The year I started college, Monster and Rockstar were just hitting US markets. Welcome to September 2017, where Red Bull is older than the people entering college this fall. Whether you’re a student, a parent of school-age kids, or an adult savoring the last days of summer, September can bring changes that drain your energy. It’s a great time to consider a new energy drink, but one that won’t blow your summer body, one that keeps you hydrated and refreshed through the summer heat, and one that isn’t too strong. After all, you want to save those strong energy drinks for finals week and Black Friday shopping. Read more
The following is a guest post submitted by Robert Everett and edited by GreenEyedGuide. Robert brings up some good points about the advantages and disadvantages of using energy drinks or “brain drinks” like Nawgan and DaVinci for memory and brain function.
Do you have an important exam tomorrow and have to get ready for it? Or you have a big project for work or your college class? In these situations, you want to push your brain to its limits and get your work done as quickly as possible! But what can you do if you are feeling exhausted and spaced out?
Each of us has our own personal secret for how to focus and stay awake. However, there is one solution gaining popularity – using energy drinks to stimulate the brain!
How do energy drinks help our brains?
Red Bull has been around in the US since 1997, but long before then, people have used caffeine to stay alert and to help them focus. Caffeine, as well as energy drinks that are marketed as “think drinks” or “brain drinks”, seem like an excellent way to increase effectiveness at work/school or wake up after a sleepless night. But are these drinks actually good for your health? Let’s look at a few pros and cons.
- There are so many different kinds of energy drinks available these days, someone can find a drink in accordance with their needs and preferences. For example:
- Some energy drinks have less caffeine than others;
- Some energy drinks are sugar-free while others have sugar from sources like agave or honey;
- Some energy drinks have high doses of vitamins while other have no vitamins;
- Some energy drinks have stereotypical energy drink ingredients like taurine, carnitine, and guarana, but other energy drinks have just caffeine from green tea and a few vitamins;
- Energy drinks like Nawgan and DaVinci contain citicoline, which has been proven to improve cognitive function
- Some energy drinks can be resealed, which allows you to drink it whenever and wherever you want (home, work, dance floor, car). This choice is not always possible with coffee or tea since you usually have to drink it right away
- Healthy adults can only have up to 400 milligrams of caffeine to avoid health issues;
- Some energy drinks contain more sugar than the Daily Added Sugar Limit recommended by the American Heart Association: 9 teaspoons/36 grams for men and 6 teaspoons/25 grams for women
- Some energy drinks contain caffeine amounts very close to the 400 mg caffeine/day limit; other energy drinks contain multiple servings per container, which makes it more likely that the person consuming that drink will have more than a safe amount of caffeine
- Some energy drinks are sold online and might be manufactured by people who do not follow Good Manufacturing Practices (even if they say they do)
- The vitamins contained in energy drinks are no replacement for a proper meal or vitamins from real food; an energy drink is not the same a multi-vitamin
As you can understand, there are two sides of the same coin. Do you need such drinks at your 20’s? Some people are against such boosting drinks while others need and like having them in their everyday lives, and thus, we can say that the decision is absolutely individual.
What Are The Top Energy Drinks For Memory And Brain?
So what is the best drink for brain function? It is hard to give an exact answer to this question because, as was mentioned earlier, each person has different needs and preferences. But here are the top three energy drinks that are worth your attention and can help you identify your favorite one!
- DaVinci – the creators of this beverage claim that it inspires, boosts energy, and is absolutely healthy, but is this true? The beverage contains a unique blend of useful elements and vitamins, including such components as magnesium, citicoline, and L-tyrosine with vitamins B6, B12, and D3. The key reason why this beverage is useful for your brain is its content. Namely, its main component – citicoline, which contains a unique and interesting mix of cytidine and choline. Why is it a rare mix? In fact, cytidine, unlike choline, which can be found in many products, is a rare component despite the fact that it has a significant impact on your brain. Thus, such mix activates the functioning of your brain, caffeine is boosting energy, and eventually, you get increased effectiveness for performing numerous tasks.
