Research Recap: How do caffeine and taurine affect the heart muscle (myocardium)?

One of the biggest questions surrounding energy drinks is whether they are more dangerous for the heart than caffeine from coffee. Some people worry it’s the combination of ingredients, not just the caffeine content itself, which makes energy drinks more dangerous. As a biochemist studying energy drinks, I strive to better understand this risk by reviewing the latest research on caffeine and energy drink ingredients. In this Research Recap, we’ll review an experiment on how caffeine and taurine affect the contraction behavior of the heart muscle. Read more

Bai Sparkling, Cocaine Energy, and Monster Ultra Violet: July Recap of Quick Reviews – Science of Energy Drinks

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: Bai Sparkling Antioxidant Infusion, Cocaine Energy, and Monster Ultra Violet.

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What do TAURINE and CARNITINE do? Science Behind Monster Purple [YouTube]

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:

  1. Caffeine – how much is in this product and how much is safe?
  2. Taurine – what does it do and why does GreenEyedGuide call it a taxi?
  3. 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

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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 ScienceMeetsFood.org, 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 ScienceMeetsFood.org

“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
Read this on ScienceMeetsFood

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Taurine Amounts in Energy Drinks and Safe Dosage Limits – Book Excerpt of the Week

“Three of the most popular energy drink brands in the US have 1000 milligrams of taurine per serving so it’s unlikely taurine coming from an energy drink will cause any side effects.”

As we continue to move page-by-page through my book on energy drinks, this week’s excerpt is about taurine and how much you can consume safely. The maximum amount a person can have with no side effects is called the “No Observable Adverse Effect Level” (NOAEL).

The NOAEL for taurine was accepted as 1000mg/kg body weight or 455mg/lb body weight. This NOAEL was accepted by the European Food Safety Authority in a comprehensive review of the safety and use of taurine and glucoronolactone in energy drinks (EFSA 2009).
To learn more about energy drink ingredients  (what they are/what they do/how much to consume), stay tuned every Monday for more excerpts from “Are You a Monster or a Rock Star-A Guide to Energy Drinks: How They Work, Why They Work, How to Use Them Safely”