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The Energy-Sport Drink Scam

Updated on January 3, 2013

Okay, I know several gullible people who swear on the effects of energy drinks, like Monster, Red Bull and others. They and others have spent over $10 billion on these snake oil drinks that, like in the 1800's, advertise the wondrous impact of their powers propelled with "secret" proprietary formulas that they vaguely list.

There certainly must be a lot of idiots out there wasting their money because there have been many studies on the drinks and not one backs up the claim that the manufacturer makes. The common ingredient in all is caffeine. However, spending $1.50 to $2.50 for drink is never cost effective to get the buzz from caffeine. A 16-ounce energy drink that sells for $2.99 a can contains about the same amount of caffeine as a tablet of NoDoz that costs 30 cents. A Starbucks 12-ounce cup costs $1.85 has even more caffeine.

If you need the jolt, go to Walmart and but for about $1.50 a pack of 10 energy boost powder pouches to add to your water. It contains 60 mg of caffeine. About the same as an average mug of coffee you brew in your coffee maker. Pepsi Max will also provide you with 85 mg of caffeine and is cheaper and more than energy drinks.

What about Taurine?

Taurine, an amino acidlike substance found in the bile of bulls, does play a role in bodily functions, but the claims from the sport drinks are simply snake oil claims. None are true. Some drinks contain 20 times the recommended level of vitamin B6, or B12. What the body does not use is excreted and wasted. In WW2, Japan used taurine by the Japanese Imperial Navy to reduce fatigue among sailors and sharpen their vision at night.

It was found that the studies that supported the drinks were biased and a true independent studies indicate other than caffeine and sugar, and their impact, the drinks are a placebo to those who believe they have more energy.

Hey, save your money.


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