- Nawgan Alertness Beverage – citicoline is the key component of this drink as well. The use of it, we had already discussed earlier, but there are a few things that also contribute to utilization and effectiveness of this beverage. Firstly, it is low in sodium, does not contain sugar or carbohydrates. It also provides your body with the necessary vitamins, including the vitamin B6, B12, and E, which means that it is not only free of calories but is also useful for your body!
- 5-Hour Energy – this energy shot is also free or calories, sugar, and net carbs. What makes it useful? It contains folic acid, vitamins B12 and B6, sodium, taurine, malic acid, glucuronolactone, citicoline, tyrosine N-Acetyl L-, L-phenylalanine, and caffeine. These active and useful elements, together influence your brain and memory, making their functioning more effective!
Author’s Bio: Robert Everett is a skilled and talented med writer, currently employed at a paper writing service – https://au.edubirdie.com/assignment-writing-help. As an academic writer, Robert better than anyone else knows what it means to work with tight deadlines and stay awake two or more nights in a row. Such intensive schedule is not a rare thing in the modern world. Not only writers, but many other workers from various establishments experience the same issues, and of course, the same also applies to the modern students. Due to the specifics of his work, Robert has to consume various energy shots almost every day, and now he shares some useful information on this topic with us!
- How Energy Drinks Will Help You Concentrate During FInal Exams – Guest Post
- BroBible on Energy Drinks: All the Facts They Got Wrong – GreenEyedGuide
- Energy Drinks and Exams – How They Can Help and How to Use Them Safely – GreenEyedGuide
In place of the Energy Drink of the Month, GreenEyedGuide explains the function of the key ingredients in Monster Ultra Violet.
3 Ingredients in the Monster Energy Blend:
- Caffeine – how much is in this product and how much is safe?
- Taurine – what does it do and why does GreenEyedGuide call it a taxi?
- Carnitine – what does it do and why does GreenEyedGuide call it a doorman?
Energy Drink of the Month will resume August 2017!
Review the entire ENERGY DRINK OF THE MONTH SERIES
- 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”
- Get Top Secret sneak previews of my AUDIO BOOK – SUPPORT ME ON PATREON
My heart was pounding. I was out of breath, but I felt exhilarated. Something inside me was ready to explode with power, like an ocean wave the second before it crashes.
For me, energy drinks and bodybuilding have a lot in common. I’m not talking about the use of caffeine for a workout. To me, it’s much more than that: I’m a biochemist who studies energy drinks and trains for bodybuilding competitions.
One fine day in the gym I had just finished my warm-up when it happened. My competitive drive collided with the realization that my next bodybuilding competition was only 7 weeks away. Like a rubber band being pulled to the limit or the moment of transition after “for meeeeee” in “Bohemian Rhapsody”, I knew I was about to unleash considerable power. I always have caffeine before my workouts, but this energy surge was something new. I turned my music up two notches, took a deep breath, then launched into my set.
[Internal energy = potential energy + kinetic energy = Yay for Laws of Thermodynamics!]
I was doing a long jump/sideways medicine ball throw circuit. I honestly can’t remember the last time my legs have jumped that far and that fast. At one point my legs were springing from one jump to the next so fast, I thought I’d fall on my face. But I kept pushing forward. During the sideways med ball throws I felt I could have punched a hole in the wall, so I used the metal post of the multi-station instead. This surge of energy stayed with me through my entire workout. I hit a new max for deadlifts and didn’t feel tired like I normally do after plyo-pushups.
For me, hitting a new max in the gym and discovering a new level of strength is very similar to finding a new energy drink. In both scenarios, I feel like I’m acquiring superpowers and the confidence that comes from knowing I can do things that were previously impossible.
I remember the first few times I tried Monster for all-nighters in college: I felt calm and focused despite the fact I was memorizing metabolic biochemical pathways at 3 a.m. I also remember my left bicep would tingle sometimes – not all the time, and not consistently, just like an eye twitch (which I also got when I was stressed: correlation is not causation).
