V Energy Drink Ingredients and Facts
We all know the iconic green can. Whether you've mixed it with vodka on a night out or if it's been your go to pick me up, V Energy Drink is the choice of the masses in the Australian energy drink market. Just how big you ask? According to this account released by The Financial Review late last year, the green machine takes a whooping 32.9 per cent market share of the $1.2 billion energy drink market in Australia. Yep, that's right folks. 1.2 billion dollarydoos. Giving V Energy just over a jaw dropping $460 million in sales. I'll just give you a minute to process that shall I? To put that in perspective, Red Bull comes in well behind in second place with a 29.1 per cent market share.
So what's in the magic juice raking in the big bucks? What puts V Energy Drink ahead of every other energy drink? And, is it any good for us?
GUARANA VS TAURINE
You might have heard these words getting thrown around by the energy drink market, but do you know what they actually are? Guarana is V Energy Drink's main addition and point of difference to runner up energy drink, Red Bull. Red Bull only uses Taurine as their main active ingredient (which by the way is NOT bull sperm - more on this below).
First of all I'll let you process what guarana actually looks like. Right?! What. The. Hell. Who would've known that you've been consuming mashed eyeball looking things. Ok, but seriously...how creepy looking is this fruit?!
Yes, guarana is a fruit. More specifically, guarana is a dried paste made from the crushed seeds of P. cupana or P. sorbilis, a plant native to regions of the Amazon. The plant produces orange and yellow fruits that contain up to 3 seeds each. These seeds are where guarana is extracted from in the form of syrups, extracts, and distillates, which are then used as flavourings for energy drinks.
The exotic fruit contains caffeine, which is a stimulant. Coffee beans, for example, only contain about 1-2% caffeine as opposed to the dried leaves of guarana which contain 1-4% caffeine.
Caffeine in Guarana
Caffeine works by stimulating the central nervous system (CNS), heart, and muscles. It works on the body in similar ways to the hormone Adrenalin. Once we consume caffeine our breathing and heart rate increase, meaning we experience a short burst of physical energy. This can lead to the feeling of being more awake and can sometimes suppress hunger.
Traditionally guarana has played an important role around the world in various regions for various purposes. The Amazonian Indians would often consume guarana during periods of fasting in order to curb their hunger. In 1880 it was introduced as an official drug in the US. In the 19th century, guarana became popular as a stimulating drink (the earliest form of the energy drink) in France. Brazilian Indians use guarana in this same way, as a stimulating drink, often consumed hot like tea or coffee.
Taurine is a type of amino acid that is a required building block of protein. It is found in foods, such as meat fish and dairy, and is also found in large amounts in our brain, retina, heart and blood. And no, contrary to popular belief, it is not derived from bull sperm.
The rumour of bull sperm may come from the fact that the word Latin word 'taurine' which means ox or bull. So rest assured - no additional extras are included in your energy drink!
There are many health benefits associated with taurine, such as being a good aid in helping keep the heart healthy. Taurine also works as an antioxidant, which works to protect our body from damage caused by harmful molecules. The amino acid also helps stimulate muscles which offers a potential of better performance for athletes. Some studies suggest that taurine combined with caffeine improves mental performance, although this has been debated by health professionals.
Vitamins fall into two categories: fat soluble and water soluble. Fat-soluble vitamins include A, D, E, and K - they dissolve in fat and can be stored in your body. Water-soluble vitamins including C and B-complex vitamins need to dissolve in water before your body can absorb them. Because of this, your body can't store these vitamins and whatever is not used is passed through your system. Water soluble vitamins need to be replenished on a daily basis.
The B-group vitamins consist of eight water soluble vitamins essential for various metabolic processes. B vitamins are essential aids in converting nutrients such as carbohydrates, fat and protein into fuel for our bodies. Without them our body lacks energy. The good news is that we're generally able to consume these essential vitamins on a daily basis through the consumption of leafy greens and other foods like beans and pears...as well as energy drinks!
V Energy Drink contains Niacin (B3), Pantothenic Acid (B4) Riboflavin (B2) and vitamin B6.
B2 - Also knows as Riboflavin, vitamin B2 helps release energy from foods and convert it into energy.
B3 - Also knows as Niacin, vitamin B3 is crucial in metabolising foods and producing energy. It can also lower cardiovascular risks.
B4 - Also knows as Choline or Pantothenic Acid, vitamin B4 possesses properties that prevent the excessive accumulation of fat in the liver.
B6 - Is necessary for proper brain development and function. It also produces the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, which can improve your mood.
JUST HOW MUCH SUGAR IS IN A V ENERGY DRINK?
Now, let's talk about the not so good part of V Energy Drink...sugar. Although B vitamins and guarana are great supplements to be consuming when it comes to boosting our energy levels, there is a bit of a kicker in consuming the classic, green-canned V Energy Drink. The sugar content is way high at 29% of the recommended daily intake and, the company itself, does not recommend consumption of it for diabetics.
What are the benefits of added sugar? Nada. Zilch. Nothing. Don't get it twisted, naturally occurring sugars found in fruit, vegetables and milk ARE good for you. It's the added sugar that's really not good for you at all (other than the deliciousness that comes with it).
Sugar contains no essential nutrients and it's bad for you teeth (cliché, but true). Added sugar is high in Fructose, which can overload your liver and can cause fatty liver disease. Increased consumption of sugar can make you insulin resistant which can lead to the dreaded D word. Diabetes.
Look, the list goes on, and on...and on. We all know the common side effects of sugar; it's addictive, it's no good for your waistline and, most relevant to energy drinks, it comes with that dreaded sugar crash. Basically it gives us that sweet taste that we all love, but do we really want that at the expensive of all those negative side effects?
Good news? The company behind the V Energy Drink, Frucor, came up with a sugar-free version of the drink, as well as many other variations, like the new V Pure Energy Drink marketed to more of a female based market. Good move, V Energy. Good move.
The fact that guarana contains more caffeine than coffee should be enough alone to satisfy our caffeine consumption. But no. We get a bunch more. In fact, V Energy Drink caffeine levels are off the charts where we get an additional 78 mg of caffeine per can. Sound like a lot? That's because it is. It's why the V Energy Drink carries around a warning label stipulating the recommended maximum consumption of 2 cans per day. It also advertises warnings against consumption for pregnant women, athletes and children.
There is potential to consume a lot of caffeine through V Energy Drinks, but as long as you're following guidelines you'll be able to reap the benefits without the dangers. Remember, when in doubt it doesn't hurt to consult your doctor!
THE WRAP UP
The verdict? The energy drink company itself only recommends a maximum of two cans per day due to the high caffeine levels, but if you can stick to that limit it sure as hell kicks a punch and gives you the burst of energy to go that extra mile. And in the process you get some great sources of B vitamins. There's little reason it's Australia and NZ's go to energy drink and we here at REIZE love a V! Tell you what else we love....REIZE energy drinks (wink wink).
Seriously though. Other than the multitude of practical benefits that comes with it; it comes in powder form (think of the versatility), it's got a tonne load of healthy boost enhancing supplements (caffeine, ginseng, taurine, inositol, B vitamins). Plus it's sugar free, meaning no nasty crash. And I'll just sprinkle in the fact that it's GREAT value for money...think of what you could do with all those extra dollar bills.
That's it. I promise I'm done.
Written by Nina Prica