Energy Drinks Facts: Everything You Need To Know
HERE AT REIZE, WE ARE ENERGY DRINK ENTHUSIASTS. ENERGY DRINKS CONTINUE TO RISE IN POPULARITY. HOWEVER, THEY ARE STILL REGARDED WITH SUSPICION AND NOT FULLY UNDERSTOOD. WE WANT TO FURTHER THE KNOWLEDGE OF THIS INDUSTRY WITH SOME INSIGHT INTO THE STORY OF ENERGY DRINKS SO FAR.
This article will inform you of the typical ingredients in energy drinks, the effects of those ingredients, and cover the history of these stimulating beverages from ancient Japan, mid-century America, to modern day Australia. It will explore the negative media reports and studies into the potential dangers and risks of caffeine overdose which have been attributed to over-consumption of energy drinks; as well as speculation regarding the future of the industry. We'll also provide answers to common questions we've received - like, what do energy drinks do to your body? And, why do people drink energy drinks?
We’re here to inform, we hope you enjoy.
WHAT IS AN ENERGY DRINK?
Essentially, it's any beverage which provides the drinker with a boost of energy. All energy drinks contain stimulants, most often caffeine, which provides mental and physical stimulation. They can be carbonated and while there are some sugar free energy drinks, many versions contain sugar or other sweeteners, herbal extracts, amino acids and B-vitamins to increase their stimulative properties. Although they are often marketed with sports-related branding and imagery, they are distinct from sports drinks.
The typical ingredients in energy drinks include varying amounts of caffeine, taurine, and ginseng amongst others. Additional amino acids, vitamins, and carbohydrates are often also included. Different energy drinks will include other ingredients to make their own signature taste. This could be added sugars, sweeteners or flavourings.
A powerful and widely used medicinal herb, which is understood to improve physical performance, mental focus, and stimulation. Ginseng is a member of the Panax family, literally meaning “All-Healer” in Greek. It grows only in the Northern Hemisphere, with the Asian ginseng variant being the most powerful. In fact, it has been used in Chinese medicine for over 5,000 years. As its original Greek name suggests, it has been used to help with every ailment, from mood disorders to diabetes to fertility issues, to mental and emotional stress.
Taurine is a naturally occurring amino acid which has fundamental biological properties. Taurine helps relieve stress, anxiety and fight off depression. Taurine in energy drinks is synthesised in a laboratory and is suitable for vegans.
THE B-GROUP VITAMINS
The B-Group is made up of 8 water-soluble vitamins that are needed for optimum metabolic function. Each of the B-group vitamins has their own benefits. The most common are:
Thiamine (B1) helps the body convert glucose (i.e. sugar) into energy and also plays a role in nerve function
Riboflavin (B2) helps your body’s energy production whilst helping out with your vision and skin health.
Niacin (B3) is essential for converting carbohydrates, fat, and alcohol into energy. It is great for our skin and it also supports a healthy nervous and digestive system.
Pyridoxine (B6) metabolises protein and carbohydrates, to form red blood cells and other brain chemicals. In simpler terms, it helps your brain, immune system, and hormone activity function properly.
Sugar In Energy Drinks
Like many substances, in high amounts sugar can be very unhealthy. It is particularly dangerous in liquid form, as your body does not recognise how much sugar you're consuming. This can lead you to crave more sugary products leading to a poor diet and even obesity. If you're wondering if there is sugar in energy drinks, the not-so-sweet truth is that most energy drinks contain roughly 30 grams of sugar. However, there are sugar free energy drinks which use artificial sweeteners instead.
Aspartame is one of the most commonly used artificial sweeteners. It’s found in a variety of sugarfree soft drinks, low-cal foods, and chewing gum. There is no evidence that it has any adverse effects and it is one of the most studied food ingredients in history, with food regulators across the globe declaring it perfectly safe.
HOW IT WORKS...
Caffeine improves your motivation and focus by increasing catecholamine signalling. However, this effect is lessened over time as you develop a tolerance to it. When you are awake, neurons are firing in your brains. As they fire, they produce adenosine as a byproduct. Essentially, adenosine tells your brain when the body is tired. Your nervous system is actively monitoring adenosine levels through receptors. Normally when adenosine levels reach a certain point in your brain and spinal cord, your body will begin to fall asleep or start getting tired. Caffeine is almost identical to adenosine. After you’ve consumed and absorbed caffeine, your brain can’t tell the difference between the two. Caffeine effectively blocks the adenosine from doing its job and tricks the brain into staying alert. It starts to work after about 15 minutes and can last up to 6 hours, depending on your physical and chemical make-up.
Not only does it make you more alert, it also aids in releasing the "happy" hormone, dopamine. So you’re happy, alert and aware. Caffeine has been shown to help increase work output and quality. It's also been seen to improve memory creation and retention when it comes to “declarative memory”, the kind students use to remember lists or answers to exam questions.
CAFFEINE AND SPORT
Caffeine in energy drinks can have a good impact on athletes as well. Many studies have shown that a small to moderate amount of caffeine taken 1-2 hours before sports or competition results in better performance and greater endurance.
