Bai Antioxidant Infusion is one of those “energy drinks in disguise” I love reviewing because it breaks the norm AND withstands a food scientist’s ingredient scrutiny. Bai Antioxidant Infusion (HENCEFORTH ‘B.A.I.’) is an “energy drink in disguise’ with only 35 mg caffeine, and a novel blend of white tea, polyphenols, and coffeefruit extract. Coffeefruit is not an ingredient many people have heard of, but its story of discovery is a shining example to those concerned about food waste. After reviewing the food science of B.A.I.’s most interesting ingredients, we’ll compare the “healthiness” of this product to other tea-based beverages and similar energy drinks.
In this post, we take a close look at the ingredients in sugar free Spider Energy in comparison to similar products from Monster Energy and Rockstar Energy. Our deep-dive comparison includes the ingredients used, their function, and whether any of these are better for people trying to avoid certain ingredients.
Sugar Free Energy Drink Comparison: Spider Energy, Rockstar Energy, and Monster Energy
What We’re Comparing
- Ingredient Line Deep Dive
- Which ingredients are used and why?
- How similar are the ingredients?
- Bottom Line and Biggest Differences
- Are any of them better or worse for people trying to avoid certain ingredients?
Ingredient Line Deep Dive includes:
- Ingredient Order
- Caffeine Content
- Vitamin Dosage
- Other Actives (ginseng, guarana, carnitine, etc.)
- Sweetness Profile
- Other Ingredients (colors, thickeners, preservatives, etc.)
Thank you all!
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.
GREEN-EYED INSIGHT on SPIDER ENERGY MIMIC
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)
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:
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.
REFERENCES AND RELATED LINKS
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