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THE UNSWEETENED TRUTH: A SUGAR FREE DIET CAN SAVE YOUR LIFE

Words by Sahar Adatia

Each day, Australians consume on average more than 20 teaspoons of sugar, alerts the Australian Diabetes Council. Not only is it making us fat, it’s rotting our teeth, causing diabetes, and can even contribute to cancer. Sugar is the sweet poison slowly killing us – and that’s the bitter truth. For those of us who live for sweet rewards, perhaps it’s time to adopt a sugar free diet. Your life may just depend on it…

Oh-so seductive. Whether it’s cakes, chocolates, cookies or soft drinks, our world is jam-packed with intensely pleasurable, sugary treats. So hard to resist, and yet so devastating on our health.


Sugar is the femme fatale of the food narrative. Part seductive, part sinful, it tantalises our taste buds in an enticing tease, luring us into irresistible yet compromising health quandaries where dangerous consequences are certain. Then, once it slips past our lips (and often straight to our hips), it’s too late. Slowly, we become fat. Some, even sick. And before we know it, those all too familiar villains – obesity and diabetes – are lurking around the corner.

Sugar is beguiling at best, and yet so ingrained is our desire to succumb to the sweet stuff that we are left begging for more. And it’s not entirely surprising. The taste of sugar on the tongue is almost intoxicating, provoking profound feelings of pleasure as it releases a deluge of dopamine in the brain. Equally, we are a Pavlovian population made up of chocolate and cheesecake addicts, drawn to the taste of sweetness like bees to honey. The thought alone, therefore, of vowing to a sugar free diet and somehow quitting sugar is seemingly absurd. Almost as absurd as the Cherry Ripe you probably just unconsciously reached for and unwittingly inhaled whilst reading this paragraph.

That said, sugar is now hailed food enemy number one. In the last year alone, the vast and devastating effects of sugar on our health have been documented in great abundance. In fact, a relentless onslaught of damning research now reveals that sugar is the sweet poison slowly eating our lives away. Needless to say, rarely does a week go by that we don’t hear about Australia’s obesity epidemic. Or the increasing incidence of diabetes. It’s no wonder health care providers and sugar free diet devotees alike advocate quitting sugar as the key strategy to living a healthier life.

Undoubtedly, it’s time for a reality check. If cookies and cakes are your Achilles’ heel, then read on for the unsweetened truth on how your sugar obsession is putting your health at serious risk. Rest assured, our sugar free diet survival guide is at your fingertips to help you conquer quitting sugar in no time.

GETTING GRAINY: MAKING SENSE OF SUGAR

Natural sugar refers to sugars that occur naturally in foods, such as fruit, while refined sugar is crystallized sugar that has gone through processing.


When it comes to understanding sugar, things can get confusing. Indeed, all sugars are not created equal. So making sense of them can get gritty.

In basic terms, sugar, in all forms, is a simple carbohydrate. The body converts it into glucose and uses it for energy. However, the effect on the body and your overall health depends on the type of sugar you consume.

Sugar falls into two main classifications: Natural or refined.

Natural sugar is derived from fruit, vegetables, whole fresh foods and grains. Here, it is found as fructose. It is also found in milk and cheese as lactose.

Natural sugar is packaged with fiber, water, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, disease-fighting phytonutrients and other essential nutrients. Foods containing natural sugar have an important role in a wholesome diet. Specifically, they keep the body healthy and help to prevent disease.

Refined sugar, in comparison, is derived from sugar cane or sugar beets. Both of these are processed to extract the sugar. It is typically found as sucrose, which is the combination of glucose and fructose.

Refined sugar is commonly used to sweeten cakes, biscuits, coffee, cereal, and sometimes even fruit. Food manufacturers use this chemically-produced sugar to add flavour to a variety of food and beverages. Low-fat foods are the worst offenders. In these, a lack of flavour is recompensed with significant quantities of added sugar. These sugars also lurk in household staples you may not expect. Some of the worst offenders include pasta sauces, salad dressings, and canned fruit.

REFINED SUGAR: THE REAL FOOD VILLAIN

Ultimately, refined sugar is considered the real food villain. Nutritionists frown upon this substance gravely. The reasoning is twofold:

1. It has well-known links to weight gain and cavities.

2. It delivers “empty calories”. These are calories unaccompanied by fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. An abundance of added sugar can crowd healthier foods from a person’s diet.

How much sugar is too much? The World Health Organisation recommends we get just five percent of our daily calorie intake from added sugars. This equates to roughly 25 grams – or six teaspoons.


FOOD ENEMY NO.1: WHY SUGAR IS SO BAD FOR YOU

Unless you’ve been hiding under a stack of Krispy Kremes for the past few years, you'll be aware that sugar poses far greater dangers than cavities and love handles. Indeed, a relentless barrage of damning research now exists to show the vast harm that sugar has on our organs. Similarly, it disrupts the body’s usual hormonal cycles. Making matters worse, it impairs immune function.

Excessive sugar intake is also the chief reason that numbers of obese patients in Australia are now skyrocketing. This goes for diabetic patients, too. Sugar is also the dietary cause of several other chronic ailments. These are widely regarded as diseases of Western diets, and include hypertension and depression. Of significant concern, sugar is also a culprit of cardiovascular disease.

And yet, sugar is downright irresistible. Therein lies its next cause of concern. Sugar is highly addictive.

The reason behind this?

When we indulge in our sweet tooth, we trigger a pleasurable and captivating sensation in the body. Specifically, sugar arrests brain chemistry, then floods it with a delectable high. Scientifically, this high is caused by the creation of feel-good chemical, dopamine – a neurotransmitter that controls the brain’s reward and pleasure centre. As a result, we instantly feel happy and energetic. It’s a high we can very easily become dependent upon. So much so that sugar is now hailed the new tobacco and arguably even more addictive than cocaine.

THE DEPTHS OF SUGAR DEPENDENCE

It’s no wonder then, that in her recent ebook, I Quit Sugar, Sarah Wilson challenges readers to an eight-week sugar free diet. She encourages those quitting sugar that this is an experiment to realise how sugar-dependent we are today.

“We grow up with a full-on emotional and physical attachment to sugar."

"Just the idea of not being able to turn to it when we’re feeling a little lost or tired or bored or emotionally bereft terrifies us,” Wilson writes.

According to the author, our resistance to quitting sugar is deep-rooted. Ultimately, however, when we eradicate sugar from our diet, we can see the restraints it has formerly had on our bodies and health.

CONQUERING THE CRAVINGS: YOUR SUGAR FREE DIET SURVIVAL GUIDE

The Sugar Addiction Cycle. Experts believe that sugar is more addictive than cocaine or heroin because it stimulates the reward center of our brain to release dopamine. This makes us want to experience the feeling more and more. In turn, this encourages a vicious cycle and intensifies our cravings.


Evidently, sugar remains a sorry state of seductive affairs. And with the disastrous health implications of excess consumption – including liver damage, weight gain, metabolic dysfunction, and increased risk of obesity and diabetes – it is more than ever important to tame your sweet tooth.

Indeed, breaking free from the shackles of sugar dependence poses some tough challenges. Similarly, the thought alone of the transition to a sugar free diet is hard to swallow. But the good news is that it is possible to kick the habit, reset your taste buds and gain self-control.

With these tried and tested tips, you may just be able to conquer the cravings that come with quitting sugar. This way, you can live the sweet life for years to come.

1. START EASY: SWAP FOODS YOU ALREADY EAT FOR SUGAR FREE ALTERNATIVES

When starting a sugar free diet, total deprivation from the get-go will only lead to a face-first dive into a tub of ice cream by week’s (or, let’s be honest, day’s) end. Instead, the smarter plan is to cut back in ways that don’t drastically deprive your lifestyle. And from there, continue adjusting your eating habits gradually.

For example, side-step the sugary minefield that is breakfast by replacing vanilla-flavoured yogurt with low-fat Greek yogurt. Similarly, if you’re a daily fruit juice drinker, try mixing a smaller amount with sparkling water. On weekends, if you’d never decline a slice of birthday cake, grab a middle piece instead of an edge. Less frosting means less sugar.

