05 June 2008

What's All the Fizz About?

It used to be that we were trying to keep the soda consumption in our home down. Way down. In fact we go for months at a time without buying any of the 2 liter bottles - but we don't make an issue about it if the kids want soda when we eat out. The girls are often choosing to drink lemonade and tea when we eat out. But recently there is a new enemy - the energy drink. I am personally really sensitive to caffeine - it doesn't make me hyper - but it causes rapid heartbeat, so I've never had more than a sip of the stuff.
We've even noticed that among our very health conscious friends, the same people who turn down sweets and junk food turn to these drinks and I am wondering if they realize the contradiction. My husband has forbidden our kids to drink them because of the effects they have had on him, and with good reason according to this article. All things in moderation - right? Maybe not.
I have wondered about the possible contradiction since we love to drink coffee. An 8 oz. cup of coffee has on average about 85 mg. of caffeine while the caffeine in 8 oz. of an energy drink varies from 50-145. Mountain Dew which was the taboo-rebel drink of my teen years compares with only 37 mg. of caffeine! But here's the kick - many of the energy drinks have 3-4 times that 8 oz. serving. (To be fair - the average coffee mug is at least double that as well!)
Some other ingredients in energy drinks:
  • Taurine - which appears to play an important role in muscle contraction especially in the heart and the nervous system. A German double-blind study on this showed that the volume of blood ejected with each beat of the heart was increased in drinks containing this ingredient.
  • Guarana - is a tropical berry that grows in the Amazon and is an additional stimulant like caffeine but not - and provides a unique flavor
  • L Carnitine - is an amino acid usually created by your liver and kidneys that increases your metabolism and energy levels. It is also known to stimulate heart rate.
There are other things that energy drinks contain that seem to support health, such as Ginseng, Gingko Biloba, Vitamin B and antioxidants (I'll stick with my blueberries thanks!), but it seems hard to justify the bad with the good. I read about a dozen articles and it seems that the jury is still out on the immediate or long-term effects on mixing all of these things together. Another interesting practice is mixing the energy drinks with alcohol to inhibit the depressant effects, enabling users to consume more alcohol without feeling it. We can all see the dangers of this.
My son is 10 and one of the most exciting things in his life is the thought of an energy drink. He drinks them at his friends' houses, parties, etc. - but dad said no more. My husband doesn't put his foot down about much, but this would be like giving a razor knife to a baby in his book.
Bye bye Red Bull. So long So Be. Vamoose Vault. Move-along Monster.

What are your thoughts?


  1. Thoughts?
    I don't care for them, dh drinks them on occasion. I would never mix it with my alcohol, sheesh.
    No help from me...
    I'll stick to coffee and tea.

  2. Well, we are really boring around here. The kids and I drink water only around the house, saving pop and punch for parties. Because I breastfed my kids till they were over a year and a half, water was the only other liquid I offered them, and it just is a habit now. It eliminates a lot of sugar right there, and saves on the cost of juice. Hubby drinks coke occasionally. I am not a fan of energy drinks, especially not for my kids. I like black tea, but am now only drinking it in the morning to try to sleep better at night. There are my thoughts.

  3. These things are disgusting. I've taken a sip of one just to see what they tasted like - and YUCK! No thanks.

  4. Have you tried the organic ones? I'm not sure of all the ingredients but I do know that green tea is the basis and Jason says they taste better than Red Bull.
    But what do I know?

  5. Do you really want my thoughts? Hee Hee. Forbidden things are a magnet. Backfiring is what happens when something becomes forbidden.

    That said, I don't like them. I'll stick to my Starbucks, thank you. Carly will take a sip every so often. Stacy and Nick will have some---maybe one a month or one every two months.

    Soda is a staple---we have tons of company, as you know. But my family chooses tea or lemonade as their daily drink. I should own stock in some lemon farm.

  6. I don't think mel and I have ever had an energy drink. I wouldn't let him even if he asked. I don't think they're good for us at all. We drink water all day, but Mel really likes soda. I'm trying to cut that down cause once he becomes a teen, I don't want him hooked on them because of his skin, ya know? He's gonna hate the acne!

  7. My 16yo and his friends all like Monster. I can't even stand the smell of it. It really makes me feel sick to my stomach, so I won't ever try it. Being really sensitive to caffeine, I am afraid to try any of the other ones. I don't like the feeling of a racing heart unless I've just exercised. ;P

    I agree with Tina H. Forbidden things are very tempting, so we discussed how these drinks can affect your body with our kids and our 16yo drinks them alot less now. Our 8yo would still drink them as much as we offer them. So we don't offer. ;)


Awaiting your words......
♥ Juls ♥