Drinking a fizzy drink or a coffee may not agree with your stomach before exercise, so consider drinking something less carbonated and more refreshing, like a REIZE mixed with cold water
Even under strict laboratory conditions, caffeine has been clearly shown to increase running and cycling endurance as well as short-term exercise performance.
Remember to get a good sleep if you really want to perform at your best. Caffeine will only get you so far!
THE HISTORY OF ENERGY DRINKS
The Danger of Energy Drink Overdose
Yes, these beverages can be potentially harmful if drunk in excess. Much like any other substance. This has more to do with consumer misuse than the ingredients themselves. Unfortunately, these harmful effects are often cited as the reason behind stimulation-related health crises when other factors, like drugs or alcohol, are really to blame.
As with any caffeinated beverage, there’s a limit to what people should consume. This can vary from person to person, depending on size, gender, and sensitivity to the effects of caffeine. The key to a healthy consumption level is moderation.
Healthy adults of around 70kg weight should consume no more than 400mg per day; pregnant and breastfeeding women should have less than 200mg per day; whereas, children and young adults should limit their intake of caffeinated beverages, as they are less able to endure the effects of over-caffeination. Research suggests energy drink users often exceed recommended maximum daily intakes. So, if you think you might be sensitive, research how much caffeine in energy drinks that you're consuming before reaching for another.
All energy drinks in Australia have a label that recommends a maximum intake of 2 x 250ml per day. In terms of caffeine, this equates to a maximum recommended amount of 160mg of caffeine per day from energy drinks, which is well below the safe amount for a healthy adult.
Normal amounts of caffeine may have the following effects:
- Improved alertness
- Improved reaction time
- Improved brain memory
- Improved energy levels
- Improved physical performance
- Decreased levels of depression
- A feeling of well-being
- Replenished muscle glycogen
- Helps ward off Alzheimer’s
- Increased stamina
- Reduced kidney stone formation
- Helps prevent weight gain
Excessive consumption/overdose can lead to caffeine toxicity which can cause:
- Heart palpitations
- Becoming delirious (to be confused, have hallucinations or be very excited)
- Pregnancy loss
- Can worsen cardiovascular disorders
ALCOHOL AND ENERGY DRINKS (AEDS)
Alcohol is a depressant drug that slows down the brain and nervous system. Mixing alcohol with any other drug can be risky, but mixing energy drinks with excessive amounts of alcohol can place your body under even more stress. As you consume more alcohol and become intoxicated, you may lose track of the number of drinks you've had, which can further increase the risk of caffeine toxicity.
Here at REIZE we recommend being sensible and conservative when using REIZE as an alcohol mixer. Always stick to the recommended maximum of 2 sachets per day.
In an article released by the NSW government, they reported that the primary self-reported side-effects associated with drinking alcohol mixed with energy drinks include:
The main benefits of AEDs, as reported by consumers, are:
ARE THEY SAFE FOR CHILDREN?
Energy drink manufacturers and distributors currently operate with no restrictions applied to access, availability and marketing their products to children.
Although these beverages typically contain around the same amount of caffeine as an instant coffee, and sometimes less, caffeine is not an ingredient that is advised for children. Young people have a lower caffeine tolerance and are therefore more vulnerable to the negative effects of caffeine. It is up to individual companies to self-regulate and decide whether they want to promote their drink to children, and of course, different companies take a more responsible approach in this regard than others.
Energy drinks in Australia are tightly regulated and must comply with the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. The amount of caffeine they can contain is strictly regulated by the Australian Government at no more than 80mg of caffeine per 250ml, or the same as a 250ml cup of instant coffee. This means the majority of these drinks contain the same, or lower levels of caffeine as a cup of instant coffee, and less than half the levels found in a standard espresso. For example, a standard 250ml can has 80mg of caffeine, and a standard cappuccino contains an average of 160mg of caffeine.
The Food Standards Code regulates what ingredients can be added to the product, how much caffeine can be included, in addition to what advisory statements need to go on the label, such as the daily maximum amount, not being suitable for children, pregnant and lactating women and those sensitive to caffeine.
As already mentioned, energy drinks are often attributed with dangerous outcomes at times unjustly. In regards to negative press, it must be said that it is mostly scare-mongering without just cause and research. In November 2012 the FDA said it had received a total of 60 “adverse event” reports related to Monster and Rockstar drinks (two of the leading brands) since 2004—an average of six or seven a year. By comparison, the FDA receives thousands of such reports about aspirin each year and hundreds about coffee. Few care about coffee related caffeine overdoses, which are much more common, but an energy drink overdose can make the headlines.
To date, corporate beverage marketing has largely focused on a young male demographic. In addition to extreme sports, scantily clad young women have been used to successfully target and attract this audience.
THE ROLE OF SPORT
What has happened with energy drinks and the sports industry was something which marketers could not have foreseen. As these beverages grew more and more popular, sports advertising and content marketing have taken on a life of its own, to the point where the content Red Bull produces generates massive revenue in its own right.
Red Bull and similar corporate brands have a diverse cache of sponsored athletes and also run their own events which provide them with more control over advertising and produce revenue in their own right.