According to registered dietitian and author of Lean Habits For Lifelong Weight Loss, Georgie Fear, RD, swapping out one variety of food for another can cut your sugar intake by 10 or 20 grams per day.

“Not only does it reduce the empty calories, but it helps reset your taste buds,” the dietitian advises of quitting sugar. This way, you don't expect things to all taste so sweet. Additionally, you can more easily cut sugar going forward.

2. ELIMINATE SUGARY DRINKS

Sugar free diet: A comparison of how the sugar stacks up in the sweetened drinks you are consuming
Wake-up call: How much sugar are you actually drinking?

If you do only one thing to reduce sugar intake on your journey towards quitting sugar, avoid drinking juice and sugary drinks of any description. These include soda, sweetened teas, vitamin waters, sports drinks and fruit juice. You guessed it – they all contain extremely high amounts of added sugar.

Instead, to satisfy your sweet tooth, reach for some real fruit, or make a juice using fresh fruit and vegetables. This will eliminate almost 21 grams of sugar per cup from your diet.

That said, if you’re completely serious about quitting sugar, dodge all such sugar-delivery systems entirely and drink pure water. And if you can’t, (we know water gets pretty boring!), opt for a sugar free alternative as a happy medium. REIZE energy drink, for example, not only tastes delicious, it also provides a boost of vitality. So, you can satisfy your sweet tooth, remain hydrated and feel revitalised.

REIZE energy drink: A delicious alternative to quenching your thirst – without the added sugar.


Simply replacing the sugary beverages in your diet for healthier alternatives can go a long way towards improving your health. Not only do these keep you feeling full, over time, they will also help your cravings for sugary beverages to collapse. Hence, the easier it will be to keep on track with your sugar free diet.

3. FILL UP ON WHOLE FOODS

Food for thought: Whole foods are nutrient-dense and provide your body with fiber, vitamins and minerals. These foods assist in regulating your blood sugars, lowering your cholesterol, and reducing your risk of diabetes whilst also assisting to maintain your weight.


To stay on course with your sugar free diet, it is imperative to fill up on whole foods. This also works to cut cravings for the sweet stuff.

Whole foods are complete foods that come straight from nature’s table. These include vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, legumes, wholegrains, herbs and spices. The closer food is to its natural form, the less processed sugar it will contain.

In the transition to a whole foods approach, it is also helpful to modify your eating patterns to prevent sugar cravings. Ideally, eat food in small portions, and regularly - say, five small meals a day. For those who don’t eat regularly, a drop in blood sugar levels and increased hunger throughout the day is likely to occur. From there, the cravings for sugary snacks sneak in. So, aim to eat wholesome food from each food group, and regularly. With a satisfied appetite, you have a better chance to kick your sugar habit to the curb.

4. DO NOT ADD SUGAR TO THE FOOD AND DRINKS YOU ARE CONSUMING

Unhealthy: Although adding sugar to your coffee may enhance taste, it otherwise provides no nutritional value and works to strengthen sugar cravings.


Many people freely add sugar to the food and drinks they consume to sweeten the taste. For example, sugar is commonly scattered as a topping on cereal, oats, porridge, fresh fruit, and used to enhance coffee and tea.

However, topping up with sugar provides no nutritional value. Instead, it endows you with extra kilojoules and not much else. Furthermore, the constant taste of sugar only boosts the appetite for the sweet stuff.

As a healthy alternative, flavour your food by adding spices. Aromatic seasonings such as cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves and cardamom will naturally sweeten and enliven your dishes. Over time, taming your sweet tooth in this manner will reset your palate and reduce your sweet cravings. And this means you are more likely to stand by your sugar free diet.

5. KEEP SUGARY SNACKS OUT OF YOUR HOUSE AND OFFICE

One of the easiest ways to commit to a sugar free diet is to avoid buying sweet snacks to begin with. If you are serious about quitting sugar, cross chocolate, ice cream and sweets of any description off the shopping list. That goes for so-called healthy snacks too, which, in fact, hide plenty of refined sugar. So, flavoured yogurts, dried fruit and crackers, for example, are a no-go zone .

Ultimately, if sugary snacks are not on hand, you can’t eat them. It’s that simple.

6. ALWAYS READ THE INGREDIENT LABELS BEFORE YOU BUY

Caveat Emptor: Food manufacturing companies add large amounts of sugar to their products. Worryingly, this added sugar is often disguised under a myriad of aliases, so it is not apparent how much sugar you are consuming. These include glucose-fructose, dextrose, evaporated cane juice, fruit juice concentrates, malt and rice syrup.

 

The more knowledge you have about what exactly you are putting into your body, the more likely you will be able to successfully adjust to a sugar free diet.

Evidently, manufacturers want you to eat their food products. This is achieved by enticing you with delicious flavour – the result of plenty of hidden added sugars. So, be sure to scrutinise the ingredients list on food products for the different forms of sugar contained and their quantities. This will make it easier to make healthier food choices.

Indeed, it is surprising to note just how much sugar is found in the products you regularly buy. Registered dietitian nutritionist, Brigid Titgemeier, MS, RDN, warns that even health-food stores have shelved filled with foods that contain added sugars. Accordingly, the representative from Cleveland Clinic Center for Functional Medicine also advises that it is incredibly important to educate ourselves about these unhealthy ingredients.

The names of sugar you should be looking out for when quitting sugar
Overwhelming: A quick list of what sugar can be listed as on a food label.

As a tip, when inspecting the nutrition panel, remember that sugar goes by more than 60 different aliases. Some of these include agave, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, corn sugar, dextrose, honey and molasses. There are also a handful of signals that almost always denote the presence of sugar. One way to identify this is to look for any ingredients that end with “ose.” Some include dextrose, fructose, lactose, glucose and maltose. If any of these crack the top five listed ingredients, purchase another option.

Ultimately, food manufacturers will continue to notoriously camouflage added sugars. Thus, quitting sugar will become easier by familiarising yourself with sugar terminology and learning to recognise the sweeteners in disguise.

7. BE MINDFUL WHEN YOU EAT OUT

Sticking to a sugar free diet when you’re eating out can be tricky and testing. All the while, navigating your way through restaurants, cafes and enticing, sugar-filled menus can be tiresome at best. Let's not even go there with negotiating seasonings, sauces, and salad dressings.

The best way to ensure mindfulness when eating out is to plan ahead. This will prevent you breaking your sugar free diet.

To start, never walk into a restaurant blindly without checking out the menu. Most restaurants have their menus online, which makes research beforehand easy. If you aren't sure which dishes are suitable for your sugar free diet, call the restaurant ahead to clarify ingredients.

Additionally, to ensure your commitment to quitting sugar, before arriving at the venue, take the edge off your hunger by having a healthy snack. A handful of nuts does the job. It will also stop you from devouring the entire breadbasket before your meal is served. Similarly, once you’re at the restaurant, remember that a jug of water at the table is everyone’s best friend. It’s a smarter option than juice or soda, and will help you to feel full.

8.TAKE YOUR SLEEP AS SERIOUSLY AS YOU TAKE YOUR SUGAR FREE DIET

To give yourself the best possible shot at staying with your sugar free diet, it is essential that you get a good night’s sleep. This is particularly important if you find it hard to cut back on the sweet stuff due to cravings.

A 2016 study published in the journal SLEEP  found that cutting your sleep short increases levels of naturally circulating cannabinoids. These are the chemicals making you crave food now. They are the same compounds responsible for giving pot smokers the munchies. According to the investigation, those who got only 4.5 hours of sleep for four consecutive nights had levels of cannabinoids 33 percent higher. This was in comparison to well-rested people. This explains why they were agreeable to sweets offered to them, despite consuming a large meal only hours earlier.

Our circadian sleep cycles have a significant correlation to whether we reach for a cookie late at night. We are less equipped to resist a sugary treat if we are sleepy throughout the day.


