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From hospitals to rave clubs


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  • 1. From Hospitals to Rave Clubs The strange history of energy drinks Although the energy drink craze only infected North America a couple of decades ago, people have been catching a buzz from their effects in other parts of the world for quite some time. One of the oldest energy drink bands is Lucozade, a drink which originated in Newcastle, England in 1927. Lucozade was originally used in hospitals as a much-needed source of energy for people who were sick and needed replenishment, more like sports drinks. Lucozade’s ingredients consisted of the typical components that make up our energy drinks today – carbonated water, glucose syrup, citric acid, lactic acid, caffeine, sodium benzoate, sodium bisulphate and ascorbic acid. [what's this?] The first energy drink to hit the shelves in North America was Jolt Cola in 1985. At the time, it was basically marketed as a cola with high-caffeine and high-sugar contents. Jolt Cola’s original marketing strategy targeted students and busy professionals. However, North America didn’t pick up on the buzz that energy drinks were creating until they had been popular for years in other parts of the world. In Japan, for instance, energy drinks date back to the swinging sixties when a drink called Livonian D was manufactured by Taisho Pharmaceuticals. However, Japanese energy drinks don’t really resemble carbonated soft drinks the way their North American counterparts do. Japanese energy drinks are sold in small brown medicine bottles and cans. These drinks are aimed primarily at factory workers to help them to stay awake. However, Japan’s nightlife is pretty lively, and I’m sure it’s just a matter of time before club-goers are drinking them for the same that North Americans are. Energy drinks were originally developed to supply a dietary supplement that could generate a shot of energy, and provide vitamins all in one gulp. They quickly became popular with young adults more for their stimulant properties than for their nutritional value. However North American athletes use them for the extra boost of energy they were designed to provide. The recent popularity of energy drinks in North America can be attributed to a concoction called Red Bull, the daddy of them all. Pepsi Co. also enjoyed short-lived success with an energy drink called Josta. As people are always looking for new, cheaper and quicker ways of getting a buzz, clubs are now marketing energy drinks to be mixed with alcohol. It was only a matter of time until energy drink manufacturers started hitting coolers with alcoholic energy drinks, to capitalize on the effects of caffeine mixed with alcohol. Main 1st Energy Drink 1960 Taisho Pharmaceuticals (Japan) makes the first drink specifically targeted at increasing energy. First introduced as a medicinal tonic drink The drink (Lipvitan-D) contains a mix of essential vitamins and also taurine and niacin which are metabolic agents proven to boost things such as energy and concentration. Invention of Red Bull 1987 Dietrich Mateschitz, an Austrian, adds caffeine and sugar and named this drink Red Bull, after the taurine amino acid. Red Bull Introduced to America 1997 Monster Energy Drink created by Hansen Natural 2002
  • 2. Creation of 5-hour Energy 2004 Four Loko Introduced 2005 The alcoholic energy drink known as Four Loko is introduced to the public by Phusion Pharmaceuticals Explosion of energy drink sales 2005 - 2006 The sale of energy drinks has gone up 61% since its introduction to the U.S. Even though other energy drinks later hit the market, Red Bull still remains the most well-known and top name, with annual sales around the two billion dollar mark globally. Four Loko reintroduced to the public 2010 Four Loko is reintroduced to the American market after removing caffeine, taurine, and guarana as ingredients. This was a result of legal, ethical, and health concerns about the product. Energy Drink Deaths reported November, 2012 13 deaths reported over the past 4 years as a result of 5-hour Energy Washington State begins energy drink legislation February 2013 Washington State begins legislation to ban energy drinks to persons under 18 years old. People have been getting their energy fixes for centuries. Pre-Columbian Americans fondly drank a dark brew of toasted holly leaves and bark. Afterward they’d go puke. The disgusting tale is totally true. Early European explorers described the practice, although they were never quite sure if the vomiting was induced by the men or caused by the drink. Either way, Indian men used the practice as a purification ritual before religious ceremonies, political councils and war. As it turns out, the dark brew had a high caffeine content. Researchers were able to analyze traces of the beverage found in Cahokia, Ill. drinking cups dating back to at least 1250. So even Native Americans took a caffeine boost going into battle. Over history, people have used various beverages to feel that extra burst of energy. During that time, trends have changed from tea, to coffee, on to soft drinks and back and again. But just as people throughout time have sought out drugs more powerful than caffeine, they now seek soft drinks with additional energy-boosting chemicals.
