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What is in Energy Drinks?

The ingredients in energy drinks vary between brands, however they do share many in common. All of them contain stimulants which can be dangerous in high doses. They act upon the central nervous system and raise both your heart rate and blood pressure. Not all of the ingredients used are fully understood, therefore many of them act as marketing stunts and have no effect.

Facts about energy drinks ingredients: 

Caffeine amounts range from around 80mg to as high as 300mg. For comparison a single can of Coca Cola contains 34mg and an 8oz. cup of coffee contains 100-150mg. 

Taurine, an organic acid naturally produced by your body, is responsible for regulating our heart rates as well as other functions. Taurine can be found in the everyday natural energy foods you eat, specifically in meat and seafood. The average person consumes around 200mg a day from their diet. 

Guarana, an ingredient from plants in South America, contains caffeine in twice the amount as that of coffee beans. Along with caffeine, Guarana contains other stimulants such as Theopylline and Theobromine. 

L-Carnitine, an amino acid naturally produced by our bodies, is responsible for burning fat.  However, the amount found in energy drinks is not enough to produce this action.

Inositol is a carbohydrate which is found in fruits, nuts, and cereal with high bran content. Inositol found in these foods (with the exception of certain plants) is not digestible by humans, therefore it must be processed first and partly broken down. 

Ginseng is an herb that comes in many different varieties, some of which are believed to increase memory performance or stimulate the central nervous system. In addition, Ginseng is commonly used in traditional Chinese medicine as a muscle relaxant. This benefit does not come without its drawbacks however. Ginseng in too high of amounts can cause the side effects of diarrhea and headaches. 

Are all energy drinks bad? Do the potential dangers of energy drinks outweigh the benefits?  

Can the Dangers of Energy Drinks be Avoided?

Thankfully there are other ingredients that can be used in energy drinks instead. First we must consider what our bodies use for energy. From our food we process protein, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates. While all of these have supporting roles in our body, the primary source of energy comes from the carbohydrates. The carbohydrate stigma in modern society is based on simple carbohydrates such as processed sugar. These are easier for our bodies to process and therefore provide short spikes in energy and the crash that follows. 

We need complex carbohydrates such as Palatinose a natural energy source found in honey, sugar cane, and sugar beet. It breaks down more slowly compared to sucrose (sugar), therefore Palatinose is longer lasting.  This is one of the main energy drink ingredients in the healthiest energy drink, MonaVie EMV.

Our bodies also need to replace lost vitamins and minerals in order to function at peak performance. Some of the best sources of these are found in fruits and vegetables. One fruit of note is the famous acai berry. What are the health benefits of natural acai berry?  Antioxidants are in fact the key acai berry benefit because it contains one of the highest known sources.  Antioxidants are responsible for protecting our cells from free radicals, a natural bi-product of our bodies. 

Natural Energy Drinks are the Answer!

The best energy drinks combine all of the above solutions. The natural energy drink known as EMV contains 80mg of natural caffeine from guarana, green tea and yerba mate. It contains Palatinose and 80% fruit juice, as well as no artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, or preservatives. The antioxidant rich fruits in EMV are acai, maqui, apple, grape, pear, acerola, cupuacu, and camu-camu. Utilizing acai berry health benefits and complex carbohydrates, this energy drink gives you an energy boost while keeping you healthy!  Now that you have the facts about energy drinks, it is up to you to choose.  Do you want the healthiest energy drink with long lasting energy and acai health benefits?