In the gym, a foundation of strength is a prerequisite to the exhilarating energy surge like the one I described above. With energy drinks, the prerequisite is trust in the brand and knowledge of the ingredients. If it’s a brand I know and trust, the science nerd in me gets excited before the caffeine enters my system. When I first laid eyes on Red Bull Purple and Lime sugar-free Editions, I was so excited I literally jumped up and down in the grocery store.
When it’s a new energy drink from a brand I don’t know, or when I don’t understand the logic behind the ingredients, that’s a different story. We’ll save that for Part Two.
- 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”
- SUPPORT ME ON PATREON
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: Cool Blue Revitalizer, Red Bull (sugarfree) Purple Edition, Iconic Protein Coffee Drink, Monster Hydro Mean “Green” (more like yellow), F’Real Frappe Coffee, and West Coast Chill (caffeine free!) energy drink.
Cool Blue Revitalizer
- Caffeine Content 100 mg = Fatigue Level 2
Science Behind Cool Blue Revitalizer: This drink makes a big deal about 3 natural ingredients but it’s UNNATURALLY blue.
✔1. “Real Sugar” – true, but it ALSO has sucralose.
✔2. “Natural Flavor” – I guess BLUE drink =BLUE-berries? To me this drink tasted like CITRIC ACID OVERLOAD!!! WOAH BUDDY!
✔3. “Natural Caffeine” – From where? The label doesn’t specify but it’s 100 mg caffeine [#fatiguelevel2]
🤓PET PEEVE: 1 container= 1.3 Servings? Really…you couldn’t change your formula or can size?
🔬SODIUM BENZOATE— Did you know that benzoate salts like this one prevents growth of microorganisms like yeast and mold; it’s used for preservation of sour food (pH 4 and lower) and is often used with other preservatives especially at low pH (acidic food).
🔬SODIUM BENZOATE SAFETY NOTES — Consumers can ingest up to 5mg per kg of body weight of benzoic acid and its salts according to European Commission – Scientific Committee on Food. There are safety concerns suspected but unconfirmed for benzene formation from benzoic acid with ascorbic acid. However, this risk “cannot be reliably assessed on basis of data available” per BfR Expert Opinion. [More Info on the “Panera KNOW-No List“]
Red Bull Purple Edition (sugarfree)
- Caffeine Content 114 mg = Fatigue Level 3
The Science Behind RED BULL PURPLE EDITION: Red Bull has less caffeine and fewer ingredients than Monster and Rockstar. No guarana, carnitine, glucuronolactone, ginseng, or ginkgo; NO PRESERVATIVES! NO SUGAR!
🤓Since Red Bull has been around a long time there are mounting scientific studies testing its effectiveness
🤓Red Bull is not only the NUMBER ONE SELLING ENERGY DRINK BRAND on the PLANET, they also set the standard for energy drink industry SAFETY GUIDELINES. Red Bull was the FIRST ENERGY DRINK Company to list caffeine content on their cans several years ago, paving the way for other companies to follow suit.
🤓FURTHERMORE Red Bull has been open about their commitment to food safety and quality – you can read all about that HERE: ⚡ Red Bull on Caffeine Safety and Transparency ⚡
✔This MAY NOT BE FOR YOU IF you are trying to avoid artificial flavors and/or sweeteners – This drink has Sucralose and Ace-K but I am more concerned about the KNOWN effects of high sugar intake than the DEBATABLE effects of these two sweeteners.
✔Ace-K has been USED AROUND THE WORLD for 15 years and used in the US since 1988.
✔Sucralose was approved by FDA in 1998, and it’s considered safe by government/regulatory agencies worldwide.
✔As far as caffeine interactions that (maybe?) make energy drink more dangerous than coffee, I enjoy Red Bull’s simple ingredients, sugarfree options, and moderate caffeine content. 🤓💚⚡⛾⚡🔬⚡
Iconic Protein + Coffee Drink
- Caffeine Content 180 mg = Fatigue Level 3
If caffeine is best for PREworkout and protein is best for POSTworkout, what do you do with a CAFFEINE+PROTEIN COMBO?