  • 3. Enter energy drinks. From 2008 until 2012 the energy drink market grew 60 percent, totaling $12.5 billion in US sales by 2012. But despite the market’s recent explosion, energy drinks aren’t a new concept. In fact, they’ve been around since the days of the early soda fountain. Image via Flickr/ Tambako the Jaguar • The first ―energy‖ drink could actually be considered Coke since it originally contained both caffeine and another stimulant—cocaine—when launched in 1886. The soft-drink carries that history to this day – the company’s name ―Coca-Cola‖ is derived from the ingredients: the coca plant from which cocaine is derived and the kola nut, the source of caffeine. Coca-Cola’s founder used five ounces of coca leaf per gallon of syrup, but it was reduced to a tenth of that in a later recipe. Cocaine was removed from Coke in 1903. • Chemist William Owen first manufactured Glucozade in 1927. For years, Owen had been trying to find an energy source for cold and flu patients. The formula was offered to UK hospitals under the name Glucozade, but in 1929 the drink was renamed Lucozade. In 1983 Lucozade rebranded itself, changing its slogan from ―Lucozade aids recovery,‖ to ―Lucozade replaces lost energy.‖ Maybe not a winner by today’s standards, but sales tripled in the next six years. GlaxoSmithKline-owned Lucozade Energy contains 46 milligrams of caffeine and 37 percent of an adult’s recommended daily amount of sugar. • Dr. Enuf was developed in 1949 when Chicago businessman William Mark Swarz was tasked with developing a soft drink full of vitamins to compete against sugared sodas loaded with nothing but empty calories. The result was an ―energy booster‖ containing B vitamins, caffeine and cane sugar—ingredients used in many of today’s energy drinks. Swarz partnered with Tri-Cities Beverage, a Tennessee bottler that also produced Mountain Dew at the time, to produce and distribute Dr. Enuf. Tri-Cities Beverage may have sold Mountain Dew to Pepsi, but it produces Dr. Enuf to this very day. Original, diet, herbal and diet herbal varieties can be found at grocers in northeastern Tennessee, southwestern Virginia and western North Carolina. All bottles of Dr. Enuf contain at least 80 percent of the recommended daily requirements of thiamine, niacin, potassium and iodine. Herbal varieties also contain ginseng and guarana. • Lipovitan may look and sound like cough syrup, but it’s actually an energy drink manufactured in Japan since 1962. Marketed to boost physical and mental fatigue, the drink—sold under the names Libogen and Livita in some parts of the world—is popular in East Asia. The bright yellow drink contains primarily taurine, an ingredient in Red Bull. The brown-colored bottles also contain caffeine. Although the largest bottles of Lipovitan contain 3,000 milligrams of taurine, they contain a warning label advising not to consume more than 100 milligrams of the chemical a day.
