Another Reason To Dislike “Energy Drinks”

I was perusing the grocery store today and at checkout I saw a new energy drink. The ingredients actually looked pretty good, so I picked one up. The only ingredients I remember off the top of my head are caffeine, EGCG, taurine and arginine. As I was waiting I checked out the label more closely. The “energy blend” was 6.2 grams of sucrose and the other aforementioned ingredients.

Know how much sugar was in a serving? Six grams! So of the energy mixture, 6 grams was sucrose, pure table sugar, and only 200mg of the other ingredients. 200mg is pretty close to a normal dose of caffeine, so I’d bet the drink only had trace amounts of taurine, EGCG and arginine. That would be fine if that was an effective dose, but a normal dose is in the gram range! That’s an order of magnitude difference.

As you can imagine, I put it back on the shelf, disappointed. I’ve always contended that “energy drinks” were a big scam and I think just looking at their labels with a critical eye is damning evidence. You can achieve the exact same effect with plain old generic brand caffeine tablets for a fraction of the cost, but I guess it’s not cool. Just make sure to follow label directions and discontinue if you have any adverse reactions – be safe!

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Another Reason To Dislike “Energy Drinks”

5 thoughts on “Another Reason To Dislike “Energy Drinks”

  1. Philipk says:

    I personally perfer an apple. It has the same amount of “energy” as two cups of coffee. I don’t know if that is true for sure but I heard it or read it somewhere. Anyways seems to work for me 1416 total.

  2. conorattack says:

    This is another misconception. People don’t understand the difference between “energy” and “arousal” or “activation”. This is perpetuated by advertisers to sell more bunko products.

    It’s like the old sports drinks commercials talked about providing you “energy” and I think, no shit, it’s a caloric beverage.

    A tablespoon of olive oil has plenty of energy, but it doesn’t provide any arousal/activation. A hit of crack cocaine provides immense arousal/activation, but to my knowledge doesn’t provide you with any energy.

  3. Philipk says:

    So does my apple have arousal/activation energy: Yes/No?

    Have a good workout. I am going to go check out a gym in Hampton, IA which is on the way home from my office.

    I can’t wait till I have my own farm and can put a gym in my basement like the Godfather–>Earl Crowe.

  4. conorattack says:

    Maybe. it’s actually a very insightful question. I’ve read one paper that found an apple was as good at increasing vigilance as a cup of coffee. (This was years ago, mind you.) I think they said might have something to do with the hemicellulose (a kind of fiber) in the apple.

    Fiber probably makes you think it was just a matter of controlling blood sugar because classically fiber was only considered to have a physical or mechanical effect on the GI. There’s compelling research though that fiber has peripheral effects not localized to the GI.

    So, does the fiber, fructose and other phytonutrients in the apple help level out blood sugar and eliminate the fogginess associated with aberrant blood sugar control, or does it have a specific, positive effect on arousal? I don’t know and I doubt anyway else does either.

    It’s sort of intuitive though, that a natural, wholesome apple would be better for pepping you up than a contrived junk-food elixir.

  5. Philipk says:

    I don’t know but it seems to help me, it is probably more of a mental thing then anything else.

    I will let you know how lifting at the new/temporary gym works tonight.

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