So, solidify your sugar free diet efforts by aiming for at least seven hours of sleep every night. This should drastically help to reduce sugar cravings and thus ease the challenges associated with quitting sugar.

TOUGH BUT WORTH IT: SHUN SUGAR TO SAVE YOUR HEALTH

Like it or lump it, sugar remains the greatest threat to human health. And as the evidence continues to stack up against it, succumbing to the sweet stuff only promises to deteriorate our health and expose us to life-threatening diseases. To put it simply – you can’t have your cake and eat it too. That, unfortunately, is the bitter truth.

Indeed, it makes sense that as humans, we have an innate love for sweetness. But the grip of it is far too deadly not to break free. Slowly vanquishing sugar from your diet, although tough, is achievable - and certainly worth the challenges that come with it. 

The bottom line? Kick sugar to the curb – your life might just depend on it.

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V ENERGY DRINK: HISTORY, HYPE, AND FACTS THAT’LL MAKE YOU FIZZ

Words by Sahar Adatia

 

WHEN WE THINK OF V ENERGY DRINK, CHANCES ARE WE’RE ALL VISUALISING THE SAME THING – THAT ICONIC, SLIMLINE CAN RADIATING IN A BLAZING SHADE OF BRIGHT GREEN. AND THAT’S ABOUT IT. EVER WONDERED WHAT THE REST OF V ENERGY DRINK’S STORY IS ALL ABOUT THOUGH? THE INSPIRATION BEHIND THE BRAND, ITS LAUNCH DATE, THE VAST FLAVOUR VARIETIES? REIZE DID A BIT OF RESEARCH AND BRINGS YOU THE SCOOP ON THE BEVERAGE HAILED AS AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND’S MOST POPULAR ENERGY DRINK.

V Energy Drink: Current brand platform, introduced as 'The Massive Hit That Will Improve You a Bit'.

V Energy Drink's current brand platform, introduced as 'The Massive Hit That Will Improve You a Bit'.

It’s ‘The Massive Hit that Improves You a Bit’, and with its persevering reputation of delivering colossal energy with a delicious taste, it’s no wonder that V Energy Drink has won the taste buds of energy drink consumers worldwide. 

We have to admit, here at REIZE, we’ve always enjoyed cracking open those lime green V cans. For one, its distinctive, smooth and sweet-but-not-fruity flavour is rather fantastic. Even better, unlike many other energy drinks, V's don’t surprise you with that awful, bitter aftertaste. (Well, not in our opinion anyway.) Worthy of extra brownie points: The brand is quirky, uplifting, and originates from our fellow homies in New Zealand. We’re all for supporting local brands.

Truth be told, we actually found ourselves a little inspired by V Energy Drink, its story, and success. So much so, that we felt compelled to create our very own beverage that was equally (if not more!) flavoursome, revitalising and unconventional. The V drink Australia could call its own. How could we possibly take satisfying thirst to the next level? Simple. By crafting a revolutionary energy drink powder that you can mix any way you like. And making it the cheapest on the market. But we’ll get to that later.

For now, V Energy Drink has become a brand we’ve grown to admire. So, naturally, we thought you too may like to know more about the story behind the green goodness. Consider it a riveting history lesson, an untypically interesting business presentation, preparation for your next energy drink trivia – whatever. But we assure you it’s worth the read.

HISTORY 1001: THE STORY OF AN ENERGY DRINK – INSPIRATION FROM THE AMAZON (AND BERRIES THAT LOOK LIKE EYEBALLS)

 
V Energy Drink: Map of South America showing Amazon region
So much green: That's a lot of rainforest, South America!

The story of V Energy Drink takes us back centuries ago and situates us in the Amazon – the world’s largest tropical rainforest covering some 40 percent of the South American continent. Famed for its vast biodiversity, the Amazon is home to nearly 2,500 species of trees and 60,000 plant varieties. And yet, it was in the midst of this abundant greenery that the discovery of one small but potent berry would soon breathe life into a revitalising potion – the key to V Energy Drink’s concoction. Enter: Guarana. A small, tropical plant featuring distinct red berries that are sweet, juicy, and suspiciously look like eyeballs.

 
V Energy Drink: Image showing guarana plant with distinct red seeds that look like eyeballs.

Stop staring: Guarana is a type of creeper featuring distinct red seeds that look like eyeballs. They are harvested to make a nutritious powder that is commonly found in energy drinks such as V Energy Drink.

Although creepy in appearance, guarana berries are recognised for their high concentrations of caffeine. In fact, while their seeds are approximately the same size as coffee beans, they contain more than twice the amount of caffeine. As you may then expect, guarana is valued for its powerful benefits as a natural supplement and its energising effects.

Over time, the native Indians dwelling in the Amazon discovered that by sucking on the berries of the guarana plant, they were injected with instant energy. This energy produced a similar effect on the body as caffeine. It derived from a stimulant found in the plant called guaranine.

The vigour the Amazonians obtained from eating and brewing drinks from the guarana berries left them with considerable strength to carry out their day-to-day activities. From chasing animals to building towns, the locals long took advantage of its stimulating properties. In fact, it is thought that in a single generation, they went from hunting with spears to constructing a sophisticated civilisation. This newfound energy encouraged all kinds of inventiveness and forced them to innovatively rethink every aspect of life.

And so unearthed an inspiration. A natural product of the earth, fused with the fervent Amazonian spirit. It would spur an uplifting vivacity to create the extraordinary.

HISTORY 1002: FAST FORWARD TO 1997 - V ENERGY DRINK IS BORN

 

Now let’s skip to 1997. Boy bands ruled the charts, scientists cloned Dolly the sheep, and Titanic opened, becoming the biggest Box-Office Film in history.

In the midst of these events, a bunch of lads in New Zealand one day stumbled across guarana berries. Forming a nutritious powder from them, they decided to brew an uplifting concoction. The result? A unique guarana potion enhanced with caffeine, B vitamins, minerals, taurine, sugar and carbonated water. The flavour was fresh and the buzz was invigorating.

And just like that, V Energy Drink was born.

FRUCOR: THE COMPANY BEHIND THE DRINK

 

V Energy Drink is produced by Frucor, a beverage company based in New Zealand. Frucor manufactures, markets and distributes a range of fruit juices, fruit drinks, energy drinks, waters and soft drinks. Some that you may be familiar with include Rockstar energy drink, and Maximus and Mizone sports drinks. In the juice category, the delicious childhood favourite, Ribena, is sure to ring a bell.

Frucor saw its beginnings in the early 1960s. It operated as a small juice business in New Zealand, where its corporate headquarters are still based. Since then, it has evolved to a leading Australasian beverages company. Frucor is the market leader in energy drinks in Australia and New Zealand.

 

Nifty: V Energy Drink fridge filled with Frucor-produced beverages and conveniently placed in reception area at Frucor Headquarters in New Zealand. We see what you did there.

V Energy Drink launched into the New Zealand market in 1997, and Australia in 1999. Delivering the pick-me-up qualities of caffeine and guarana in its trademark slim green can, it wasn’t long before it turned the entire industry on its head. Global prevalence soon gained momentum.

The outcome of this ubiquitous popularity saw the drink soon made available in several locations around the world. Leading the international venture, V was introduced in South Africa as early as 2001. Following this, in 2004, it also became distributed throughout Europe and the United Kingdom. By 2008, V Energy Drink had found yet another home in the Maldives.

MASSIVE RANGE: V ENERGY DRINK VARIETIES

 
"Some

Overwhelming: Just some of the V Energy Drink flavour varieties. Too many to count!

Since launching in 1997, Frucor has steadily unveiled a copious assortment of new flavours and variations of V Energy Drink. Each variety is hailed as delicious, different and distinctive, and designed to reflect the cheeky, idiosyncratic and full-of-life attitude upheld by the V Energy Drink brand. The underlying mission is simple: Satisfy thirst in a way that connects with consumers' diverse lifestyles.

