energy drink, a pre-workout, maybe even a tea. Read more

Caffeine versus Green Tea – Book Excerpt of the Week

When I was writing my book, “Are You A Monster or a Rock Star”, it was fun to discover all the ways green tea and caffeine DON’T play nice.

 

Photo Editor-20171127_165917Yes, there’s caffeine in green tea so you COULD SAY they “coexist”, but sometimes the health benefits of caffeine (by itself) counteract the benefits of green tea (by itself).

For example,  a review of 11 different trials with green tea showed catechins like EGCG significantly decreased body weight and helped people maintain weight loss.

However, the people that normally consumed more than 300 mg of caffeine per day didn’t get as big of an impact with their green tea treatment.

It’s as if caffeine intake interferes with green tea’s weight loss magic!

I’ve also shared a scientific study in which the combo of caffeine and theanine resulted in WORSE performance on cognitive function tests than caffeine alone: See [How do Caffeine Theanine Interactions Affect Mood and Attention?

There are a few ways caffeine and green tea DO work together and some ways people get the benefits of caffeine REGARDLESS of where it comes from. If this interests you, please check out (<- Library Pun) my book: “Are You A Monster or a Rock Star: A Guide to Energy Drinks”. Available on Amazon and Audible.

Stay tuned for next week’s book excerpt as we continue our page-by-page exploration through the Energy Drink Guide (now on Audible!!!).

Get your copy of 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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How do Caffeine Theanine Interactions Affect Mood and Attention? Caffeine/Energy Drinks in the News

We associate caffeine with being hyper and tea with being calm, so what happens when a person has caffeine and theanine together?  I reviewed a paper by the Department of Psychology at Tufts University in which they gave 36 people caffeine, theanine, or both. These participants had to watch disturbing episodes of Band of Brothers to get them all emotional, then take tests to rate their mood and attention. The results indicate just how well theanine and caffeine play together (or against each other). Read more

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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5 Quick Facts About VoloVitamins: ingredients, food science, and caffeine

VoloVitamins is an energy supplement that comes in a powder. For this quick review, I share five quick facts about the energy supplement from a food scientist perspective.
  1. Vitamin B12 is the number-one most common energy drink ingredient (caffeine is third!) [Source, Caffeine Informer and Innova Market Insights’ Database]   and VoloVitamins has over 41,000% of the Daily Value of vitamin B12!

    caffeine informer top 5 ingredients
    Source: https://www.caffeineinformer.com/energy-drink-ingredients
  2. For most B-vitamins, you don’t have to worry about ingesting too much because you’ll just pee out the excess. This is NOT TRUE for vitamin B6 and niacin aka vitamin B3, which CAN give you upleasant symptoms if you have too much. The vitamin B6 in VoloVitamins is not high enough to cause any of these symptoms, but the amount of niacin is high enough to cause “niacin flush” in some people.
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  3. VoloVitamis contains 17 different fruits in powder form. Since the overall amount of the whole serving isn’t very big, it’s safe to assume the amount of each fruit is miniscule. That means VoloVitamins is not a replacement for whole fruit in the diet and does not provide sufficient amounts of fruit polyphenols and antioxidants to make any health claims. But fruit powders add flavor.
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  4. The caffeine content is not stated outright on the product but it’s compared to a cup of green tea. Comparisions like this are always tricky because it’s not a standard reference: an 8 ounce cup of green tea may have a little at 12 mg or as much as 48 mg caffeine according to the Caffeine Informer database.
    For VoloVitamins, the caffeine comes from guarana extract and green tea extract.
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  5. VoloVitamins conains NO artificial flavors or sweeteners. The color comes from grape seed extract. The sweetness comes from the natural sweetener stevia. Malic and citric acid also contribute some sourness to the taste, though they serve multiple roles in this formula: they are not just added for taste.

Thanks for watching!

Get your copy of my book on the science behind energy drink ingredients, available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

“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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