🤓 DRINK IT!
But seriously, here’s what you should know:
✔ This drink has 180 mg caffeine per container. That’s as much as a Monster Energy (160 mg)
✔Caffeine doses of 3-6 mg caffeine per kg bodyweight are the best for pre-workout. That’s the range used in “[X] Til Exhaustion” studies (cycling, running, rowing…)
✔ Protein doses of 20-25 grams* protein taken in the 30 min window after workout is ideal for muscle growth but overall protein consumption matters too. *NOTE bigger protein doses don’t mean bigger results
✔ONLY 3 GRAMS SUGAR from Agave. Sweetness also comes from MONK FRUIT (aka Luo Han Guo) & STEVIA! I LOVE seeing these natural sweeteners used in caffeinated beverages 🤓💚🔬➕⛾➕🏋️♀️
Monster Hydro Mean Green
- Caffeine Content 125 mg = Fatigue Level 3
As the GREENEyedGuide I’m bummed “Mean GREEN” is yellow.
As a Food Scientist, I know artificial green is hard to keep green and natural green often involves spirulina, which has the slightest seawater taste. I don’t normally talk about taste in my reviews bc it’s subjective, but this tasted like flat Moutain Dew or old lemonade to me. 🤓💚🔬⛾
✔Sugar sources include sucrose (table sugar), glucose, and artificial sweetener sucralose. 23g! Not awful but <10g is my sweet spot (food pun!)
✔NO GUARANA OR TAURINE OR CARNITINE so really different than the typical Monster Energy Blend.
✔125 mg caffeine per bottle, compared to 180mg in most flavors of Monster Energy.
Is Monster Hydro a healthier alternative to Monster Energy?
YES in terms of lower caffeine content and FEWER Caffeine-(other ingredient) INTERACTIONS, which some people* think make some energy drinks more dangerous than coffee.
*I’m on the fence about this. Caffeine-Taurine-glucuronolactone combos are fine but no data for or against caffeine-carnitine combos yet.
F’real Frappe Coffee
- Caffeine Content not disclosed – Unknown Level of Fatigue
That Moment When you want to hide your CAFFEINE CONTENT so badly, you COMPARE yourself to something AMBIGUOUS. “2x caffeine as leading frozen coffee”
Who is the leading FROZEN coffee and HOW MUCH caffeine do they have? It is FALSE to assume a cup of coffee has a standard amount. 1 cup at Starbucks doesn’t equal 1 cup at Pikes or 1 cup at your hotel.
Neat concept with the DIY F’Real Blender machine but if we’re going to GET REAL (or “f’real”) ABOUT CAFFEINE SAFETY we need EVERYONE to report caffeine content.
Have you ever seen a bottle of ALCOHOL that DID NOT disclose the %?
PS – sixty-one grams of sugar y’all. Sixty. One. But look at how clean and simple the ingredients are. Too bad simple doesn’t = healthy. 🤓💚⛾🔬
West Coast Chill (caffeine free energy drink)
- Caffeine Content = ZERO! Fatigue Level 0-1 Energy Drink
An energy drink with NO CAFFEINE?!? Does the term “energy drink” mean anything anymore!?!
Let’s inspect it: 🤓💚⛾🔬Active ingredients include:
🤓Ribose – a compound that participates in an odd (pun) energy producing reaction called the Pentose phosphate pathway. Promising science, just hasn’t caught on yet.
🤓Ginseng – be skeptical of benefits!
🤓Arginine – amino acid with important jobs in the body (Urea Cycle Waste Removal). HOWEVER the BEST way to supplement arginine is to TAKE Citrulline!
🤓B-vitamins AND minerals – minerals aren’t usually in energy drinks. Curious… 🤓💚🔬⛾📚
Click HERE to learn more about how to use the 5 Levels of Fatigue.
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