  • 4. • Another popular energy drink in Southeast Asia is sometimes called ―Thai Red Bull.‖ Krating Daeng was first introduced in Thailand in 1976, and can now be found in Europe, Oceana and North America. The sweet, non-carbonated drink contains caffeine, taurine and B-vitamins. Interestingly, it was named after the gaur, a large, wild cattle relative that lives in Southeast Asia. Sound familiar? Is should, Krating Dong was the basis for Red Bull, but the Asian beverage definitely made its mark first with massive sales throughout Asia in the 1980s. Energy drink history was made in 1982 when the marketing director for a German toothpaste company visited Thailand. Something that crazy had to be fate, right? When Blendex’ Dietrick Mateschitz drank some Krating Daeng and found it cured his jet lag, he had an epiphany. He must tell the world about this miracle drink! So Mateschitz worked with Krating Daeng founder Chaleo Yoovidhya to adapt the drink’s formula to Western tastes. Together, they launched Red Bull in 1987. Chaleo, born to a poor Thai- Chinese family around 1930, died a multi-billionaire. Share on FacebookShare on Twitter Yesterday, a lawyer for the family of a 14-year-old girl who died after drinking Monster energy drinks revealed that the FDA had linked them to at least five deaths during the last year. But Monster isn't the only energy drink that's faced such claims over the years. In fact, a look back over the past decade reveals plenty of grim stories related to the super-caffeinated cans of sugar water. November 15, 2000: A jury in Dublin questioned the role of Red Bull in the death of an 18-year-old athlete a year earlier. Ross Cooney collapsed during a basketball game just a few hours after sharing three cans of the energy drink. The official cause: sudden adult death syndrome. July 12, 2001: The BBC reported that Red Bull was under investigation in Sweden following three deaths. Two of the three victims drank Red Bull mixed with vodka, and the third died after consuming several cans of Red Bull post-workout. September 2006: A 40-year-old man from Wheatley, Oxford, suffered a fatal heart attack in the supermarket where he worked. He reportedly drank four cans of Red Bull a day. A pathologist reported that the man had an enlarged heart, and while he did not drink enough caffeine to be fatal under normal circumstances, the high levels may have contributed to his death. September 30, 2008: A 21-year-old British woman died from a cardiac arrhythmia after collapsing in a nightclub. She suffered from epilepsy and a heart condition possibly worsened by the four Red Bulls she drank that evening. February 4, 2010: Dakota Sailor regretted trying NOS for the first time after two cans of the stuff triggered a seizure. The 17-year-old, who had regularly enjoyed Red Bull and Monster, spent five days in the hospital and vowed to stay away from energy drinks, whatever the brand.
  • 5. September 17, 2010: A Florida State University sophomore fatally shot himself after drinking three cans of Four Loko during a "30-hour partying binge." His parents later filed a wrongful death suit against Phusion Projects, the makers of the now- illegal caffeinated alcohol. September 25, 2010: A Chicago mother also sued Phusion Projects months after her son died in a similarly bizarre Four Loko-related incident. The 15-year-old ran into the middle of the street and was struck by an SUV after drinking two cans of Four Loko. October 8, 2010: Nine Central Washington University students wound up in the hospital after experiencing symptoms akin to those felt by victims of date rape drugs at a weekend party. The culprit? Four Loko, fittingly nicknamed "blackout in a can." November 14, 2010: A 14-year-old girl was killed when the SUV her boyfriend was driving crashed into a guardrail. The driver, also 14, had been drinking — you guessed it! — Four Loko, prompting the FDA to call caffeine an "unsafe food additive." Earlier: Monster Energy Drinks Linked to at Least Five Deaths Energy Drink Ingredients and What They Do Energy drink companies are cramming all kinds ingredients into their energy products. All these strange ingredients and what they supposedly do, can be confusing for consumers. Here is a list of the most common energy drink ingredients and their reported effects on the human body. Top 5 Energy Ingredients According to the Innova Market Insights’ Database these five energy drink ingredients are the most common. The chart below shows the percentage of new energy products in which each ingredient is found.
  • 6. According to a recent study, caffeine is the only ingredient that actually works. Participants who drank only caffeinated water had the same brain activity and response times as those consuming 5 Hour Energy, which adds also many of the above ingredients. Caffeine Caffeine is the most widely used drug on the planet and has been used for centuries for its stimulating effects. This common stimulant is found naturally in coffee and tea, but is also placed in energy drinks and soft drinks by manufacturers. Most energy drinks contain between 70 and 200mg per can.  An 8oz cup of drip coffee contains 110-150mg  65-125mg/cup of percolated coffee.  40-80 mg for instant coffee.  Dr. Pepper delivers 41mg.  A can of Coke provides 34mg.  A full can of RockStar has 160mg. Click here to find out how much caffeine in different energy drinks would be deadly. Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system giving the body a sense of alertness as well as dilates blood vessels. It raises heart rate and blood pressure and dehydrates the body. People experience side effects above 400mg (the recommended daily safe dose), which include sleeplessness, heart palpitations, headaches, nausea, and most commonly the jitters. A complete list of caffeine side effects is found here. We also have a huge caffeine content database that reveals the amounts found in most beverages and food items.
