Saturday, March 26, 2011

Energy Drinks

Energy drinks and the complications from consuming them continue to grab the headlines of today’s news agencies. The so called “energy drink” market has grown substantially over the last several years. The target market for these products are ages 12 through 25 and primarily focused on young males.

But the term “energy drink” is a misnomer, in other words most energy drinks don’t create energy. These drinks are designed primarily to stimulate and excite the nervous system with high levels of caffeine laced with amino acid cocktails. The amino acid cocktails are used to create specific physiologic reactions that are noticeable shortly after consumption. These reactions are designed to psychologically convince the consumer that what they are feeling is “energy”.

The reality is that many use large amounts of niacin to create what is known as a “niacin rush”. This physiological response is a flushing feeling cased from the rush of blood into the peripheral blood vessels and capillaries. This can create the sensation of warmth, itching and blushing of the skin usually experienced on the upper torso, head and neck areas. The ensuing physiologic reaction comes from the high levels of caffeine and sugar that increase heart rates, irritability and nervous jitters. Some drinks even use more amino acids in a claimed attempt to potentiate or amplify these reactions.

In the end what is accomplished is the over stimulation of the central nervous system, potential damage to peripheral nerves in hands and feet, uncontrolled increase of heart rate, dangerously fatal arrhythmias or irregular heartbeat and unmanageable blood sugar levels that spike well beyond normal limits. It is no wonder that we are seeing more and more of our children and young adults land in the hospital experiencing serious medical emergencies from the unsupervised use and abuse of these products.

The final irony in all of this is that these products are targeted at our youth. But it is our youth who have more energy naturally than any other age demographic. I get it that these clever marketing types know that youth tend to push the extremes and therefore become more vulnerable to such advertising campaigns designed to exploit this inherent weakness. After all, this is exactly what the big tobacco companies did and we all know what eventually happened with that.

Here is a recent article from the associated press printed in the Washington Post that is very relevant and certainly underscores the dangerous potential of these “energy drinks”. This particular issue led me to formulate a safe and natural energy shot that utilizes the body’s natural cycle for creating energy without using nerve stimulation and blood sugar spikes to fool the consumer.

Frankly, I made ISO5 Energy Shot (formerly Jungle Juice) so that I could use something for an energy boost while training for triathlon events. Now in my 5th decade of life (that’s over 50 years of age) I find the need for an occasional boost of real and safe energy. Go to our web site at and look under the products to read more about this.

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