Indeed, whether it’s a pick-me-up, a morning kick-start or a drink on the go, it seems the vast V Energy Drink range certainly has something refreshing for everyone. In our opinion, there are actually too many to count! Given we’ve lost track, we thought we’d delve into five of our favourites…

 

V GREEN

 

V Green is acclaimed as the O.G. energy flavour, the granddaddy of the V Energy Drink family. And, since hitting the shelves back in 1997, it remains the people’s No.1 choice for a massive energy hit.

 

With its hints of citrus, we have to admit, we’re big fans of V Green too. (The only downside is the sugar crash.) Kudos for nailing it first go, Frucor!

 

V ZERO

 

For the health-conscious energy drink consumer: V Zero contains 0 per cent sugar. Put simply, V Zeros gives you the same hit of energy, with the same original V Green taste. But without the sugar.

 
 
 
 
 
 

V BLUE

 

Frucor advises us to set our taste buds to ‘mysterious’ for this blue V energy drink. In fact, so top-secret was research for V Blue that it never actually revealed a description of the flavour. Instead, back in 2012, V Energy Drink ran a competition via Facebook to see who could guess the flavour or come up with the most creative depiction of the taste. The prize was a whopping $10,000. Damn! So, unfortunately, we don’t have an exact description of this one for you. But, on our account, it’s some sort of grape, passionfruit or nectarine flavour.

 

MR BOOTLEG’S SOUR TONIC (LIMITED EDITION)

 

Mr Bootleg’s Sour Tonic delivers a new and unusual taste sensation. It creation addresses consumers’ changing palates, which is a direct result from increased travel and being exposed to more taste sensations. We haven’t tried this one yet. But, the taste is described as accessible and appeals to a mass market. We’ll take the word on it!

 

 

V DOUBLE ESPRESSO

 

 

Like your caffeine cold? V Double Espresso team sup the smooth flavour of coffee with a caffeine zip, served chilled. It is basically a blend of milk, coffee powder, guarana, sugar and B vitamins. The hit of guarana in this iced coffee concoction is particularly massive. It is designed to have as much caffeine as a double espresso coffee beverage. So, a few sips will likely blast you into action!

 

 

QUIRKY CAMPAIGNS AND ADVERTISING

 
V Energy Drink Viking Campaign

Other energy drink brands throw guys out of planes; V Energy Drink turns to Vikings.

When it comes to conveying the bold, comical and upbeat stance that symbolises V Energy Drink, it’s not merely its unusual flavour varieties doing the work. Advertising for the iconic brand has been bracingly far from regular too.

Indeed, as V Energy Drink has sought increased brand awareness over the years, some rather creative campaigns have rolled out. Of particular intrigue is the beverage’s current ongoing brand platform, introduced by the tagline ‘The Massive Hit That Improves You a Bit’. With some memorable television advertising, it takes the unique status of V Energy Drink to a whole new level.

The campaign, created by Clemenger BBDO Sydney, essentially works to acknowledge that energy drinks can’t simply turn you into an overnight success. However, they can provide you the energy to make you a bit better at doing the things you already do. Compared to the usual stunt-driven energy drink marketing, it’s a refreshing, relatable and unashamedly honest approach.

While the campaign initially launched in 2013, since then, two installments have been particularly memorable for us at REIZE.

VIKINGS 

The commercial is set aboard a Viking ship and features a group of Vikings mutiny against their leader in favour of his, slightly-improved Doppelganger. Yes, you guessed it – the replica is drinking a can of V Energy Drink! And the message behind it? Drinking V Energy Drink will make you slightly better at pillaging and setting things on fire – if of course, you’re a Viking. If you require a refresher back to 2014, you can see it for yourself:

 

 

LIL PUP IN “THE RAPPER”

 

So much swag: Rapper Lil Pup stars in V Energy Drink’s new music video.

More recently, V Energy Drink launched the fourth episode of its ‘The Massive Hit That Improves You a Bit’ positioning. The latest campaign features a full-length hip-hop video clip, starring emerging rapper Lil Pup

Set against the backdrop of a $15 million mansion in Miami (and oh so much swag), Lil Pup goes head-to-head with a better version of himself. Indeed, a battle unfolds with his "V Energy Drink double”, dubbed Lil “Big” Pup. Ultimately, the campaign continues to develop the idea that drinking V Energy Drink will make you marginally better than yourself.

 

 

Undoubtedly, in an age where energy drink brands are busy hurling people out of planes and launching off buildings amid a surge of excitement-filled chaos, ‘The Massive Hit That Improves You a Bit’ positioning is a markedly distinctive approach. And, admittedly, the shift away from the sensational claims synonymous with most energy drink marketing is pretty refreshing. REIZE appreciates the honest and humorous approach, and it’s certainly our favourite V Energy Drink campaign to date!

TRIVIA TIME! USELESS FACTS YOU NEED TO KNOW

 

...And now some facts about energy drinks in preparation for your next round of energy drink trivia! Because who doesn’t like useless information?! 

Suspicious (but glorious): This could be where some of the stolen V Energy Drink ended up. What a blessed Christmas this person had.

*DID YOU KNOW?* On Monday 15th December 2014, approximately $15,000 worth of V Energy Drink was stolen in a burglary in South Auckland. (Yes, that’s a hell of a lot of V!) The thieves made off with eight pallets of the energy drink from a commercial property in Manukau, late in the night. Following an unsuccessful hunt, police concluded that the offenders were perhaps looking to sell the cans cheaply. Or possibly gift a loved one with a pallet of V for Christmas. Let’s be real – who wouldn’t want a stash of energy drinks as a Christmas present, right?

Next: Great news! V Energy Drink is a proud supporter of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras. To convey this, Frucor created a limited edition V Rainbow flavour, which celebrates all the vibrant colours of love. Even more exciting, to get everyone energised for the most fabulous party of the year, it tweaked its campaign tagline to, “The Fabulous Hit That Improves you a Bit”.

Fabulous all round and we love it!

Extremely useless fact: Back in 2008, Melbourne sported some pretty funky trams advertising V Energy Drink. Totes cool (and totes bright).

 

Wonder if they serve V on board: Tram advertising V Energy Drink on route 75 on Flinders Street, Melbourne.

Finally: This dog named Charlie seems to like V Energy Drink a lot. The perfect pup treat perhaps? (But only in small, dog-appropriate doses.)

 

 

NO.1 PLAYER: V ENERGY DRINK AUSTRALIAN MARKET SHARE

 

And if that V-Energy-Drinking dog alone wasn’t impressive enough…

In Australia’s $1.2 billion energy drinks market, V Energy Drink still remains at the top of the leader board. It is the No.1 player in the market. Specifically, in an account released by The Financial Review in late 2016, V Energy Drink revealed a holding of 32.9 per cent market share. This is well ahead of second-placed Red Bull with 29.1 per cent.

Solid game, V Energy Drink. Solid game.

TAKING THIRST SATISFACTION TO THE NEXT LEVEL: IS IT POSSIBLE?

 
Image of REIZE Energy Drink mixed with water.

REIZE Energy Drink: It’s most flavoursome. Seriously.

So, it’s probably unsurprising to now see why, here at REIZE, we were a little inspired by V Energy Drink, its story and success. The V Energy Drink empire is effervescent to say the least. It brims with all kind of vibrant developments and sparkles in solid market share. That said, we felt compelled to craft our very own energy drink and take satisfying thirst to the next level. We wanted a drink that was more flavoursome, revitalising and unconventional. 

How would we step things up a notch? It’s pretty straightforward.

At REIZE, we believe that energy drinks are ready for a revolution. The customer base is maturing, and now it is time for the industry to follow suit. Below are five distinct ways that capture REIZE’s revolutionary power in the energy drink industry.

5 WAYS REIZE IS REVOLUTIONISING THE ENERGY DRINK MARKET

 

1. REIZE IS VERSATILE

A mug of brewed REIZE served hot.
Better than coffee: REIZE can be brewed as a hot drink to kick-start your day.

As Australia and New Zealand’s first powdered energy drink, REIZE gives you the opportunity to drink it your way. It is the most versatile option than any other energy drink on the market.

