Energy drinks may have come from Scotland in the form of Irn-Bru, first produced in the form of “Iron Brew” in 1901. In Japan, the energy drink dates at least as far back as the early 1960s, with the release of the Lipovitan.
Pimp Juice, Full Throttle, Rock Star, Monster Energy, Rage, Cocaine, Red Bull — these are some of the high-powered energy drinks being marketed to young adults. The web sites for these products are full of images of macho lifestyles.
But the Kentucky Office of Alcoholic Beverage Control’s (ABC) Enforcement Division found that some store clerks don’t recognize energy drinks containing alcohol because the packaging is so similar to that of regular energy drinks. Officials said the alcoholic drinks look more like other energy drinks than other alcoholic beverages.
Another problem is that energy drinks are often consumed quickly, sometimes before exercise. The high amounts of caffeine and sugar can lead to a variety of symptoms, including irritability, nervousness and nausea, sometimes severe enough to require hospitalization.
One study examined the acidity levels of five popular beverages on the market. The results proved that popular “high energy” and sports drinks had the highest mean buffering capacity, resulting in the strongest potential for erosion of enamel. The drinks usually contain a high amount of caffeine mixed with B vitamins.
Pyruvate (a salt of pyruvic acid) is often added to energy drinks as a “performance booster.” Studies have shown that when given in a dose high enough to positively affect performance, the athlete became ill. The doses present in energy drinks have been shown to have no affect on performance.