Science Behind Spider Energy Mimic

Summer is the best time to try new things, whether it’s exploring a new city or sampling new food. This month’s pick is one I wouldn’t normally try but felt compelled by the gorgeous design to give it a shot.

The Energy Drink of the Month for June 2015 is Spider Energy Mimic.

It’s just hitting stores now, June 2015, and a sugar-free version will be released later this year. (Check out this bold label – I can’t wait! I love the graphics!) No, this drink is not called Mimic because it is trying to mimic another energy drink that starts with letter M. If anything, the taste is closer to original Red Bull than original Rockstar or original Monster, but Spider Mimic is more tangy-fruity than either of those.


What’s In It and Why?

This energy drink has no artificial colors or flavors, no high-fructose corn syrup or artificial sweeteners. It is sweetened with sucrose and glucose only, which accounts for its unique tart sweetness. If you are less concerned with overall sugar intake and more concerned about HFCS, and artificial colors/flavors/sweeteners, Spider Energy is more favorable than many other similar energy drinks. (No judgments – we all have different diet goals and needs)

Spider Energy Mimic Fact Panel
Spider Energy Mimic Fact Panel

The B-vitamin complex is represented, but thankfully Spider does not go crazy with the amounts. Yes, B-vitamins are water-soluble but more isn’t always better (I’ve discussed the consequences of too much niacin or vitamin B6 elsewhere).

From a quality assurance/food safety perspective, I’m glad Spider Energy Mimic uses extracts (Panax Ginseng Extract, Guarana Seed Extract, Green Tea Extract). In general, extracts contain more of the active and less of the background (inherent microbial growth and heavy metal content).

I also love that this label opted to include a chart of the actives. That’s a great way to empower your consumers, letting them know exactly what actives are in your product, at what amounts. Speaking of empowering consumers, the details about what all these actives do is captured in the Energy Drink Guide; to avoid repeating myself or minimizing the years of work that went into said guide, I’ll just encourage you to check this guide out. It is the ultimate resource to all things energy drink and caffeine safety.

Who and What is This For?

This whole can provides 55 grams of sugar, which is too much for many people (including myself). But you can share with a friend or consume only half the can one day, saving the rest for later.

This whole can provides 240 milligrams of caffeine so, with the sugar content and carbonation, by the 5 Levels of Fatigue system, this product is a Level 4: a serious boost that’s best reserved for energy emergencies than for everyday consumption. If you’re working two jobs, if you’re pulling all-nighters to move out of your apartment by the deadline, or it’s your turn to stay up all night scouring the city and fighting crime, this drink is appropriate. If you consume this drink multiple times a week you may be getting your body too used to large amounts of caffeine.

NOTE – According to the European Food Safety Authority, a single dose of 200mg caffeine, with a daily maximum dose of up to 400mg caffeine is considered safe. But I personally recommend that caffeine consumers try to get by on as little caffeine as possible, so that when you REALLY need it, the caffeine will be able to do its job. This is what the 5 Levels of Fatigue is all about – finding the drink with the attributes that match how tired you are, preventing over-consumption and dependence.

Meet Your Friendly Neighborhood Spider Energy

Founded in 2009 under The Masters of Beverages, Spider Energy strives to be better than the “Big 3”. With a specific call-out to each on their main page, the main mission of Spider was captured perfectly in the following announcement from BevNet:

 Bottom Line

Spider Energy Mimic is not for everyone. Energy drinks, in general, are not for everyone, but even this particular energy drink is not for all energy drink consumers. It has a cleaner ingredient line than many of its competitors, so if the sugar is too much for you (and my nifty little trick in the video above doesn’t appeal to you), I HIGHLY recommend seeking the Sugar-Free Mimic, coming soon.


Spider Energy Home


Caffeine Informer on Spider Energy (click the image)

The Energy Drink Guide — your one-stop reference for the common energy drink ingredients: what they are, where they come from, what they (are supposed to) do, and how much is too much

Science Behind Spider Energy Drink

 Name as many famous spiders as you can – GO.

Let’s see, there’s Charlotte, Aragog, the “her” from LOTR, the ones John Goodman had to fight in Arachnophobia, the one that freaked out Little Miss Muffet…What other spiders did you come up with?

How about this one – Spider Energy. With a head nod towards Halloween, this month’s pick is Spider Energy.

Other flavors are available but I prefer Widow Maker for its flavor, its tagline atop the can, and its colors scheme.
Other flavors are available but I prefer Widow Maker for its flavor, its tagline atop the can, and its colors scheme.

Anyone can review a beverage and tell you how they like the flavor, or how the ingredients affect them. I find these reviews helpful and steer you toward those reviews when I can. However, ultimately my goal is to give you the tools so you can go beyond someone else’s review and determine, just by looking at a can, how the product might affect your own body in your particular condition of fatigue.

Give a man a fish, feed him for a day; teach a man to fish, feed him for a lifetime. 


Green-Eyed Insight on Spider Energy


1 – Caffeine.