Not only do you have the control to choose the strength of your REIZE, you can mix it just the way you like it. Cold and smooth, cold and fizzy, brewed hot, blended with juice, stirred into alcohol for a flavoursome nightcap – the possibilities are endless!

2.REIZE IS GREAT VALUE
Let’s face it – energy drinks don’t come cheap these days. And here at REIZE, we certainly believe that energy drinks should not be so expensive. For this reason, it was crucial that we delivered an energy drink remarkably lower in price than all competitors on the market. We wanted it to be more affordable for everyone.

The outcome: REIZE is dirt cheap. We’re talking from less than $1 per drink, delivered straight to your door. No other energy drink anywhere comes even close to offering this kind of bang for your buck. For verification of how much you could be potentially saving on your energy drinks, look no further than this price comparison REIZE recently conducted. It is remarkable to see just how low-cost REIZE really is.

Still not convinced? Take the REIZE Challenge for yourself to see how much you could be putting back in your pocket per year. And think of what you could do with all that cash!

 

Oh, the possibilities! So many fun things to be spending on instead. Why waste money on those overpriced energy drinks?

3. REIZE IS SUGAR-FREE

There are very few people who would willingly tuck into a bowl filled with 21 teaspoons of sugar when they desire a boost of energy. And yet, so many people who happily throw back a standard 500mL energy drink are essentially doing just that. We all know it: Sugar is certainly the enemy. Nevertheless, many of the leading energy drink brands still cram excessive amounts of sugar into their beverages. And many of us are risking our health by drinking them.

REIZE offers a health-conscious solution. It is an energy drink that is sugar-free and thus meets the growing demands of consumers for healthier ingredients. Rest assured, it certainly doesn’t compromise on delicious taste.

Added bonus: With no sugar, that means no sugar crash. So no feeling tired and lethargic afterwards. Happy (and energetic) days!

4. REIZE IS LIGHTWEIGHT AND PORTABLE

REIZE couldn’t be more convenient: It comes in a well-designed 4g sachet that easily rips open with one quick tear. I.e. Chuck a sachet in your pocket and you can take it anywhere you want to go!

 

 

5. REIZE TURNS TRADITIONAL ENERGY DRINK MARKETING ON ITS HEAD

REIZE recognises that the energy drink market has matured. And with people of all ages and backgrounds enjoying energy drinks, there’s no point alienating them with marketing that only appeals to a specific group of people.

Enter: Deadpan Guy. He’s the energy drink company’s ambassador who never cracks a smile. (Unless of course he’s guzzling down a REIZE, mixed his way, of course.) When he’s not sky diving, he’s roller skating with his gorilla friend, or getting his hand stuck in a mouse trap. The viral Deadpan Guy ad campaign refreshingly shifts away from the sensational marketing synonymous with most energy drink brands. And its ability to connect with consumers certainly shows given the hundreds of thousands of views racked up on the company’s Facebook page.

Some think of Deadpan Guy as a cult leader, others consider him a visionary. Either way, he’s pretty damn awesome.

Here, have a formal introduction:

 

 

Ultimately, there’s no denying the intrigue and influence of V Energy Drink on energy drink consumers. And yet, we stand confident (in our humble opinion) that REIZE palpably delivers a product that is revolutionary and unconventional. This, we believe, is where the energy drink market is heading, particularly as its customer base matures. Nonetheless, we remain big fans of V Energy Drink and will continue to be inspired by its evolution and success.

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RUNNING FOR WEIGHT LOSS: TEN TIPS TO STAY ON TRACK

WHEN IT COMES TO LOSING WEIGHT, ANY KIND OF EXERCISE IS GOOD EXERCISE – BUT IT’S HARD TO TOP RUNNING. SURE, IT’S THE DRILL MOST OF US DREAD. BUT RUNNING IS ONE OF THE BEST BUTT-KICKING, CALORIE-BLASTING WORKOUTS AROUND AND OFFERS AN EXTREMELY EFFICIENT WAY TO DROP THE POUNDS. EVEN BETTER, IT’S INEXPENSIVE AND YOU CAN DO IT AT YOUR CONVENIENCE. WHETHER YOU’RE A BEGINNER DAUNTED BY TAKING THOSE FIRST STEPS, OR A REGULAR RUNNER LOOKING TO REDUCE YOUR WEIGHT, HEEDING SOME TRIED AND TRUE TIPS ON RUNNING FOR WEIGHT LOSS CAN HELP YOU HAPPILY LACE UP, AND HIT THE GROUND RUNNING TO LOOKING AND FEELING BETTER.

 

Running for weight loss: Woman on her weight loss journey running through park.
Running for weight loss is one of the most efficient ways to achieve a full body workout, drop the kilos, and improve appearance.

It’s the age-old, doggedly-advocated (and often grumbled about) staple of weight loss: Running. And for good reason – it actually works! Oh, reader, we feel you. Most of us don’t just tie up our laces because we love running. Like you, more than often, it’s because of last night’s decadent slice of chocolate cake, that bottle of red wine from the party, or the five-course meal (with extra side of cheesy fries) that we indulged in on Monday night instead of hitting the gym. So many unnecessary calories; not enough time *sigh*. Alas, it turns out that running is one of the most effective ways to lose weight, reduce body fat, and improve physical appearance. And hey, how could we possibly argue with a form of physical activity that promises a vigorous, full body workout and bang for your buck?

For those slightly sceptical, consider this 2012 study carried out by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California on the benefits of running on weight control. Indeed, it was found that compared to men and women who did equivalent amounts of any other form of exercise, runners were significantly leaner and lighter. The reason behind this? People typically burn more calories per minute when running than they do when swimming, walking, or riding a bike.  

In fact, with the potential to burn up to 11 calories per minute when hitting the pavement (depending on individual pace, of course), it is almost unsurprising that in the pursuit of shedding kilos, about one in five Australians turn to their free outdoor treadmill at some stage of their life. While conventional advice on running for weight loss commonly dictates long, slow and steady runs, we understand that this can turn your fat-burning task into a tedious case of mission slimpossible. No doubt, reforming from running hater to running lover involves a lot more stimulation and creativeness. A little physical and mental assurance doesn’t go astray either – we all want to find ways to get better at running for weight loss and enjoy it. After all, wouldn’t it be nice if you could run, burn more fat, get toned, and take pleasure in it all at once?

So, here are some tips to make your running for weight loss more effective, efficient and enjoyable. Sure, it may not be a case of love at first run (well, not for everyone). But these sure-fire guidelines to burning those calories may just transform you into a fat-blasting machine and make your weight loss goals seem like a walk (or cruisy run) in the park.

TIP 1: CONSULT A PHYSICIAN BEFORE BEGINNING YOUR RUNNING FOR WEIGHT LOSS PROGRAM

Imperative: Consult your physician or other healthcare professional before starting a fitness program to determine if it is right for your health and needs.

Before beginning your running for weight loss program, it’s important to consult a physician about your current state of health and any problems that could arise throughout the course of your training. Specifically, consulting a healthcare professional is crucial to determining whether you are healthy enough for a running program and to understanding what changes to expect to your body as you progress. All too often, this vital first step is skipped, with many mistakenly believing that they can assess for themselves whether their body is ready for physical activity. However, self-diagnosis can be unhealthy, inaccurate and dangerous.  

A check-up is particularly crucial if your medical history includes any pre-existing health conditions such as obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease or arthritis. Such ailments will impact the types of weight loss strategies safe and suitable for your body and health.   And let’s face it – we can always benefit from that extra check-up anyway!

TIP 2: SET "SMART" GOALS

So, you’ve consulted your physician and received the all-clear for your running for weight loss regime… Now what?   Before getting started on your calorie-blasting endeavours, do yourself a favour. Establish some specific weight loss goals and set yourself up for success. This has the benefit of creating a benchmark of your progress. Furthermore, doing so will help you to strive towards accomplishment as you consciously draw closer to each goal. The Mayo Clinic advises an effective goal-setting strategy for your running for weight loss journey to keep you focused and motivated as you transition to a healthier lifestyle. Acknowledged as the “SMART” goal checklist, it recommends that your goals meet the following criteria:

Running for weight loss: "SMART" goal guideline. Make goals Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound.
Set "SMART" goals to clarify your ideas, focus your efforts, use your time and resources productively, and achieve what you on your running for weight loss journey.

