Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Buzz on Energy Drinks: Do You Know What’s in Yours?

BeeAlive’s mission is to help others look and feel their best. We often hear from moms chasing after their kids, retired people who seek to continue active lifestyles and students involved in numerous activities. Regardless of age, the concern is the same: customers call us looking for a way to increase their energy levels. As BeeAlive’s President Jason Balletta always says, “Who doesn’t need energy?” That is why we at BeeAlive are committed to providing you natural and healthy energy; the way nature intends.

Working at BeeAlive, we are intimately familiar with customers’ complaints of the “mid-afternoon energy slump.” It might be tempting to turn to caffeine or sugar in hopes of a quick energy boost, but we are here to educate you on healthier options that can help you remain awake and productive. In this edition of eBuzz!, not only will we offer you a way to boost your energy naturally, but we will let you in on some facts we have learned along the way.

Americans have been inundated by countless energy sources since 1997. Energy drinks, energy shots, caffeine pills and similar products dominate prime display on shelves and in coolers at supermarkets, gas stations and drug stores. Unable to ignore the heavy placement and advertising, consumers currently spend over $9 billion dollars per year on energy products.

But do we really know what’s in these energy products? Do we really know what we are buying? Are these products safe?

Before you reach for what may seem like “magic in a bottle,” you need the facts. Precise formulas vary, but we’ve collected some common ingredients that could potentially cause many health risks.

What is Taurine?
Taurine is an organic acid. This organic acid is essential for cardiovascular function, development, function of skeletal muscle, the retina and the central nervous system. Taurine was first discovered in the bile of bulls.

Where is it found?
In the human body, Taurine is a major constituent of bile and accounts for approximately 0.1% of total human body weight. It can be found in the large intestine. In foods, Taurine can be found naturally, especially in meat and seafood. Taurine can also be synthetically made and has been used commercially in pet foods and pharmaceutical applications for years.

What is recommended daily value of Taurine?
Daily dose of Taurine can range from 500-1,000 milligrams and most sources state that this can be achieved through a well-balanced diet. Popular energy drinks contain up to 1,000 milligrams of Taurine, approximately 100% of your daily value. Studies and research are uncertain of the effect of excess levels of Taurine on the brain and central nervous system.

Beverages that promise to keep you energized and alert are everywhere. However, some labels do not clearly specify how much caffeine is contained in these energy jolts. Some caffeine levels can range from six milligrams to 242 milligrams and some containers contain more than one serving. By comparison, one cup of coffee has 100 milligrams while a fine roast 16-ounce coffee can have 330 milligrams. Believe it or not, some energy drinks do not list their caffeine content at all. There is no legal or business requirement for some companies to do so. Some drinks contain a proprietary blend, amino acids, carbohydrates and/or guarana. Caffeine can provide a quick boost of energy, probably make you more alert and perhaps even help you feel “good.” However, excess caffeine can also make you jittery, may cause irregular heart rhythms, may prevent a night of restful sleep and may raise your blood pressure. The safety limits of caffeine are currently being studied, but data shows that healthy adults can safely consume about 400 milligrams a day, pregnant woman about 200 milligrams a day and children 45 to 80 milligrams a day, depending on weight. Most energy drinks are safe, but you must note the serving sizes and caffeine added to the product.

What is Guarana?
Guarana is derived from the seeds of a South American tree, native to Venezuela and northern Brazil in the Amazon rain forest. Because it is high in caffeine, guarana has become a popular energy supplement. In fact, Guarana has among the highest concentrations of caffeine in any plant. It may contain up to 3.6% to 5.8% caffeine by weight. Coffee only has up to 2%. Therefore, side effects and precautions for Guarana are considered to be generally the same as for caffeine. Besides the guarana seed itself, there are no natural food sources of guarana. It has become a common additive to some foods and drinks. Although there is no standard dosage of guarana, the University of Salisbury Nursing Department has recommended that the daily serving of guarana should not exceed 3 grams.

Where are energy drinks endorsed and glamorized?
  • Extreme sports professionals (skate boarders, snowboarders, dirt bike racers, etc.)
  • Major league soccer teams
  • Celebrity endorsements
  • Video Game sponsorship
  • Misleading commercials
  • “Physician” endorsements
  • Major sporting events (the Super Bowl, X games, car racing, etc.)
Fast. Potent. NO CAFFEINE.

In November, BeeAlive’s President Jason Balletta expressed his outrage of false claims made by the energy drink industry and the potential dangers their products pose for consumers in a PR Newswire article. We stand by Jason’s views and want you to know that at BeeAlive, we take pride in the products we offer you because, quite frankly, we use them, too! When we need an extra energy boost, we reach for our own Energy SERJ. The powerful benefits of Energy SERJ come from the potent 500 milligrams of our BeeAlive Royal Jelly. Royal Jelly is a natural substance from the bee hive that has been used for many years by people throughout the world for increased energy, vitality and stamina. Royal Jelly is the exclusive food of the Queen Bee and is composed of trace amounts of many wonderful nutrients and nutritious, biologically-active compounds. Most importantly, our Royal Jelly is fresh and never freeze-dried; just the way it is found in nature!

Energy SERJ also contains two important herbs, Eleuthero and Schisandra. These herbs are used for their invigoration, stamina and adaptogenic benefits. Adaptogens are known to increase the body’s resistance to physical, biological, emotional and environmental stress. Another ingredient is pure grape concentrate, which provides powerful antioxidants.

BeeAlive’s Energy SERJ contains NO CAFFEINE or other stimulant and “crash” herbs like many other energy products on the market. Additionally, Energy SERJ has been deemed acceptable for use by professional and amateur competitive athletes. No ingredients in Energy SERJ, including the herbs Eleuthero and Schisandra, are found on the World Anti-Doping Code’s Prohibited List of banned substances. What does that mean? The United States Anti-Doping Agency is an organization that has control of the anti-doping programs for U.S. Olympic, Paralympic, Pan-American and Para Pan American sport; not to mention many city workers must abide by the Anti-Doping list. This list is updated every year to include stimulant herbs, ingredients and drugs that have been banned. If one is caught using any of these banned substances, that individual can be disqualified from a sport or suffer company reprimand (case in point, Lance Armstrong).

Last year, BeeAlive was fortunate enough to attend the Natural Products Expo in California and Baltimore. This trade show features all up-and-coming natural products. At the show, folks sampled our Energy SERJ, and it was a HUGE hit!! People were amazed that not only does Energy SERJ taste great; it effectively provides the energy they need to get through the day!


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