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):
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?)
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).
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, “someparticipants who consume energy drinks exhibit behavior that is potentially harmful to health, so we should probably be worried about allenergy drink consumers.”
Here’s a recap of the quick reviews posted this month for the “Science of Energy Drinks” series on the GreenEyedGuide Instagram and Facebook pages: Uptime Energy, Bawls Guarana, Amp Energy Zero, and V8 + Energy.
Science Behind Uptime Energy drink: 3-Ingredients to Focus on:
⛾1-Angelica Root Ext (aka Danggui) is used for female reproductive disorders in Traditional Chinese Medicine. After 15 minutes on Pubmed & SciDirect I DON’T KNOW WHY it’s in here. (Dear science nerds, please help if you do).
⛾2-Bee Pollen has vitamins, polyphenols, and enzymes, and has shown health benefits in studies but ONLY WHEN USED IN GRAM AMOUNTS! This product’s whole “Power Base” combined is only 20% of a gram. [1 gram = weight of 1 paperclip].
⛾3-Caffeine is the only ingredient that (kind of) “produces energy” but this bugs me. (#stickler #rant #chemnerd) There’s 142 mg caffeine in here = ALMOST a Monster (160mg).
LET’S TALK ABOUT GUARANA. BAWLS Ingredients include caffeine, HFCS, citric acid, sodium benzoate, natural AND artificial flavor, caramel color. No B-vitamins, taurine, carnitine, or other stereotypical energy drink ingredients.
CAFFEINE CONTENT: from guarana and pure caffeine; 100mg Caffeine per can from all sources, according to the CAFFEINE INFORMER database. That’s LESS caffeine than 12 oz Red Bull (114 mg). The limit for those under 18yrs old is 100mg.
GUARANA is a vine from the rainforest bearing orange-red fruit with black seeds. Caffeine is in the seeds. Multiple studies show guarana improves cognitive performance, mental fatigue, and mood, and it is supposed to boost fat metabolism by encouraging the body to burn fat instead of protein and carbs. HOWEVER, the same benefits are true of caffeine in general and caffeine from green tea in particular. So these benefits are not specific to guarana… and this product gives you 50g sugar per can.
PART ONE: WHAT DOES EDTA DO?
EDTA, Sodium benzoate, and Sodium hexametaphosphate: All 3 are in this drink. Does a canned drink need so much preservation?
1. EDTA: the ingredient statement says “to protect flavor”…from WHAT? From metal ions of the can, which can oxidize and degrade the natural+artificial flavor and the B-vitamins.
PURPOSE: Chelating agent, meaning it binds metal ions to limit their deleterious effects; EDTA stabilizes food color, aroma, texture, inhibits oxidation of fats, oils.
SAFETY NOTES: Some sources say EDTA “robs the body of nutrients” but EDTA is safe to consume **up to 3 grams per day **and AMOUNTS USED IN FOOD are in the milligram per kilogram or parts-per-million range. CPSI puts this in the “Safe” column.
***FUN FACT: EDTA is actually used to treat people with heavy metal poisoning because EDTA can grab the heavy metals and escort them out of the body.
PART 2 of Amp Preservative review: WHAT does Sodium benzoate do?
Sodium Benzoate: “preserves freshness”… but it’s not like this is a fresh ripe watermelon right? Well, this IS an acidic drink…
PURPOSE: Prevents growth of microorganisms like yeast and mold; used for preservation of sour food pH 4 and lower, often used with other preservatives especially at low pH (meaning acidic food).
SAFETY NOTES: Consumers can ingest up to 5mg per kg of body weight of benzoic acid and its salts
***FUN FACT: Benzoic acid occurs naturally in cranberries, prunes, plums, cinnamon, ripe cloves, and most berries. http://wp.me/p3SHzu-It
PART 3 of AMP preservative review: “Hexa-meta-huh?”
3. Sodium hexametaphosphate: “to protect flavor”… YOU’D THINK AMP’S FLAVOR IS LIKE GOLD with all this PROTECTION!!!
SAFETY NOTES: This ingredient is widely accepted as safe in many countries. It has the additive number E452. In controlled studies, it was not carcinogenic in rats, nor did it cause any reproductive or developmental toxicity symptoms. It’s fine if you consume a little bit every now and then, but consuming it regularly can have some negative effects due to mineral imbalances. MODERATION IS KEY!
Energy drinks are dangerous, right? V8 Energy, busting stereotypes since 2011! The caffeine in V8 Energy comes from green tea extract which provides a natural lift as well as the amino acid L-theanine which is believed to provide added focus. [CaffeineInformer.com] 🔹️L-theanine can reduce anxiety and blood pressure increases in high-stress individuals (ie people more susceptible to biological changes when stressed) 🔹️This can contains 80 mg caffeine (as much as Red Bull) BUT… 🔹️ the Academy of Pediatrics says people <18 can have UP TO 100 mg caffeine per day. 🔹️With 34% juice, only 11 grams of sugar, and caffeine from green tea extract, this is one of the BEST healthy alternatives! 🔹️See V8 Energy Drink of the Month http://bit.ly/2p5yykZ
“This excerpt comes from the master’s thesis of a food scientist from UC Davis. That food scientist was me, Danielle Robertson, M.S. In my research, polyphenol procyanidin extracts were used, unsuccessfully, to prevent enzymatic browning in bananas. Seven years after that thesis was published, a company named Apeel Sciences has succeeded in creating an effective natural shelf-life extender entirely out of food waste. They succeeded where I did not, which is why I find this product so compelling.”
