On Energy Drinks

My friends and I were just comped two cans of an energy drink called Xs . It apparently has no calories or sugar (though it does have artificial sweetners) and the guy who comped us said it had no caffeine, but the ingredients list had it listed. We’d never had an energy drink before. It was an interesting experience. I have a few questions, though.

a) What is L-Taurine and L-Glutamine? I looked 'em up online, they look like amino acids or something. Why is it in a drink?

b)Why do they use so much vitamin B(s)? It has almost 5000% of the DRV of vitamin B12. It also has very high (in the hundred%s) in three other vitamin Bs. The guy who comped us said something about it triggering the body’s energy deposits instead of using carbs for energy.

So, how do these things work? Will I be able to sleep tonight? Am I going to grow another limb?

As they say, it ain’t no thang. I drive a truck in the summertime, and pop those to stay awake at night while I’m driving. I’ve had as many as seven Red Bulls in a single night. Just gives you the shakes, and a racing heart. Not the best for your health, you know. But it gets the job done.

Aha, found their website

I forgot it also had some crazy herbs or something. I’d still like some 'splaining.

Wrong link. I’m crazy sorry. Here

If it doesn’t have any calories, it’s not a literal “energy drink,” because it’s not giving you any. Now, if they were to call it a “make-you-shake-like-a-paint-mixer drink”, they may be closer to the truth.

As I said earlier, their rep said that it “unleashes the energy stored in your body”. A pound of Vitamin B12 had something to do with it.

Funny how humanity didn’t need a soft drink for that for the last several hundred thousand years…

If you want to release the energy in your body, it’s very simple and doesn’t involve buying ANYTHING. You just move.

Energy drinks are the snake oil of today.

I can’t get your links to work, but what you have there is your basic can of snake oil. The caffeine and perhaps some of the herbs may make you feel hyper, but not much else is goin on. You may be getting some sodium or some kind of electrolyte which might help you out if your body is severely depleted (like near death) of either. It will probably have a diuretic effect and make you need to pee which may actually dehydrate you.

Beyond that it is total bullshit.

Your basic energy drinks come in two varieties. The first variety is a tonic for a driver or a student who is studying and who wants to stay awake. These types of drinks typically make unsupportable claims about other effects and ways that they help you, but they’re not worth much more than a cup of coffee, if that.

The second variety is your sports type energy drink. Typically this will contain a large amount of fluid for hydration, a large amount of glucose (which is the actual energy,) some sodium and electrolytes to replace what you lose with sweat, and some caffeine to make you feel hyper. Some of these may contain various other chemicals, acids, and proteins to make you think they are helping you out, and maybe they do.

Personally, if you are looking for an energy drink that works, you can save a lot of money by mixing equal parts of water and orange juice in a blender with a banana.

Then explain these giant friggen wings that popped out of my back!

The amino acids you mentioned are common in energy drinks, but I don’t know if there’s evidence they do anything to make you “energetic”. There certainly isn’t as far as I’ve ever read. I think they’re just there for label decoration.

The vitamin B is probably present because there is a common belief that vitamin B prevents hangover (and most people seem to use the “energy” they get out of these foul liquids in order to party harder and longer.) I don’t think this is true, based on my understanding of the chemistry involved, but I’m hardly competent to make any claims on the subject.

The energy it seems to provide (and if it has no calories, as mentioned, it doesn’t contain any useful energy for the body. But people have plenty of energy in their diets anyway.) is actually the result of a stimulant drug that most Americans are addicted to. The caffeine is the basis of any energy drink’s effects - sometimes sourced from the trendy South American herb guarana, but the plant it originates in doesn’t make a difference as to its effects. I don’t understand why people fall for this; just read the label and you’ll see why it makes you energetic, at least if you down several. Every energy drink I’ve tasted is disgusting and overly sweetened, but if this one’s artificially sweetened, it may not have the same syrupiness.

There’s no magic to it.

Well, I’ve never even heard of L-Taurine as an amino acid before, but L-Glutamine is pretty common and just has a side-chain that looks like this:


Nothing magic there. Several B-vitamins are involved in various metabolic pathways that might prove helpful if you had a defeciency, but 5,000% RDA probably won’t do anything except for possibly be mildly toxic.

The actual effective ingredients here are basically just the caffeine and guanine which are naturally occuring stimulants, but they have the same side-effects and crashes as caffeine.

On that note, I’ve been drinking this stuff for months and [blehbedyblah] I haven’t noticed [head twitch] any ill effects.

Oh yes, and one more thing. I wanted to recommend that you try Accelerade if you’re looking for an “exercise drink” that works pretty well. They’ve just added about 1/4 of their calories in the form of protein that I find really helps my endurance and recovery, but it’s nothing magic at all. If you can, eating little bites of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with a swig of water while you work out will do the same thing.

Zero-calorie energy drinks. :rolleyes:

I believe I have ranted about these in the past.

The taurine ingredient is appropriate, as the makers’ claims are full o’ bull.

Do you find yourself saying “Coo” or “Caw” a lot? Have you developed a craving for sunflower seeds? Do you wanna cracker?

I DO have a fondness for saltine crackers (the ones with a bunch of salt). But that addiction predates my use of energy drinks.

Just out of curiousity, did the guy who comped you these drinks want to talk to you about an exciting home based business opportunity?

The reason I ask is I kinda got suckered by these guys working for www.quixtar.com a few months back (which, to my knowledge, is the only place you can get these drinks). It’s a multi-level marketing scheme. If you like the drinks, by all means buy them. But be careful if they invite you to any “business meetings”.

Thanks guys. I’d never pay for this stuff anyway.

Lord Ashtar , this guy never mentioned anything about that. I was with four friends at a coffeeshop, and this guy seemed to have some kind of meeting (he was a sales rep for the drink). He saw five teens and prospective addicts so he gave us drinks.

He offered his business card but we declined.

In addition to being an amino acid, glutamine is a neurotransmitter, and has been hyped to aid muscle contractions. The B vitamins are necessary to use fuel for exercise. Many runners are “into” both glutamine and the B vitamins. People are always searching for those missing nutritional elements that will finally allow them to run faster on less training.

In point of fact, however, one should never take a vitamin B complex tablet immediately before exercise, particularly those containing nicotinic acid. When present in high concentrations in the blood, nicotinic acid prevents the mobilization of free fatty acids and thusly will impair endurance performance by increasing the rate of muscle glycogen utilization during exercise.

Accelerade is made by the same guy (forgot his name) who makes Endurox-4, which was his initial entry into energy drinks. Endurox 4 contains protein and carbs in a 1:4 ratio, which he claims is optimal for recovery after exercise, and has furnished numerous studies backing up his claim. Accelerade is a modification, to be used during exercise, in the same category as Gatorade, Powerade, etc., except (I believe) that it contains some amino acids too.

Yeah, the Accelerade and Endurox are almost identical in my estimation and personal experience, but the Accelerade is cheaper and significantly better tasting, IMHO. The whole taste of liquid protein takes quite some getting used to at first, but now I really like the taste when I’m exercising. I still have to force it down when I’m not.