THE FUTURE OF ENERGY DRINKS
This industry is still relatively new, constantly adapting to the current market. The market is forecast to continue growing strongly over the next 5-10 years, which is partly attributed to a greater understanding of the benefits and safety of these drinks, increased research, growing consumer awareness, and the debunking of scare-mongering reports.
GREATER TRANSPARENCY, SMARTER CONSUMERS
Beverage companies are increasingly displaying their ingredients clearly on their packaging. Furthermore, many countries already have or are in the process of passing legislation to ensure that companies include all ingredients and nutritional information on any packaging; as well as including a recommended dose. This is already the law in Australia.
There is a growing demand for healthier ingredients and the introduction of natural ingredients in most consumable products, and certainly in the food and beverage markets. This is already manifesting itself with the growing popularity of sugar free energy drinks as discerning consumers try to limit their intake of refined sugar.
MORE MATURE MARKETING
Marketing in the past has been focused on extreme sports, the sexualisation of women and sporting events generally targeting youths. However, the client base has expanded and so the marketing concepts need to expand also. There is still a social stigma to consuming energy drinks that could be addressed by a more inclusive approach to branding and marketing.
From branding to styles of energy drinks, the industry is starting to offer more variety. “Innovations in energy drinks have a direct impact on the consumption pattern of consumers, as consumers are seeking new, efficient drinks which are more suitable to their needs and lifestyles,” said Faisal Ghaus, vice president of Technavio. The future of these stimulating beverages may include an increase in different products, including canned/ bottled options, energy shots, and powdered energy drink mixes such as REIZE. Each of these is attractive to consumers in unique ways.
OUR VISION (A REVOLUTION)
At REIZE, we believe that energy drinks are ready for a revolution. The customer base is maturing, now it is time for the industry to follow suit. Below are the 8 ways that REIZE aims to revolutionize the industry.
VERSATILITY AND CHOICE
Mix your energy drink just the way you like it. The ability to choose the strength and the method of mixing. Cold and Smooth (with water), cold and fizzy (with sparkling water or lemonade), brewed hot (with boiling water) or energise juices, cocktails and other fizzy drinks. Wondering how to make an energy drink? With REIZE, any way you want.
Caffeine is an ingrained part of life in Western countries, but there is a social stigma for people that prefer to get their caffeine from energy drinks. We think this is wrong and we aim to change this with our unique product and the content that we produce. In the future, when you’re at a business meeting or out with friends, no one would bat an eyelid at somebody ordering a REIZE energy drink, which would be made to the customer's preference and served in a nice glass or mug. Sophisticated people never drink from an aluminium can.
We can’t promise that we’ll always stick to this one, we do love to be a bit silly at times, but we aim to create an inclusive brand that appeals to men and women of all ages, and NEVER excludes any minority group. We know that energy drinks aren’t just for 18-year-old males, it’s time for the industry to grow up.
Nobody ever hears from the owners of energy drink companies, they all keep so private. What do they have to hide? Here at REIZE we want to get to know our customers, and we are enthusiastic about drinks, so you will be seeing a lot of the owners of REIZE - Marty and Steve.
We don’t think energy drinks should be so expensive, so we aim to deliver them at a lower price than all of the competition.
While there are other sugar free energy drinks, we aim to make them more popular than the sugar filled variety. Too much sugar has been shown as very detrimental to your health, so we offer a sugar free energy drink that is so delicious that you won’t even miss sugar.
LIGHTWEIGHT & PORTABLE
An energy drink that you can carry with you anywhere you go.
FREE HOME DELIVERY
Other products are home delivered.Why not energy drinks? We are all so busy in the modern world, we aim to make home delivered energy drinks the norm.
WHAT REIZE IS:
REIZE is Australia’s and New Zealand’s first powdered energy drink. It is a functional beverage designed to boost energy levels, in powdered form. An on-the-go convenient energy mix that is set to change the way people get their energy drink fix.
REIZE is convenient, portable, versatile, sugar-free, lightweight and less than half the price of the popular “ready to drink” energy drink beverages. REIZE comes in convenient 4g sachets that mix with water, soda water, soda, juice, or even with your favourite alcoholic beverages for those night time pick-me-ups. It is sugar free, contains caffeine, taurine, ginseng and a mix of B-vitamins. REIZE is a pocketful of energy. REIZE is the face of an energy drink revolution down under.
Offering free home delivery since 2014, REIZE made history in 2016 by becoming the world’s first energy drink members club, with monthly delivery of your preferred number of energy drinks, ready to drink fresh when you want them.
REIZE is revolutionary, not only because of the product itself, but because of the way we deliver it to your home, the price we deliver it for and the great customer service and effort that goes into making sure that every customer has a great experience. Our customers appreciate the extra effort.
REIZE started with two mates from Australia (Marty and Steve) who decided they wanted to change energy drinks for the better. They scoured the globe for the best ingredients, and the right formulation and created a product that improved on everything that was wrong with energy drinks. They then figured out how to home deliver them at the best possible price and REIZE was born – a fantastic product and lifestyle alternative. Australian owned and ready to take on the corporate players.