It’s the beginning of football season, and the end of the regular baseball season. It’s the end of summer and the beginning of colder months, all which coincidentally end with a “burr” (Octoburr, Novemburr, Decemburr).
September is a curious month. As the song lyrics go, “Every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s end,” — to many people, the beginnings and ends September brings are significant.
Like the trajectory of a Red Bull flugtag contraption, many people start September with an optimistic lift of energy and determination…before losing momentum and dropping quickly to the ground.
I have to plan for Halloween already?!? The sun has set already?!? Midterms, already?!?
Don’t give into the fall, rise. You may be powerless to stop the evening fog from rolling in, but you can combat the fog that creeps into your mind – rise.
The Energy Drink of the Month for September 2013 is Rize.
Designed by a biochemist with a passion for athletic events ranging from Mud Runs to Marathons, Rize is not your typical “energy drink”. In fact, one would dare to say Rize symbolizes the New Era of energy drinks.
Rize is just one of the products you could use as a counterargument to one of my favorite blanket statements, “Energy drinks are bad.”
The Science Behind Rize Energy Drink
Like most energy drinks, Rize contains caffeine (*SHOCKER*) and B-vitamins. However, there are three major ingredients that set this drink apart from the other 500 products marketed as “energy drinks”.
Yes, 500. This is neither an exaggeration nor a typo. According to Forbes Magazine, there were over 500 energy drinks on the market worldwide in 2006. This vast collection of products is precisely why the blanket statement, above, irks me so.
1 – Trehalose
Trehalose sounds like it’s a fort you’d build in the limbs of a tree but trehalose (“trey-ha-lohs”) is a special kind of sugar. Don’t panic, it’s nothing foreign to your body. Trehalose is made from two regular glucose molecules. (glucose is the most basic building block of carbohydrates) In trehalose, however, the two glucose molecules are holding hands in a different way than two glucoses normally would (say, in a starch molecule). This tiny deviation from the norm is enough to change taste and metabolism.
Here’s the important part: trehalose doesn’t create blood sugar spikes like other simple sugars would. Trehalose has a unique sweetness that’s different than sugar but not metallic like Stevia. Also, it’s free of the controversies surrounding aspartame and sucralose. In essence, trehalose provides the yummy part of sugar, without the rise and fall of blood sugar levels. The result is sustained energy, the natural way.
Green tea is probably the healthiest drink on the planet, second to water. Loaded with antioxidants and other phytonutrients you’ve probably never heard of before, green tea is continuously glorified for its health benefits. Plus, it just looks healthy with that green hue, doesn’t it?
The only downside to consuming green tea is that it’s only good for you if you drink it, and the bitter taste is a deal-breaker to many, including yours truly. If you can’t stand the bitterness of green tea, green tea extract seems like the next best thing. Green tea extract is an isolated, purified version of the major antioxidants in green tea. Green tea has more nutrients than green tea extract, but green tea extract has all the star players, like the 25-man roster in baseball.
So how does green tea extract work? What, exactly does it do in the body? How do green tea extract and caffeine interact? For these answers and the rest of this discussion on the amazing benefits of Green Tea Extract, check out this handy guide. Rize contains both green tea extract and caffeine from green tea, giving it an advantage over the stereotypical “energy drinks”.
3 – Huperzine
Not only is Huperzine a fun word to say out loud, it’s the X-factor that distinguishes Rize from all the other “energy drinks”. Supposedly, this natural compound helps memory, focus and cognitive function. There are even double-blind clinical studies to prove it. These cognitive function studies gave huperzine to people over a period of 8 weeks. So to get the same benefit, you’d have to consume Rize for 8 weeks straight. Consuming the same energy drink every day for several consecutive days in a row goes against the 5 Levels of Fatigue
Rize is Fatigue Level 2 beverage
The 5 levels of Fatigue is a system which categorizes fatigue into levels of severity, then outlines which particular ingredients to look for to best suit that particular level.
For example, someone who needs a jolt in the morning should not be drinking the same product as someone who needs to pull an all-nighter. Rize is a Level 2 product, meaning it has up to 100 mg caffeine per serving, so you should drink it when you’re tired enough to need caffeine (as opposed to water) but not so tired you need a strong jolt of caffeine. You want to save those high-powered drinks for when you absolutely need them.
Trehalose is not a new discovery, but it’s not the most affordable ingredient out there in the world of sugars and sweeteners. As a product developer and food scientist, when I see a company using trehalose it makes me believe these guys are willing to pay for quality. They could’ve stuck with green tea and brain-boosting Huperzine, but they decided it was worth it to use trehalose as well. Not only does this earn my respect as a food scientist and fellow biochemist, it makes the product unique in sweetness.
The two biggest drawbacks are availability and ambiguity. Thus far, this product is only available in the eastern half of the US, in Meijer stores: ee the Rize Store Locator. Of course, you could always order a case and get it shipped to you, but it’s not as convenient as purchasing a competitive product from your local supermarket or gas station. Furthermore, this product does not disclose the amount of caffeine per can and it’s ridiculously difficult to find this information online. Fear not, it’s only a matter of time before Caffeine Informer comes to the rescue.