  • 7. Taurine Taurine is an amino acid that is naturally produced by the human body. However, the version found in energy drinks is manufactured. It helps regulate heartbeat, muscle contractions, and energy levels. Usually the body makes enough taurine so there is no need to supplement. It’s thought, but not proven, that under “stressful conditions” like illness, physical exertion, or injury, the body does not create enough and supplements can help. Taurine might be a mild inhibitory neurotransmitter. Some studies show it helps during excitable brain states, which could allow people to function better with elevated levels of other stimulants. Taurine in the past was banned by some countries from being used as a supplement, but since this ban has been lifted. A complete list of taurine side effects is found here. Guarana Guarana comes from a plant native to South America. Amazonians have used it for a long time to increase alertness and energy. It’s more dense in caffeine than coffee beans: Guarana is 3-4% caffeine vs. arabica coffee which is 1-2% caffeine. Gaurana is different than “caffeine” because it contains a couple of other related molecules: theobromine and theophylline. They’re also found in different concentrations in coffees, teas, and chocolate. Some people do respond differently to guarana as compared with regular caffeine, which is commonly used in energy drinks. Some report that guarana provides more alertness, while others believe it doesn’t have as good of a stimulating effect.
  • 8. A complete list of guarana caffeine side effects is found here. B Vitamins B vitamins are found naturally in the foods we eat and are the most widely used energy supplement ingredient. These essentially help the body convert food to energy. The jury’s still out on whether or not they increase energy levels via supplementation and the above study mentioned even proved otherwise. Most people get adequate levels of B vitamins naturally through the diet except those that are on restrictive diets. Other names for B vitamins:  niacin (B3)  folic acid (B9)  riboflavin (B2)  cyanocobalamin (B12)  pyridoxine hydrochloride (B6)  pantothenic acid (B5) Vitamins B6 and B12 don’t absorb well when taken orally, so the small amounts placed in most energy drinks will likely have little chance of producing the desired effect. A complete list of B vitamin side effects is found here. Ginseng Ginseng has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb and is believed to increase energy, have some anti-fatigue properties, relieve stress, and promote memory.
  • 9. It’s also suspected that ginseng helps stimulate the hypothalamic and pituitary glands, which then secrete something called adrenal corticotropic hormone. The chemicals in ginseng are nothing that’s naturally created by the human body, so having this in a drink could possibly be risky for some who are sensitive to these chemicals. 200mg/day seems to be the standard dose in a typical ginseng including energy drink, but most people can safely take up to 2700mg through supplementation. Rare side effects such as diarrhea and headache have been reported. Most energy drinks that contain Ginseng have such small amounts of this herb most will experience little if any benefit. A complete list of caffeine side effects is found here. L-Carnitine L-Carnitine is an amino acid created naturally by the liver and kidneys. This amino acid helps speed up the metabolism and increase energy levels. It may act as a thermogenic to help increase endurance during exercise. The jury’s still out on whether or not you need to supplement L-Carnitine. Most people can take 2-6 grams without worry. Make sure the supplement contains L-Carnitine and not D-Carnitine, which is “inactive” and may actually hurt endurance levels. A complete list of L-Carnitine side effects is found here. Sugars Glucose is the body’s preferred fuel. Standard energy drinks contain a lot of sugar. Therefore, energy. It’s a carbohydrate and a lot of exercise regimen suggest a good dose of carbs for workouts lasting more than an hour.
