Thursday, August 29, 2013

Labor Day Appreciation

This year, before you think about Labor Day as the start of a new school year and the end of summer vacations, think about it as a day to honor all the workers who help you somehow in your life, but don't always get the proper recognition. 

Labor Day is a useful day on which to contemplate how much we all depend on the labor of others, without which we really could do nothing. Think about the food you buy that's grown by farmers, delivered by truck drivers and sold by store clerks -- or the Internet we access because someone somewhere is handling the servers -- or the garbage collectors who ensure we aren't sitting our own messes! Almost all labor is invisible, but we depend on it and would soon notice its absence.

Honor yourself and the jobs you do on this day, as well. Whether a lawyer, a gardener or a mother, your contributions make the world go round.

At BeeAlive, we are so blessed to work among a team of intelligent individuals who all bring something unique and valuable to the table. Just as Steve Jobs, Martha Stewart and Mark Zuckerberg could not have created their brand empires alone, we at BeeAlive rely on all members of the team to accomplish our mission to positively impact the health and lives of our customers through our products, messages, interactions and commitments.
BeeAlive would not be possible without our knowledgeable sales and caring customer service representatives, efficient distribution employees, high-integrity accountants, savvy technology, creative marketing and cutting-edge R & D teams, precise formulators and founders with vision.
Each employee of BeeAlive is considered an asset and integral part of our success. We are especially grateful to the many BeeAlive employees who have been here for almost 30 years (including those who could have retired long ago)! Why do we love working here? BeeAlive offers a positive and supportive environment that makes us eager to come in to work and dedicate our time and energy every day. Maybe that's why the people who matter most to us -- our customers -- have consistently praised our employees as “considerate” and even “compassionate” -- because when you're happy, you bring it to all aspects of your life! 

Great leaders recognize their dependence on the gifts and talents of people around them and work hard to diffuse the applause. This isn't just modesty. Great companies are built through collaboration, argument, debate, and dissent that take good ideas, test them and stretch them to achieve successful outcomes. 

So this Labor Day, while you're not laboring (if you're so lucky), spare a thought for all those people, seen and unseen, known and anonymous, on whose work you depend. They're everywhere you go and inside everything you do. The next time you see one of them, shoot 'em a smile and "thank you." That appreciation means more than a day off!


Monday, August 26, 2013

The Battle Over Energy Drink Safety: Doctors vs. Beverage Industry

As energy drink-related emergency room visits among children and adolscents continue to rise, the medical community remains adament that energy drinks, the sugary, highly caffeinated beverages like Monster, Bawls, Red Bull, 5-Hour Energy and RockStar, are unsuitable for young people. The companies, conversely, fire back that their drinks are safe and contain no more caffeine than the cups of coffee millions consume every day at Starbucks. This is not always the truth.

Most energy drinks list caffeine at 70 to 80 mg per eight-ounce serving. But caffeine counts of 350 mg have been registered in some products -- the equivalent of 10 cans of caffeinated soda.
The Food and Drug Administration imposes a limit of 71 mg of caffeine per 12 fluid ounces of soda but energy drink manufacturers can circumvent this limit by touting their products as “natural dietary supplements.”

In addition, energy drinks often add hidden caffeine through “energy blend” additives like guarana, glucose, kola nut, yerba mate, L-carnitine and cocoa. Monster’s “energy blend” mix in a single eight-ounce can is 2,500 mg, not counting the 27 grams of sugar. (The recommended intake of sugar is 40 grams -- for the entire day.)

A gram of guarana can contain 40 to 80 mg of caffeine but companies are not required to list the caffeine content from these additives. So, the caffeine count can be much higher than the can’s nutritional label, according to a 2012 University of Miami study of energy drinks and their health effects on children, adolescents and young adults, published in Pediatrics, the official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

An analysis of energy drink toxicity in the National Poison Data System by a team of doctors from various universities and hospitals was published in June by Informa Healthcare. The report said the threshold of caffeine toxicity for healthy adults is 400 mg per day and the numbers decline the younger one gets. An adolescent’s threshold is 100 mg per day; children younger than 12 should tolerate no more than 2.5 mg per day. Energy drinks top most of these numbers.

Caffeine intoxication is a clinical syndrome marked by nervousness, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, rapid heartbeat, or tachycardia and stomach upset.

A recent report from the American Medical Association supported a ban on the marketing of energy drinks to children younger than 18. The American Academy of Pediatrics added that “energy drinks have no place in the diet of children and adolescents.”

“The industry says they don’t market to kids but it’s totally marketed to kids,” Dr. Steven Lipshultz argued, noting names like Rock Star and Monster that appeal to a young demographic.

“People buy them because they have an effect on the body but none of the effects are therapeutic for kids,” he said, rebuking the drinks’ promises.

“‘Take this, you’ll be more awake,’ but we found medical studies suggesting that taking energy drinks all the time reduced the amount of REM sleep, so you get more tired. ‘Take this, it will help you lose weight.’ But with all the sugar, you get all these unneeded calories so you don’t lose weight.

“The issue is, for a lot of kids this may not necessarily be harmful, but, on the other hand, if you’re a child who has an unhealthy heart, even if you don’t know it, we don’t think it’s a good idea to take stimulants. A lot of people who get sick are not just the average but there are vulnerable populations,” Lipshultz said.

“It’s not like we take every child in school and do an ultrasound on their heart to see if their heart is normal or not.”

Myerly Kertis, a pediatric registered dietician for Holtz Children’s Hospital, says that parents need to read the labels for products they have around the house that can prove attractive to little fingers.

“I know a lot of times there’s sugar in there and sometimes added herbs or various things. As far as the clinical side, some of these herbs can harmfully interact with medications,” Kertis said. “Some are fine, but read the label and be knowledgeable about what you are putting into your body especially if you are on medications and taking things with herbs. Always check with a doctor.”

For a safe and caffeine-free surge of natural energy, check out Energy SERJ!