(Not so high)Energy Drinks - Indiana Osteopathic Association

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(Not so) High Energy Drinks
Mike LaFontaine, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
College of Osteopathic Medicine
Marian University
Why do We Care About Energy Drinks?


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
1.
2.
Energy drinks are the fastest growing
segment of the beverage industry.1
Energy drinks are a $12,500,000,000
per year industry. 1
There are over 300 brands of energy
drinks currently on the market.
Due to the high concentration of
stimulants, potential hazards exist.
20,000 ER visits attributed to
consumption. 2
US Market Trends 2013 Industry Report
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
FDA Regulations for Energy Drinks

Energy drinks and shots are regulated as
dietary supplements.

Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act
1994

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Removed supplements from the “food and drug
umbrella” of the FDA.
Does not require FDA approval to bring to market or
imply activity.
Disclaimer statement must be present: “This product has
not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not
intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent and
disease.”
Evaluation of Dietary Supplements

Actual Biological role of supplement.


What is the bioavailability of the supplement?

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Can it be absorbed and/or incorporated into the
body to perform this role?
Is there a need for supplementation?

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Does it match the claim?
Is it readily available through the diet or
endogenous synthesis in adequate amounts?
Is there evidence-based research to support
supplementation?
What’s (not) in an Energy Drink?
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Energy content is
variable.
Ranges from 0-150
calories per serving
(serving size 2-12 oz.)
12 oz. can of cola
typically has 150-180
calories.
Caffeine


“Caffeine is known for its beneficial effects on
mental and physical functions.” (Red Bull Website)
Caffeine levels range from 280 mg/can
(“Cocaine”) to 80 mg/can (“Red Bull”).


Very tough to get exact amounts because of the
use of guarana.
By comparison, a can of Coke has about 40
mg/can.
What is Caffeine?


Caffeine is in a class of derivatives of the organic
molecule purine called “xanthines”.
Often mistaken for theophylline and theobromine.
R2
N
N
N
N
R1
O
O
R3
R1, R2, R3 = H
R1, R2, R3 = CH3
R1, R2 = CH3, R3 = H
R1 = H, R2, R3 = CH3
Xanthine
Caffeine
Theobromine
Theophylline
What Does Caffeine Do?


Inhibitor of adenosine receptors in
the brain and cAMP
phosphodiesterase in muscle.
Inhibition of adenosine receptors
lead to a release of epinephrine.

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Increased heart rate.
Increased activity of liver glycogen
phosphorylase.
Interrupted wake/sleep cycles.
Inhibition of phosphodiesterase
leads to increased metabolic rate
in muscle cells.
HO
OH
HO
H
N
O
N
NH
N
NH2
Adenosine
O
O
P
OO
HO
O
N
N
H
N
NH
NH2
cAMP
Taurine
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
“Taurine is the second most abundant amino
acid in muscle fiber.” - Eric Serrano, M.D., bodybuilding.com.
Typically around 500-1000 mg in drinks
containing taurine.
What is Taurine


Taurine is NOT an amino acid, it is an amino
sulfonate.
While present in muscle cells, it is NOT a part
of the proteins that make up the filaments.
+
O
H3N
+
O
S
O
Taurine
H3N
O-
OSH
Cysteine
What Does Taurine Do?
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Conjugated with bile acids to make bile salts
and account for the surfactant properties of
bile salts.
No evidence that taurine is involved in energy
metabolism.
No evidence that taurine is involved in
muscle function.
Creatine

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Claims include increased in muscle mass,
boost “brain function”, reduce risk of “several
diseases”, and protect skin from aging effects
of the sun. –Muscle and Fitness Magazine
Not extensively used in energy drinks, 5001000 mg/can typically.
What is Creatine?
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Creatine is a water-soluble, phosphatetransfer aid.
Creatine is synthesized in hepatic tissue from
arginine and glycine.
Highest concentrations are found in skeletal
muscle.
CH3
H2N
N
+ NH2
O
O-
What Does Creatine Do?

Creatine phosphate can serve as a source of
rapid ATP regeneration.
Exercise
Cell With Creatine Phosphate
Two ADP molecules can rapidly be
converted back to ATP by creatine
phosphate.
Does Creatine Work?

Creatine supplementation has limited effect on creatine
levels. 1
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Dietary intake is significant with a meat-heavy diet.
Endogenous synthesis is adequate with typical dietary protein
levels.
No function of creatine has been found to be associated
with muscle building.
No immune function of creatine has been discovered.
Since it is not lipid soluble, unlikely to be skin protectant.
Brain function?
1. Greenhaff P: The Nutritional Biochemistry of Creatine J. Nutrit Biochem 1997, 11: 610-618
Carnitine

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Claims primarily center around being a “fat
burner”.
Typically less than 1000 mg/can where found
in energy drinks.
Usually found in “low carb” or “low calorie”
energy drinks.
What is Carnitine?

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Carnitine is a water-soluble non-standard
amino acid.
Carnitine is synthesized in the liver from
lysine.
O
OH
CH3
+
-
O
N
CH3
CH3
What Does Carnitine Do?
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Carnitine is a fatty acid transporter that
delivers fatty acids to the mitochondria.
Carnitine is NOT involved in the actual
breakdown of fatty acids.
Carnitine-based transport responds to fatty
acid metabolism, not the other way around.
Excess intake of carnitine linked to increase
risk of heart disease.1
1. Koeth, et al Intestinal Microbiota Metabolism of L-carnitine, a Nutrient in Red Meat, Promotes Atherosclerosis Nature Medicine 2013
B-complex Vitamins
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B-complex vitamins are not chemically
related to each other.
All are water-soluble and play a role in
energy metabolism.
All are heavily fortified in foods in western
cultures.
Typically large amounts found in energy
drinks.
What are B-complex Vitamins?
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Thiamine
Niacin
Riboflavin
Biotin
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Pantothenic Acid
Pyridoxine (B6)
Folic Acid
Cobalamin (B12)
What Do B-complex Vitamins Do?
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All B-complex vitamins have at least some
role in energy metabolism.
Typically as a co-enzyme or enzyme
prosthetic group.
Niacin, riboflavin, thiamine, and pyridoxine
are the most prevalent.
Biotin, folic acid and cobalamin are utilized
only in the metabolism of a few types of fats
and amino acids.
Sample Energy Drink
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Chaser 5-hour Energy
Claims “5 hours of Energy”
“No Crash Later”
“Sugar Free”
“Does not rely on caffeine like other energy
drinks.”
“Packed with B-vitamins and enzymes!”
“Five Hours of Energy”
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15 calories!
Walking at 3 mph burns .027 calories per
pound per minute.
A 200 pound man burns 324 calories per
hour WALKING.
“5-hour Energy” provides less than 3 minutes
worth of calories!
“Does Not Rely on Caffeine…”
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Caffeine levels is approximately equal to a
cup of coffee.
5-hour energy is only 2 oz.!
“…Packed With B-vitamins and
Enzymes!”
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Most are pancreatic
enzymes released into the
small intestine.
Cellulase is a fungal
enzyme that is involved in
breaking down cellulose.
All of these enzymes would
be denatured upon entry to
the stomach.
Conclusions
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Little if any energy associated with energy
drinks.
Energy drinks rely on heavy caffeine to
provide a stimulant.
Most other additives are water-soluble
compounds with little, if any, benefit.
Strongest attribute of energy drinks has been
marketing.
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