Is V8 Really an Energy Drink? A Primer on the Science of Energy Drinks in Disguise [GreenEyedGuide on ScienceMeetsFood]

In this article I wrote for, I address the problem behind the term “energy drink” and the science behind energy drinks in disguise. (There’s also a Guardians of the Galaxy metaphor!) It’s a great primer if you’ve never heard the term “energy drink in disguise”, or if you never realized that V8 and Ocean Spray make energy drinks. Read this article in its entirety at

“I’ve been studying energy drinks since 2003 and they continue to both fascinate and horrify me. They fascinate me because I’m a biochemistry major, or maybe it’s the other way around. Energy drinks are the reason I pursued my masters in food science (and the reason I survived grad school). Metabolic biochemistry is the closest I’ll ever come to engineering – for me, studying biochemistry is studying the secret rules to how things work.

Energy drinks horrify me because it feels like people with no science background are behind some of the products you can buy online. Sometimes I’ll read a label and think, “What are they doing? Who thought this was a good idea?” The most concerning aspect of energy drinks is we don’t have a proper nomenclature to classify them properly. (#WhatWouldIUPACDo?) Using the term “energy drink” the way we do is like calling pure ethanol “booze”. Let’s talk about why the lack of classification is a problem.

Is V8 Really Energy Drink
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Food Waste and a Master’s Thesis dream – GreenEyedGuide on ScienceMeetsFood

“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.”

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Read more from the Day in the Life of a Food Scientist series



    Learn how to find the best energy drink using the 5 Levels of Fatigue



    Leaving Beachbody and 5 Qs to ask before leaving your food industry job [CareersInFood]

    I joined Beachbody’s product development team in 2012, right before the launch of the new and improved Chocolate Shakeology. Greenberry Shakeology was my baby (but it did take a village…) After leaving Beachbody I took the time to reflect on my experience, to celebrate all I’d accomplished, and to share the questions I’d been asking myself while struggling with the decision to leave.

    careersinfood 5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Leaving Your Food Industry Job

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    Eating the same food day after day can cause boredom and dissatisfaction. The same goes for jobs in the food industry. Before boredom or dissatisfaction drives you away from your job, consider the following questions with honesty.

    Related Posts by GreenEyedGuide

    Food Science Facts For Your Thanksgiving Feast – GreenEyedGuide on ScienceMeetsFood

    On ScienceMeetsFood, I talk about why scientists dread the question “What have you been up to” and share some ideas of what to talk about instead at Thanksgiving dinner. Hint: it involves your other family – your science family.

    ♦ food waste ♦ Potato Peel…Cake? ♦ cranberries ♦ cavitation ‘magic’ in boiling water ♦ hydrothermodynamic processing ♦ and more!

    Read the ScienceMeetsFood post here –>

    sciencemeetsfood-cover-thanksgivingscience meets food capture

    Also check out my ScienceMeetsFood bio here!