  • 10. However, too much sugar intake has been linked to obesity, diabetes, and can spike insulin levels, which can often lead to a “crash” feeling after about an hour or so. One Rockstar energy drink can have 63 grams of sugar which is the same amount in two regular size Snickers candy bars! See the sugar in energy drinks database for a sortable table of beverage sugar content. A complete list of sugar side effects is found here. Antioxidants Antioxidants are molecules that help the body gracefully recover and prevent the damage from free radicals. Vitamins C and E, Vitamin A (aka retinol, beta-carotene), and selenium are all antioxidants with Vitamin C probably the most popular in energy drinks. Antioxidants help fend off illness and prevent cellular damage. A person wouldn’t want to depend on energy drinks for a healthy dose as theyusually contain small amounts. Most are flushed from the body when taken in excess, but Vitamin A can build up in body tissues and cause liver damage when too much is consumed. Glucuronolactone Glucuronolactone (DGL) occurs naturally in the human body when glucose is broken down by the liver. All connective tissue contains this compound. DGL is believed to aid in detoxification, freeing hormones and other chemicals, and the biosynthesis of vitamin C. It is placed in energy drinks because it is believed to help prevent glycogen depletion by preventing other substances from depleting glycogen supplies in the muscles. A complete list of Glucuronolactone side effects is found here.
  • 11. Yerba Mate Yerba Mate is derived from leaves of a shrub in the Holly family. It is a natural source of caffeine, but some believe that the form of caffeine in Yerba Mate doesn’t produce the negative side-effects like the caffeine in coffee and guarana. Yerba Mate is becoming more popular in energy drinks, especially the ones that are marketed as “all natural”. Yerba mate has the same dangers as caffeine. Creatine Creatine is naturally created by the body but can also be obtained by eating meat. Creatine helps with supplying energy to the muscles and is usually found in energy drinks that are marketed to body builders. Too much creatine could possibly lead to kidney damage, but the scientific evidence of this is conflicting. Acai Berry Acai (pronounced ah-sah-ee) is finding its way into more and more energy drinks. Acai berry comes from the Acai Palm tree which is found in South America. The berries are rich in antioxidants, but not as much as a concord grape or a wild blueberry. Most of the acai berry benefits have no scientific basis and are attributed to marketing hype.
  • 12. The amount of acai in energy drinks is very low and real acai berry juice no doubt tastes nothing like “acai flavored” beverages since usually other fruit juices and flavors are added. Inositol Inositol was once considered a B vitamin, but has since been removed from this classification because the human body is able to produce its own supply without the need for supplementation. It is a type of carbohydrate made from the breaking down of glucose. Energy Drinks include this ingredient because it aids with the nervous system and serotonin modulation. High doses of inositol have also been given to patients with certain psychiatric conditions because of the positive effect on the nervous system. Inositol is found in many foods such as fruits, beans, grains, and nuts.There are no known side effects from ingesting too much and Inositol is considered safe. L-Theanine L-Theanine is an amino acid that according to recent studies has been shown to calm the brain to enhance concentration. This amino acid comes from tea leaves and Green tea has the highest concentrations. Tea has been known for centuries for its ability to relax its drinkers and many tea cultures (not the USA), have a tea before bed every night. Manufacturers begun putting it into energy drinks to counteract some of the side effects of caffeine. They claim that it works well with caffeine because it eases the jitteriness that caffeine can cause, but with added concentration enhancement.
  • 13. Some of the drinks that contain this energy drink ingredient are: Sobe Lifewater, Vitamin Water, Vib, Gatorade Tiger Focus, and Reed’s NaturalEnergy Elixir. Milk Thistle Milk Thistle, mainly found in Rockstar and a few other energy drinks, is believed to work as a liver detoxifying agent. It is placed in energy drinks not really for any energy enhancing properties but as a counter agent to mixing energy drinks with alcohol since milk thistle is supposed to help ease hangovers and help the liver detox from alcohol. However, studies show that the amount put in energy drinks would be of hardly any benefit to the consumer. Ginkgo Biloba This ingredient is named after the rare tree it originates from and only in a few energy drinks. It is believed to help with memory retention, concentration, circulation, and to act as an anti-depressant. The German government recognizes it as something that helps with memory loss, concentration, and depression. 60mg is a standard supplementation dose, but people can safely take up to 240mg daily. It is advised, however, that most energy drinks do not contain enough ginkgo to be of any benefit. People on other anti-depressants shouldn’t take ginkgo. A complete list of Ginkgo side effects is found here.