Specific: Make your goals effective by incorporating specific details, including declaring what you will do, how long you will do it, and when you will do it.

Measurable: Your goals should be measurable so that you can objectively determine how successful you are at meeting them.  

Attainable: Ensure your goals are attainable by making certain that you have enough time and resources to achieve them.  

Relevant: In order for your goals to ultimately be achieved, they must be relevant and hence realistic. Setting unrealistic goals that do not align with your other responsibilities may result in disappointment or the temptation to give up altogether.

Time-Bound: Goals are best achieved if you set a deadline in which to complete the goal and a record of your progress. Keeping track can help you evaluate your progress and stay motivated. Instituting some “SMART” goals can mean the difference between success and failure in your running for weight loss journey. Coupled with a realistic outlook, the processes of working forward through effective planning will help you succeed in running and beyond.

TIP 3: START SLOW THEN INCREASE INTENSITY

Once it comes to lacing up and setting off for that first jog, it’s an all too common mistake for beginners to take off too fast. Sure, it’s tempting to rev up and shoot out the door at top speed. But let’s be realistic – running off like you’ve taken something from Liam Neeson isn’t going to last. Even professional athletes can’t sprint for that long!  

Instead, begin your running for weight loss session with a five-minute brisk walk, and from there, gradually build up to a gentle jog. This process of warming up is essential to steadily raise the heart rate and release synovial fluid in the body, which lubricates the joints and prepares them for vigorous exercise.  

Once the body is warm, increase your pace to a faster jog until you reach a comfortable running speed. Beginners should start with approximately ten minutes and add an extra minute or two to each session to slowly build up stamina. Alternating between running and walking during early weeks is an effective way to also progressively build fitness levels. Indeed, as you get fitter, you’ll be able to decrease the walking intervals and increase the running intervals.  

Godspeed!  

TIP 4: PREVENT INJURY – STRETCH, STRETCH, STRETCH!

Alright, fellow runners, we’ve all heard this one before: Warm up before running, and incorporate plenty of slow and sustained stretches into your cool-down routine to prevent injuries. And yet, most of us choose not to care for our bodies and only run. Injuries are very easy to acquire for runners. And preventing them is essentially about what you do when you’re not running. That is, the crucial time before and after exercising. This goes regardless of the intensity of your workout. Giving your bones and joints a chance to loosen up before you enables you to ease muscle soreness, release lactic acid, strengthen your ligaments, and avoid getting injured. The same goes for stretching out muscles after your running session. In particular, it is important to cool down for three to five minutes following your run. To achieve this is straightforward. Simply bring the pace down from your run to a brisk walk and then a gentle walk. Following this, stretch out the body and hold each stretch for at least 30 seconds. After all, your muscles deserve a little TLC after working so hard.  

When muscles are not stretched out, they only become tighter, leading to discomfort and more likelihood of injury. And in the case of an injury, you’re likely to terminate your run, feel depleted, discouraged and dreading your next running for weight loss session.  

NB: Remember – don’t ignore what your body is telling you. If something is hurting, pay attention to it and find out why it is occurring by asking your doctor, physiotherapist or healthcare professional for medical advice before returning to running.

In order to stay healthy and running strong, incorporate stretching before and after your workout to prevent injuries.

TIP 5: CONSISTENCY IS KEY

When it comes to running for weight loss, consistency pays off.  

The best way to do this? Try to avoid skipping on your running sessions for the week. And, if you do miss one, then don’t give up – make sure to fit the next one in sooner rather than later.  

Ultimately, as fitness experts advise, it is better to complete, say, three short ten-minute runs per week every week, than to do five longer sessions one week and none the following week.

TIP 6: INCORPORATE STRENGTH TRAINING TO BOOST FAT-BURNING

Pick up weights: The addition of resistance training will significantly accelerate fat loss results.

While consistency in workouts is vital, when it comes to running for weight loss, the key to results isn’t purely to keep running like your name is Forrest. Sure, you can hit the track all week. But the problem with relying solely on racing down the open road to shed your unwanted weight is that the body adapts very well – and very quickly. Put simply: Initially, you may drop the kilos quite easily from resourcefully burning calories. However, as the body starts to adapt to its newfound fitness and metabolism, it is likely that you may soon enough hit a plateau.

The reason behind this? Your body is actually a very impressive and intelligent machine. It is designed for efficiency, meaning that if you repeat the same exercise over and over again, the process becomes more comfortable. As far as your runs go, not only will they start to feel more effortless, but your metabolism will also learn and react so that fewer calories are burned with the same exercise output. Indeed, that may signal great news that your endurance has increased. But with that comes the not so great news that you would need to keep running longer and longer distances to burn the same number of calories. Needless to say, endless hours of said endurance activity alone are certainly not going to give you the toned body composition that you are striving towards anyway.

This is where strength training comes into play! If you want to dump your rump, it is essential that you combine your cardiovascular exercise with lifting weights. The benefits are two-fold. Firstly, lifting weights increases your muscle mass, which shapes your body. Secondly, it also encourages the increase of your resting metabolism. And because muscle burns fat even while you are relaxing, the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn even at time out.  

By incorporating strength training with your running program at least two to three days per week, it is possible to maintain and build lean body mass, whilst decreasing body fat percentage.

The best option is to go to the gym, warm up, and lift weights for about 20 minutes employing super slow reps. Following this, stretch out the body. And for variety to your resistance regime, alternate between free weights one day and machines the next.  

(NB: If you are new to the gym, ask a trainer for some advice on lifting weights.)

TIP 7: MIND OVER PLATTER – ADOPT A HEALTHY DIET

We hate to break this one to you, but for those whom it’s a case of carbs for life, we suggest it’s probably time to put down that extra slice of cake!

Put down the extra slice of cake and nobody gets heavier!

Indeed, losing weight requires more than simply getting your cardio kick. Hand in hand with running for weight loss, the success of keeping those kilos off necessitates adopting a healthy diet. Even better if you can achieve an overall calorie deficit too. According to Professor Amanda Salis from the Boden Institute of Obesity, Nutrition, Exercise and Eating Disorders at the University of Sydney, anything that involves consuming fewer kilojoules than you need to maintain your weight is going to lead to weight loss. Furthermore, junk food needs to be cut out of the diet.

For evidence, look no further than an analysis of more than 700 weight loss studies. It was found that people see the biggest short-term results in their weight reduction when they eat smart. That is, opting for wholesome foods and eating less.  

While there are a variety of diet strategies to achieve this, when it comes to suitable sustenance for runners, the best foods to eat are those that are nutrient-dense. And even better if they are also relatively low in calories. These include vegetables, fruit, legumes and grains. Not only are these foods nutritious, they also lessen the experience of hunger after runs. So, if you want to whittle your waistline, swap those cheesy fries for a quinoa salad or a fruit bowl!  

Additionally, if you know you always feel ravenous after workouts, make protein a priority. Protein is critical for runners because it enables muscles to repair and build tissue after challenging workouts. Research also repeatedly confirms that eating protein increases your feelings of satiety. So, not only will you feel fuller for longer, but you will probably eat less too. And this, in turn, will help to reduce cravings later in the day.  

For the best sources of protein, turn to fish, poultry and lean meats, or plant sources such as legumes, nuts and seeds. Include protein in every meal and particularly at breakfast. It is a healthy and substantial supplement that helps to kick-start your metabolism and control your appetite.  

TIP 8: RETHINK YOUR SUGARY DRINK

Along with adopting a wholesome, low-calorie diet to keep your weight at bay, it is also important to rethink the sugary drinks you may be consuming. Many people do not realise just how many calories these beverages contain. Yet, the bitter truth is that with their high sugar levels, they largely contribute to your daily calorie intake and thus comprise a swift route to packing on the pounds.  

