So What is the Fuss with Energy Drinks

So what is the fuss with energy drinks? Consumption is arguably at an all-time high to support a range of activities, from work, to gaming.

The most familiar brands are Redbull, Monster Energy, Relentless etc. In no particular order (although Redbull is the most popular globally).

Other notable brands include: Cellucor C4, Emerge, Venom, Boost etc.

Monster Energy arguably offers the best variety of flavours, and many of them taste great (Ultra Paradise, Pacific Punch, Mango Loco, the list goes on)!

The primary component to energy drinks is their caffeine content, but they include other ingredients as well, such as: Inositol, Guarana, Taurine etc.

Generic Ingredients

The following is a summary of the ingredient mentioned above:

  • Inositol: A carbohydrate
  • Guarana: A climbing plant which is a natural source of caffeine, and has been used in the treatment of depression, anxiety etc (I can’t confirm it’s efficacy here)
  • Taurine: An amino-sulfonic acid that may cooperate with caffeine on boosting focus and energy
  • L-Carnitine: A quaternary ammonium compound, known to convert fat to energy
  • B3: B3 (Niacin)
  • B12: B12 (Cobalamin, though a synthetic derivative, such cyanocobalamin may be used)
  • L-Citrulline: L-Citrulline is an amino-acid, and can be converted to L-arginine
  • Betaine: used in cellular reproduction, and the production of carnitine, and is used to metabolise homocysteine
  • Caffeine: Usually at 32mg/100ml

It is worth noting that the ingredients above aren’t contingent on all energy drinks, and you may find them only with specific brands.

As an example: you will find Betaine included as an ingredient with Cellucor’s C4 energy drink.

Beta-alanine may also be used as an ingredient, especially if the energy drink is marketed to fitness practitioners who may use it as a pre-workout.

With that being said, the above provides a general overview.

Caffeine and Caffeine Recommendations

The caffeine volume can range from 72mg, to 200mg or more respectively (Celsius produce a beverage with 300mg of caffeine.

Energy drinks can help to alleviate fatigue, particularly after a draining work session, they can also help empower a workout.

They may also contain synthetic versions of essential B vitamins (though the high caffeine content may nullify the ability to absorb these.

It is likely that the high B vitamin content is to help offset the effect absorption mitigation, but I cannot confirm this.

How safe are energy drinks? limited caffeine consumption can provide health benefits, but the inverse can provide risks to health.

If someone is choosing to consume energy drinks, they should be consumed in moderation; regarding caffeine, the recommended safe amount according to the FDA is 400mg daily.

Personally, I think the 400mg specification depends on the person’s size, and muscle-mass.

I think around 200mg is a safer limit for most people, the US military recommends taking 200mg of caffeine upon waking up for every 6 hours.

Please refer to the following article for more information on caffeine recommendations: https://www.fda.gov/consumers/consumer-updates/spilling-beans-how-much-caffeine-too-much#:~:text=For%20healthy%20adults%2C%20the%20FDA,associated%20with%20dangerous%2C%20negative%20effects.

If you’re going to try energy drinks, you may want to opt for a smaller beverage; Redbull for instance produce 250ml, and 330ml cans respectively etc.

Reasoning being, you may not be able to tolerate the amount of caffeine in the larger volume drinks, if you don’t regularly consume caffeine.

Most companies produce a 500ml volume beverage, in many cases, without other volumes available.

please be aware that sweeteners may be used, even in the no-sugar variates that are on offer from many brand.

These sweeteners may range from: , Aspartame, Sucrose, Saccharine etc.

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