  • 14. Artificial Sweeteners Most energy drinks have sugar-free versions that contain artificial sweeteners. Even energy drinks that contain high amounts of sugar will also include artificial sweeteners to help cover the medicinal taste of the other energy drink ingredients. Related Articles  A Real Death by Caffeine  Caffeine Addiction Diagnosis  Energy Drink Side Effects  Caffeine Allergy  The Caffeine Database The debate rages on concerning the safety of artificial sweeteners and some studies have shown that those that consume sugar-free drinks, on average, have bigger waistlines than those who don’t. Common sweeteners used are Aspartame, Sucralose, Ace-K, as well as some alcohol sugars. Here are more facts about artificial sweeteners and we have popular sugar free energy drinks listed as well. There is a lot of anecdotal evidence showing that artificial sweeteners cause a whole range of health problems, including cancer. However, scientific based studies have shown them to be safe in the amounts typically found in beverages. What isn’t clear is the long-term dangers from artificial sweeteners since most studies only looked at short-term dangers. See our chart of sugar free energy drinks. Quercetin Quercetin is found in just a few energy drinks. It is a phytochemical derived from plants and acts as a vasodilator.
  • 15. This means that it opens blood vessels to allow increased blood flow, which could help with exercise endurance and stamina. People on primarily plant-based diets get plenty of quercetin, but typical supplement doses are 500-1000mg per day. Under 3.6 grams per day is considered safe as more than this has been linked to kidney damage. The Final Word While energy drink ingredients such as caffeine have been widely studied, others haven’t and manufacturers are using mainly anecdotal evidence as justification of their use in their beverages or other products. Consumers should be aware of the ingredients contained in energy drinks and make educated decisions whether or not these beverages are the best choice for their bodies. Sources: 1. Kavita M. Babu, MD, Richard James Church, MD, William Lewander, MD. “Energy Drinks: The New Eye-Opener For Adolescents”. Clinical Pediatric Emergency Medicine. 2008 2. Caffiene FAQ a great resource for scientific caffeine information. 3. Green Eyed Guide to Energy Drinks. 4. How do energy drinks help with exercise? Useful?SHAR E Do the Ingredients in Energy Drinks Work? By: Heather Loeb TEXT SIZE Overview Caffeine Glucose Guarana Ginseng Taurine
  • 16. MOREFOODLISTS The Best Foods for Your 40s and Beyond The Best Foods for Your 20s 5 Steps to a Perfect Sandwich The Truth About Fiber The Best Foods for Your 30s All Food Lists » All Food Articles » MOSTPOPULAR The Best Workouts for Any Age Have Better First-Time Sex The Safest Cities for Kids Why Are You Hungry After You Just Ate? Apparently, it doesn't take a biochemist to formulate an energy drink. No, according to Starbucks, any guy off the street is qualified. At least that's whose opinion mattered most when the coffee giant recently created the ingredient list for its own concoction. "There are many energy ingredients on the market, and B vitamins, guarana, and ginseng are the ones our customers are most familiar with," says Ruby Amegah, product-development manager for the team behind the Starbucks Doubleshot Energy + Coffee. Which perhaps in large part explains why the company chose them: It's smart marketing. Trouble is, by letting consumer research influence ingredient lists, energy-drink companies are helping popularize exotic-sounding compounds that even scientists don't yet fully understand. The approach has worked: Last year, Americans spent $4.2 billion on these supposedly high-octane elixirs. And that's probably why manufacturers haven't strayed far from the best-selling recipe they used when the first energy drinks took off a dozen years ago. It's a formulation that includes a hefty dose of caffeine and sugar combined with smaller amounts of seemingly obscure substances, most notably guarana, ginseng, and taurine. But do these beverages really energize your body and sharpen your mind? Or should you can the energy drinks for good? To help you separate the science from the sales pitch, we analyzed five key ingredients in the market's most popular potions.