Sports drinks provide a case in point. Sports drinks are frequently hailed a helpful beverage before, during, and after a strenuous running session. However, contrary to popular thought, they in fact contain too much sugar to consume regularly. More sugar means more calories. And over time, these calories can significantly add up to hinder your weight loss progress.

Sugar for days: How much sugar are you unknowingly consuming in your beverages?

And it’s a similar story when it comes to energy drinks. Sure, it’s ok to have a little sugar in your diet as an occasional splurge. But the vast majority of energy drinks contain far more sugar than you should consume in a day. Worryingly, some even contain up to 20 teaspoons worth.  

That said, if you really can’t help your craving for an energy drink, consider REIZE your go-to alternative. REIZE contains no sugar, so will reduce the number of calories you are drinking. Even better, you can mix the revitalising powder with water, much to your health’s delight. And, rest assured, it is so delicious, you won’t even miss sugar!   Ultimately, for those running for weight loss, water should be your beverage of choice. Not only does it keep you hydrated to make running easier, one of its biggest perks is that it contains zero calories. As a guide, drink water at least 90 per cent of the time. And if you want to mix things up for variety, stick to unsweetened tea, coffee or other unsweetened beverages.

 

TIP 9: KEEP MOTIVATED WITH TRACKING PROGRAMS

With so many factors to consider from training strategies to diet, staying motivated when running for weight loss isn’t always easy. Especially if you’re not a fan of vigorous physical activity and post-workout panting to begin with. That said, measuring and tracking your progress is a recognised way to give you that extra boost to stick to your plan. And, this is where running communities come into play.  

Running communities acknowledge that, as human beings, we are motivated by rewards and recognition. Accordingly, running community companies offer a suite of complementary tools and products that work together to help you stay on target. These keep your journey towards a healthier lifestyle progressing. And, in turn, these push you towards achieving your weight loss goals.  

Running Heroes is one such running for weight loss community. It functions by encouraging, enhancing and rewarding runners as they clock up more kilometres. The company not only prizes avid runners for their dedication, but also inspires non-runners to start hitting the pavement.  

Essentially, Running Heroes operates as a mobile-friendly web application that connects with the user's existing running app or activity watch. Users run at their desired level and collect activity points along the way. The more they run, the more points they collect. These can then be used to redeem exclusive offers. Even more encouraging, Running Heroes reassures running at your own pace. So, if a user is more comfortable partaking in long-distance walking than running, they will still be able to collect activity points.

A Running Fit Box package full of health and sports goods to encourage you on your individual running journey.

Similarly, fitness expert businesses such as Running Fit Box and The HIIT Box by The HIIT Mum innovatively operate to get you excited about your next run. This is achieved through a box of products, picked to benefit your training. Such enterprises seek to give users the opportunity to discover essential running and nutritional products that will aid their running goals and optimum health. Each box is delivered straight to your door. They are designed to help runners on their fitness journeys. And it doesn't matter what level of intensity you wish to pursue - they cater for every type of runner. Talk about chasing your goals and running them down!  

TIP 10: SIGN UP TO RUNNING EVENTS

Running for Weight Loss: Runner Jen Miller racing in marathon, crossing the finish line 25 pounds lighter after weeks of training.
Motivating: Jen Miller used to struggle with her weight loss. Now, she is a prominent example of what committing to a running event can do for you weight loss goals. The benefits extend to self confidence, too.

Over the long term, the absolute best way to keep yourself running for weight loss is to find a race to compete in. Indeed, sign up for it and hand over the cash payment. It is a sure-fire way to stay inspired. And hey, who could say no to runner’s high and race-day excitement?!  

You may not believe so, but picking out an upcoming race and following through with paying the registration fee is a clear path to weight loss success. Doing so forces you to adopt a running lifestyle and also sets you up to work towards bigger weight loss goals. Furthermore, paying cold hard cash upfront makes it more difficult to slack off on your training. Ultimately, with a fixed, paid-for race date in your calendar, you can force your focus and more easily maintain a regular running schedule. When it comes to running events, there are so many to choose from. These include local fun runs, marathons like the City2Surf, and hardcore obstacle races such as Tough Mudder. Committing to even one can get you into the frame of mind of race training, which is incredibly inspiring and fulfilling. After all, with a set distance to train for, it will likely keep you on track. Plus, it will encourage you to get out and run on days when you would otherwise probably resign to the couch.  

Don’t believe it can be done? Check out this story from The New York Times about Jen Miller (pictured) who struggled with her weight. She began a running for weight loss regime and eventually ran a marathon. Weeks of training paid off and she crossed the finish line 25 pounds lighter. Even more uplifting was a new-found sense of confidence.  

Totally impressive? We think so!

HITTING THE HIGHWAY TO HEALTH

So, there you have it! Running for weight loss doesn’t have to be a dreaded drill after all. By incorporating these ten tips into your exercise regime, you can hopefully see that running offers an effective workout. Plus, it can be totally enjoyable. Why not lose weight, reduce body fat, and improve physical appearance in the most efficient way possible?   We're quite sure you'll hit the pavement and stay on track - even if you simply try! And as you do, we’ll be waiting to see just how many more kilometers your running shoes can clock up. We hope it will be more than your car! So, what are you waiting for?  

AUTHOR: SAHAR ADATIA

Sahar and a random kitten. Article: Do energy drinks contain bull sperm?

Sahar is a word scribbler and vibrant storyteller (with a proficiency in randomness). She has an infatuation with cheese, fluffy animals, and life’s peculiar whimsicalities. When she's not writing, you’ll find her sweating it out at the gym, laughing with friends, and enjoying long, romantic walks to the fridge (obviously for cheese). Sahar’s favourite REIZE concoction is soda water with a splash of Ribena. Try it. (Really.)

Sahar can be contacted on Twitter at @sahar_adatia.

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DO ENERGY DRINKS CONTAIN BULL SPERM?

Written by Sahar Adatia @sahar_adatia

The promise of popping open an energy drink and slurping down delicious, instant vitality is appealing – especially when you need a boost. But where exactly does this verve spurt from and what strange substances are you actually swallowing? REIZE locks horns with the raging rumours to answer the question once and for all: Do energy drinks contain bull sperm?

spitting drink

Say what? Does your energy drink really contain bull sperm?!

For many years now, energy drinks like V drink and Red Bull have been burdened by bizarre allegations that they incorporate a variety of dubious ingredients in their magic elixirs, cramming all kinds of unusual compounds into their concoctions to give consumers that pep in their step and energy to their brain.

As these accusations continue to fiercely do the rounds, circulating all over the internet and amongst energy drink communities at large, one slightly unappetising claim has found itself repeatedly getting sprayed about.

Indeed, it’s the rumour that keeps on giving - a true contender of old chestnut status. And, surely enough, it surges from a stream of outlandish speculation pointing to a “mystery stimulant” common to energy drinks. So, what exactly are the facts on energy drinks - specifically, that one special something? 

Apparently, that energy drink you gladly gulped down earlier contains the testosterone derived from bull semen.

Yes, trusty, refreshing bull sperm. Delicious.

Moreover, we have a livestock business in America to thank for fuelling these allegations further in recent years. Better known as “Longhorn Cattle Company” , the business claims that its lab tests on several leading energy drink brands supposedly uncovered traces of bull sperm.

In a strange twist of fate, it also turns out that Longhorn Cattle Company is actually a barbecue and steak restaurant (Mmm smoky meats). Righteo then.

Alas, the facts are in, so let your stomach untie from that knot!

Rest (and drink) assured: Those whispers about your energy drink being derived from the schlong juice of old mate, Toro (pictured), is actually all a load of bull.

Accidental Conception: The “Bull Sperm” Saga

So, it looks like there’s been one giant, unexpected game of virtual Chinese Whispers going on amongst energy drink communities for the last several years. Escalating from zero to bull faeces real quick, we can only assume that this bewildering tittle-tattle was conceived somewhere deep in the bowels of extreme boredom.

That said, as the guys from REIZE explain, the “bull sperm” buzz certainly makes for a good story! And that’s about it.

