Do we need energy squeeze?
According to Wikipedia, 65% of energy beverage drinkers are between 13 and 35 years old. And according to Fit & Health 90% of Americans consume caffeine every day: “The half-life of caffeine in your body is about six hours. That means that if you consume a big cup of coffee with 200 mg of caffeine in it at 3:00 p.m., by 9:00 p.m. about 100 mg of that caffeine is still in your system. You may be able to fall asleep, but your body will probably miss out on the benefits of deep sleep. That deficit adds up fast. The next day you feel worse, so you need caffeine as soon as you get out of bed. The cycle continues day after day.”
Common ingredients of regular energy drinks are:
- Sugar – energy source;
- Caffeine – psychoactive stimulant;
- Taurine – multipurpose supplement;
- Vitamins B – cell metabolism enhancers;
- Herbs – add more caffeine.
Note that the sugar free Red Bull, Monster Energy, 5-Hour Energy and similar energy drinks supply NO energy. Those are real squeezers of energy from you with a higher likelihood of an energy “crash-and-burn” effect.
Let us see what the DyeDiet Health Risk Scores are for the three most popular brands: Red Bull and Monster drinks and 5-Hour Energy supplement.
Red Bull Health Risk Diagram, DDRS ~ 55
This one is the friendliest of the three with only 2 foreign food additives (13 units), 8 nutritional (20) and 6 benign additives (22).
Monster Health Risk Diagram, DDRS ~ 89
Risks come from 3 foreign (20 units), 9 nutritional (22) and 12 benign (47) additives.
Monster has a little higher risk DDFI = 20/22 ~ 0.9 and lower Nutrition Factor, DDNF = 22/67 ~ 03. Therefore this is a somewhat less safe energy drink.
5-Hour Health Risk Diagram, DDRS ~ 63
With its 4 foreign (24 units), only 7 nutritional (14) and 6 benign (25) additives 5-Hour Energy supplement gives a not too high overall DDRS but its Nutrition Factor is still very low, DDNF = 14/49 ~ 0.3 and the DyeDiet Foreign Additive Impact is significantly higher, DDFI = 24/14 ~ 1.7 that means a higher risk.
Ironically, 5-Hour Energy does not provide you with energy. Neither does it give you enough water you need to respond to the water loss resulting from caffeine diuretic effect. Another feature of this injection size energy drink is that with each container taken you get 20 times the daily amount of vitamin B6 and 83 times the recommended daily intake of Vitamin B12 which, in those quantities, may not necessarily be beneficial.
Energy Drinks comparison chart
|Additives and Nutrients||Red Bull Energy||Monster Energy||5-Hour Energy pomegranate|
|Caffeine, mg per serving||80 a||80 b||80-100??Not specified|
|Calories per serving (8 OZ)||125 a||110 b||4 c|
|Total carbs||28 a||27 b||none|
|Sweetener||Sucrose, glucose||Sucrose, glucose||Sucralose|
|Vitamins B, (% RDI)||100-250||100 b||2000 – 8333|
|Walmart price for a pack of 4||$6.68||$6.48||$8.98|
|DyeDiet Risk Score (DDRS)||55||89||63|
|DyeDiet Foreign Impact (DDFI)||0.7||0.9||1.7|
|DyeDiet Nutrition Factor (DDNF)||0.6||0.3||0.3|
|Recommendation||Yes, with care||Not really||NO|
a) 8.4 FL OZ can. b) 2 x for the whole 16 FL OZ can. c) Per 1.93 OZ (57 ml) container
In conclusion, all energy drinks have low nutritional values and high caffeine which in the long-term may lead to chronic fatigue and depression. With the right nutritional diet and reasonable physical activity everyone should be energized enough. So the DyeDiet opinion is that energy drinks can be seen as performance boosters, more like drugs, appropriate only for emergency situations, not for regular consumption. If someone feels chronically worn out it is a good idea to take a closer look at the person’s diet or maybe simply take enough rest. Indeed, if at 54, I have enough energy to run miles and do 5 x 5 squats with a heavy 405 pound bar, why shouldn’t someone 13 – 35 years old?
Let us simply start choosing more nutritional foods and beverages and consume them in moderation!