LA Fit Expo 2016 Recap Part I: When Fitness Meets Food

At the 2016 LA Fit Expo, I scoured thousands of booths looking for the best of the best. Among the food products, I found three that deserve to be on your next shopping list. Learn what those brands are, and also how much protein you really need per age/activity level.

If you love peanut butter, and/or frozen yogurt, this is for you. If you are constantly disappointed by the variety of protein bars out there, this is for you!



IFIC Protein Needs by Gender, Age, and Activity Level chart

Oh Yeah! One Bar protein bars

ProYo protein-rich frozen yogurt

Yumbutter nut butters


BroBible on Energy Drinks – All the Facts They Got Wrong

BroBible may be have expert insights on some matters, but their article on energy drinks proves biology and food science isn’t in their wheelhouse. Here’s the point-counterpoint to all the misleading statements in their article:

BroBible’s infographic from “Here Are All the Terrible Things That Energy Drinks Are Doing To Your Body”

BroBible's misleading infographic on energy drink
BroBible’s misleading infographic on energy drink “science”

First of all, what is a “health expert”. A doctor? A registered dietitian? A health blogger?

As someone who literally wrote the book on energy drinks and their ingredients and has researched the food science and biochemistry behind them for 10 years, let me dissect some of their misleading statements. (I’d go through them all but “Ain’t nobody got time for that.”)

MISTAKE ONE – Caffeine doesn’t “immediately” or “quickly do anything.

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Panera Know-No List — Part V: Meet the Texture Modifiers

Soggy spinach, crunchy chips, moist bread – texture is as important as flavor in consumer acceptance. For the fifth and final part of the Panera KNOW-No project, we review the food science of the texture modifiers on the No-No List.

In May 2015, Panera published a list of ingredients that would be removed from their food. Several other companies have made similar commitments to simplify their ingredients, but it’s rare these announcements address why the ingredient was in the food in the first place. This is a missed opportunity to celebrate the food science. Thus, this was my inspiration for this project. For each ingredient, you’ll find a brief explanation of its purpose, safety concerns if any, and whether a natural counterpart can perform as well or better. [For Part I, Overall Response, Part II, Sweeteners, Part III, Color/Flavor Enhancers, and Part IV, Preservatives, see previous posts].

Part V of V – Texture Modifiers (and remaining miscellaneous ingredients)

[The official Panera No No List is available here; replicated below.] Ingredients discussed in this post are red. Read more

The Buzz About Caffeine – Food Insight TV

From Food Insight TV, this video reviews the basics of caffeine:

  • Natural sources of caffeine
  • Caffeine consumption breakdown (how much of the US pop consumes caffeine, how much comes from coffee vs tea vs other sources)
  • Why moderation is so important
  • Maximum dosage recognized as safe for adults

Additional Resources:

Caffeine: Facts, Usage, and Side Effects

Caffeine Informer reviews the sources and chemical structure of caffeine, in addition to a review of caffeine’s positive and negative effects

Caffeine Consumption in the USA

How many Americans consume caffeine on a daily basis, and where do they get this caffeine from? This study involving over 40,000 people breaks down consumption patterns by source and age.

Open Letter to Time Regarding Energy Drink Article in the “Answer Issue”

The Time “Answer Issue” article on energy drinks is missing three crucial statistics. Green-Eyed Guide discusses these missing statistics in a plea to Time magazine to reconsider the perspective.

Are You a Monster or a Rock Star: A Guide to Energy Drinks — How They Work, Why They Work, How to Use Them Safely

Discover the key factors that make energy drinks safe or unsafe. Meet the 20 most common ingredients found in energy drinks and learn the basic science to how they work. With this guide and the “Levels of Fatigue” outlined within, anyone can learn the tools for determining which energy drink (IF ANY!) are right for his or her lifestyle and diet goals.

Panera Know-No List — Part IV: Meet the Preservatives

From medieval salt preservation to witch trials induced by ergot in moldy bread, to Twinkies that would reportedly survive a nuclear blast, food preservation has come a very long way.

In May 2015, Panera published a list of ingredients that would be removed from their food. In the same month, other companies like General Mills and Nestle made similar announcements, and more will surely follow suit. The food industry is amidst a curious and wonderful revolution, but the saddest part about these announcements is the missed opportunity to celebrate the food science.
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