This product has 240 milligrams of caffeine per 16 ounce can, and this information is kindly included on the Nutrition Facts Panel. Keep in mind those under 18 should have less than 100 milligrams of caffeine per day, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, and those 18 and up should keep daily intakes below 400 milligrams, the maximum dosage considered safe by Health Canada and the US FDA. All of this assumes you aren’t pregnant or nursing or have a pre-existing condition that makes you sensitive to caffeine.

To see how this energy drink compares to others, Energy Fiend is ALWAYS a great resource:

Energy Fiend on Spider Energy (caffeine content is the same for all flavors)

2 – Servings per Container.

At one point, Spider Energy was two servings per can (see the picture from my collection, below). Nowadays, Spider Energy labels indicate one 16 ounce can is one serving, but always confirm the number of servings per container before making any judgments on any other nutrients. We’ve all seen the super-sized muffins that are supposed to be three servings, right? If you consume one whole 16 ounce can, you’re getting 240 milligrams of caffeine, which is not a small dose, but nothing obscene or potentially hazardous like some of the other energy products out there. Remember that you are not legally or morally obligated to drink the entire can in one sitting – the label is not the boss of you. This product is not weak so there will be days when half the can will do. Remember the words of Paracelsus: the difference between medicine and a cure is the dosage (this is also a song by Circa Survive).

3 – Carbonation and/or Juice.

Carbonation slightly irritates the stomach lining, speeding up caffeine absorption. Energy drinks with fruit juice are usually non-carbonated or lightly carbonated so those products might be better suited for those seeking a milder pick-me-up. When you want to take advantage of this nifty trick, check the ingredient list: in this case carbonated water is the very first ingredient, so there’s your answer.

Note this can from my collection says 2 Servings per Container and uses a Supplement Facts panel - this product has been reclassified as a beverage so current products feature a Nutrition Facts Panel, and the label has been updated to say 1 Serving per Container. Note all the Green-Eyed Insight here applies to both the previous and the current product.

Note this can from my collection says 2 Servings per Container and uses a Supplement Facts panel – this product has been reclassified as a beverage so current products feature a Nutrition Facts Panel, and the label has been updated to say 1 Serving per Container. Note all the Green-Eyed Insight here applies to both the previous and the current product.

4 – Vitamins.

Vitamins help your body perform reactions that can generate energy, but vitamins are not the source of energy. This is why you should be cautious of products that promise to deliver heaps of energy in the form of vitamin mega-doses. Even some water-soluble vitamins like niacin (vitamin B3) or vitamin B6 can lead to side-effects when you consume too much, so it’s always good to double-check the label for those particular vitamins.

B6 – Side-effects for B6 start at 100 milligrams so even if you did chug the whole Spider Energy, you’re only getting 8 milligrams (twice the Daily Value) of vitamin B6.

Niacin Flush – For this particular product, the amount of niacin per SERVING is 100% Daily Value, which is 20 milligrams. At 35 milligrams, some people experience a “niacin flush” – mild itching and flushing of the skin. Drinking the whole can provides 40 milligrams of niacin, enough to cause the niacin flush in some people. But, if you’re smart and if you’ve been listening to my advice all this time, you know better than to chug the whole can in one sitting. Better yet, perhaps you’ve met Mr. Swift and Mr. Thrift in Are You a Monster or a Rock Star: a guide to energy drinks, so you know how manipulating the speed of consumption can alter the ways caffeine affects your body, giving you, literally, more bang for your buck.

5 – Sugars.

In one 16 ounce can, there are a whopping 30 grams of sugar. For those of us limiting added sugars, there are sugar-free versions of Spider Energy. Then there are some people who might actually benefit from the sugar – people working a swing-shift with no time to eat, bartenders working the Vampire Schedule with no lulls to get real food…you know who you are. In this product, the sugar comes from sucrose (literally, table sugar) and glucose. Skimming the ingredient list all the way through shows no HFCS (if you care about that and if you’ve forgotten that regular sugar can be just as bad in excess as HFCS). Moreover, this product is sweetened with Sucralose (Splenda), and Ace-K but not aspartame (good news for those with PKU). Again, it all comes down to making the best decision for you – your body, your situation, your call.


Other Aspects to Consider:

This product calls out the amounts of other popular energy drink ingredients like ginseng, green tea extract, guarana and taurine. Perhaps you’re thinking, “Wouldn’t it be great if I had some quick little reference guide that explained in plain English what these ingredients do and how much is too much to consume?”

Here’s Your Sign…and your guide to energy drinks


Enjoy with caution. The amount of caffeine per container, carbonation and sugar content put this product at Level 4 in the 5 Levels of Fatigue:

Level 0 – Energizer Bunny

Level 1 – Magic 8 Ball Says “Fatigue Forthcoming”

Level 2 – Too Tired to Go It Alone

Level 3 – Lethargic and Struggling

Level 4 – For the Long Nights and Rough Fights

Level 5 – Barely Alive

For a complete breakdown of these levels and how to use them to maximize caffeine’s effects while minimizing your intake, check this out: 5 Levels of Fatigue.


Other Resources:

Spider Energy Main Site

Caffeine Informer – Spider Energy Review and Caffeine Content

Spider Energy on Facebook

-Green-Eyed Guide