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Energy Drinks and Biological Energy Creation

Energy drinks are one of the most the most popular beverages among adolescents today because of the perception that they improved energy levels and helped adolescents to maintain their busy and active lifestyles. However, majority of energy drink consumers were usually influenced by the advertising strategies of energy drink producers since there was very little scientific information available to inform consumers about the veracity of these products’ claims. This is unfortunate as not every energy drink in the market can live up to its claim of providing an energy boost to energy drinkers.

Indeed, there is reason to believe that despite the attractive packaging of the energy drink as a healthy alternative to softdrinks because of their supposed nutrients and healthy ingredients, some energy drinks cannot really live up to consumer expectations of providing energy and contributing to human health due to the absence of key ingredients necessary for energy creation and metabolism. Thus, consumers have to be aware of the usefulness of the energy drink ingredients in the body in order to be able to choose which beverage would be right for their lifestyle and health needs.

In the human body, energy is created mainly by breaking down the food eaten into a simple carbohydrate molecule called glucose that can be utilized by the body for the formation of Adenosine Tri-Phospate (ATP). Glucose, which is a simple sugar, is taken down to the cells where it is then broken down into ADP through a series of steps to release energy (Biology Online, undated). This is done by the action of glands-secreted enzymes in the process of cell respiration, which is divided into three processes: glycolysis, the kreb’s cycle, and the cytochrome system.

The ability of most energy drinks such as Red Bull, Sobe Adrenaline Rush, and Impulse to provide an additional boost of energy to consumers depends on the carbohydrate or sugar content of the product and the vitamin supplements which supposedly enhances the metabolism of carbohydrates to provide energy. Unsurprisingly, most energy drinks, with the exception of XS Citrus Blast, list ingredients such as sucrose and fructose as energy sources of their product.

Some products also contained citric acid, folic acid, and B-vitamins such as inositol, niacin, niacinamide, cyanocobalamin, pyridoxine HCL, and pantothenic acid wich have important roles in metabolism and in the conversion of glucose to ATP (Heidemann & Urquhart 2005, p. 4). Likewise, B-vitamins and amino acids have important functions in bodily repair such as the maintenance of the nervous system and the synthesis of proteins which is essential to the regeneration of blood cells and muscle tissues.

Hence, some ingredients of energy drinks can actually help people whose physically active lifestyles require additional sources of energy and vitamins to restore the body’s supply of glucose and to facilitate the repair of exhausted cells and tissues. In contrast, “energy” drinks such as XS Citrus Blast that claim to have no sugar content will have considerably lesser benefits for the physically active and energy-drained consumer since they lack the necessary carbohydrates needed for energy creation.

Hence, some “energy” drinks rely on the effects of large doses of stimulants such as caffeine, ginseng, and guarana to provide the perception of an “energy” boost to consumers. In reality, the “energy” experienced by zero-sugar energy drink consumers is simply the stimulant action of caffeine and similar ingredients. Guarana, for instance, is also rich in caffeine but has a relatively longer effect due to the action of saponins and tannins (Babu, et. al. 2008, p. 36). In the same manner, ginseng is an herb believed to improve memory retention and stamina (Ibid), which could also account for the improvement in response and longer “energy rush.

” Consequently, energy drinks could be used in different ways by consumers because of their differing ingredients. For instance, sugarless “energy” drinks, which are driven by their coffee content, can be used by consumers who simply want to get an “energy” or mental rush instead of the energy produced by the body’s metabolism. In this sense, XS Citrus Blast can be more appropriate to people who only want the kick or upping effects of caffeine due to lethargic feelings caused by lack of sleep.

However, this effect may be more limited in terms of helping the body recuperate from the damage of stressful lifestyles, which is better addressed by proper rest. Likewise, caffeine consumption may do more harm than good since its stimulant function can impede with the body’s need for rest. Meanwhile, people with physically demanding lifestyles would need an energy drink that has adequate carbohydrate sources for replacing energy burned by the body through physical activities.

Hence, Red Bull, Sobe Adrenaline Rush, and Impulse is fitted for people who need the energy for their physically active lifestyles which is necessarily the invigorating effect of the replacement of lost energy in the body. On the other hand, the energy-giving benefits of energy drinks must not be mistaken with the “sugar rush” afforded by caffeine and sugar-based beverages such as Coca Cola. Although Coca Cola has the carbohydrate resource needed for energy creation, it lacks other ingredients such as vitamins and amino acids to facilitate the body’s efficient utilization of sugar for energy formation.

Consequently, consumers who drink Coca Cola experience but a short burst of energy but this is not sustained since the beverage does not contribute to the replenishment of cell nutrients. Thus, apart from sugarless energy drinks, most energy drinks in the market appear to be able to hold their claim of energy provision. This is because majority of the energy drink products contain sugar and other forms of carbohydrate as potential energy sources.

Likewise, the B-vitamin and amino acid component of energy drinks support the body’s respiration process by providing it with the necessary nutrients for the creation of enzymes and protein-replication.

Resources:

Babu, K. , Church, R. , & W. Lewander (2008). Energy drinks: the new eye opener for adolescents. Clinical Pediatric Emergency Medicine, 9: 35-42. Biology Online (undated). Biological energy- ADP & ATP. Retrieved October 22, 2008 from <http://www. biology-online. org/1/2_ATP. htm> Heidemann, M. & G. Urquhart. A can of bull? Do energy drinks really provide a source of energy?

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