Saturday, November 14, 2015

Energy Boosting or Health Deflating?

If you are ever tempted to reach for a Rockstar Energy drink, you may want to think again. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic conducted a study to see what this energy drink does to the body. A group of 25 volunteers helped with the study, each who downed a 16 oz Rockstar on an empty stomach. The group was composed of healthy individuals whose average age was 29 and BMI of 25. Rockstar contains 240 mg of caffeine, in addition to taurine, (an amino acid that has been suggested to improve mental performance in combination with caffeine), guarana seed (which contains caffeine), ginseng root and milk thistle extracts. As a reference point, only 300-400 mg of caffeine is what a healthy adult can safely consume. The study was double blind, meaning neither the participants nor researchers knew which drink was the placebo (an energy drink that was identical in every way except without the caffeine). Both drinks increased heart rate a bit, but the primary difference was in the norepinephrine levels, a precursor to epinephrine- AKA adrenaline. This increase in norepinephrine occurred just within 30 minutes- talk about a sky high energy boost! The main concern researchers had was the raise in blood pressure and norepinephrine levels, as they could make people more at risk for cardiovascular problems. So the next time you’re having an urge for an energy drink like a Rockstar, try another form of energy boosting nutrition.

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