You see, this bizarre anecdote simply originates from the fact that energy drinks contain an ingredient called taurine , a common dietary supplement used by athletes and body builders to enhance physical performance.

In its natural form, taurine is an amino acid found in the tissues of humans and animals, as well as in foods such as meat, fish and even breast milk. It is an essential building block of protein, supporting neurological development and helping to regulate the level of water and mineral salts in the blood.

But back to the rumour.

Taking a closer look at the etymology of the word taurine, the saga surrounding this supposedly sperm-y substance contained in your energy drink starts to unravel.

Stud

Stud muffin: Toro, in earlier days. Family jewels remain happily intact.

If we break down this substance’s name into its constituent parts, we get:

"taur" – a Latin root for the word “bull” "ine" – a suffix denoting something derived from its preceding root.

Combined, the origin of "taurine” quite logically portrays something relating to, or resembling a bull.

And so, the pieces of the energy drink puzzle start to fit together. Suddenly, it is easy to see how, to the casual energy drink consumer, this association may insinuate that taurine is a compound excreted by a bull.

That said, for further enlightenment into this bull sperm hearsay, let’s gather the team together for some Energy Drink Trivia.

*Did You Know?*

Taurine was actually first isolated from ox bile - a discovery was made by German scientists Friedrich Tiedemann and Leopold Gmelin, way back in 1827. (Ahh, Energy Drink Trivia. So many riveting, useless facts; such little time.)

Now, couple this nugget of truth with the enduring perceptions of bulls symbolising stout, virile and powerful life forces (don’t ever change, Toro), and it is perhaps unsurprising that these connections have given rise to an attractive urban legend.

So, no need to throw out your pack of energy drinks or sachets thinking you’ve inadvertently been swigging prostatic fluid this whole time! Contrary to popular belief, taurine is not derived from bull sperm. In fact, as you can now see, other than the name itself, there is really not much of a connection between the amino acid and a bull (or the sacrifice of its family jewels).

As for those still speculating that the beast has been unleashed, take note:

The version of taurine supplementing your energy drink is not actually a bull or animal product at all anyway. It is synthetically produced in laboratories to guarantee your drink only the highest quality.

I.e. No bull’s delicate parts were harmed in the making of your energy drink!

Clearing the air: Steve and Marty take the bull by the horns to separate the rumours from the facts when it comes to alleged spermatic fluids contained in your energy drinks.

Taurine, or not Taurine: That is the Question

With the bull sperm myth debunked (thanks, Steve and Marty!), it’s back to guzzling down that instant vitality, complements of your bull-sperm-free energy drink. Nonetheless, we may still question the safety of taurine consumption in these concoctions and the effects it has on the body.

First thing, let’s get real: While the phenomenon of energy drinks has captured the attention of scientists and nutritionists worldwide, research to date on the impact of taurine in humans is not extensive.

But fret not!

That carried out so far reveals several promising positive correlations. It turns out this supplement has a beneficial role to play in aiding both physical and mental functions.

Let’s Get Physical: Boosting Performance with Taurine

As an essential compound of the human body, taurine works to ensure overall healthy physiological functioning. It is a potent nutrient, and found in large amounts in the brain, retina, heart, bones and blood cells.

Remarkably, during exercise and in times of stress or strain such as physical exertion and muscular tension, taurine is utilised by the body to operate optimally. When the body does not create enough of this amino acid, however, supplements can help. To this effect, taurine has become a popular ingredient contained in energy drinks.

According to dietician Katherine Zeratsky R.D., L.D. at Mayo Clinic , a not-for-profit organisation committed to medical education and research, an average energy drink will contain roughly 1000mg of taurine by 250ml serving. And this gets the thumbs up – this figure is considered safe by medical investigators.

Keeping hope alive, Zeratsky advises that with its inclusion in energy drinks, taurine may help to boost physical performance, in particular muscle operation and athletic endurance. Here, its function is twofold.

Firstly, taurine helps muscles to work harder through increasing the effectiveness of heart muscle contractility. With better ability for the heart to contract, this results in workouts being more powerful.

Secondly, taurine supplementation means muscles can work longer. Essentially, this is because taurine assists exercising muscle to rid itself of lactic acid. (That’s what causes those tormenting feelings of pain and soreness when you’re pushing yourself on the treadmill for once.)

And on the topic of physical exertion, here’s some stimulating information that might get your pulse racing!

Taurine also shows positive effects on the cardiovascular system and can even reverse the effects of cardiovascular disease.

Specifically, research reveals that taurine supplementation can improve blood flow and oxygen supply to heart cells. Given taurine’s key role in metabolising fats, it can also help to lower cholesterol.

Equally heartening, taurine has the ability to regulate blood pressure and act as a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. It is therefore also believed to be a preventative factor for heart diseases.

Let’s Stress Less and Get More Sleep Too: Better Mental Health with Taurine


“I definitely don’t have enough stress in my life!”

Said no one ever.

Let’s face it, even the most calm and composed individuals profess that they’d like to have less stress in their lives. The same goes for those extra hours of better sleep. And the inclusion of taurine in the diet can certainly pave the way.

Taurine is believed to be one of the most valuable nutrients for our mental health and well-being. This is partly associated with the compound’s sedative effects.

While taurine is perceived as a natural energy booster, its impact on the body is not actually stimulatory. Instead, the amino acid operates to calm the body down during periods of stress and unwind from high levels of adrenalin. By encouraging this kind of relaxation and lowering cortisol, taurine, in turn, also serves to promote better sleep. No need to be haunted by exhaustion any longer!

Interestingly, the intake of taurine also uncovers an anxiolytic effect on the central nervous system to improve mental health. Put simply, this means that it acts as an intervention to inhibit and treat anxiety. By reducing anxiety, taurine also highlights its potential as a mood stabiliser and even a natural antidepressant. The amino acid hence offers an effective way to get motivated and minimise nervous feelings.

Food for Thought: Lessons on Longevity from the Japanese


But wait, there’s more!

No, sadly no free set of steak knives (Come back, Toro, it was just a joke!).

Forget fad diets, Hollywood celebrity endorsements and all of that jazz. According to research , a diet rich in taurine, including plenty of fish and seafood, may be the key to a long, healthy life.

For evidence, look no further than the Japanese, who seem to be eating their way to a century .

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The Okinawa diet. Okinawans eat three servings of fish a week, on average. This increases taurine levels in the body.

The Japanese are believed to have a life expectancy that is among the highest in the world. In Okinawa – dubbed Japan’s famous “Island of Longevity” – for example, the population boasts one of the world’s highest percentages of people aged over 100 years old.

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Still going strong: An elderly Toro, now aged 97. Years of extra life and sustained good looks (other than hair loss and horn shrinkage associated with bull old age) obviously attributed to high taurine diet.

It is incontestable that there are various factors that can be attributed to the lengthy life spans of this community.

However, as investigations into this population reveal, the underlying factor believed to promote long life is a diet with a high consumption of the amino acid, taurine. In fact, so strong has this correlation between taurine and longevity been that researchers have labelled the compound a “wonder molecule”. To the Japanese folk, amino acids are the key nutritional factor to ensure a healthy nourishment regime.

Indeed, the Japanese may well be onto something.

Still got beef about your energy drinks containing bull sperm?

Well, you can speculate until the cows (or bulls) come home. But, between assuring that no bull’s private parts were compromised in the making of your energy elixir and unearthing taurine’s impressive biological versatility, it’s safe to say that we may just have the energy drink stamp of approval. Well, Toro's (hoof) stamp anyway.

Understandably, when it comes to taurine, it is likely that each individual will experience different benefits and effects based on their biochemical individuality, diet, lifestyle and environment.

That said, we can only hope that one day, Toro may adopt us, teaching us the mysterious ways of his amino acid ingestion and helping us to live longer.

Until then, we’ll be slashing open our energy drink sachets and sipping away on some rejuvenating, bull-sperm-free goodness.

Simpsons compressed

Sperming around. Ain't no energy drink got time for that!