On the heels of my post featuring a Red Bull-sponsored video (of cranberry harvesting—and wakeskating—on a northern-Wisconsin farm), I thought I’d share this recent story from Barry Meier of The New York Times. Meier reviews the evidence supporting the health and performance claims made by makers of these food-like products and finds it to be sorely lacking:
Energy drinks are the fastest-growing part of the beverage industry, with sales in the United States reaching more than $10 billion in 2012 — more than Americans spent on iced tea or sports beverages like Gatorade.
Their rising popularity represents a generational shift in what people drink, and reflects a successful campaign to convince consumers, particularly teenagers, that the drinks provide a mental and physical edge.
The drinks are now under scrutiny by the Food and Drug Administration after reports of deaths and serious injuries that may be linked to their high caffeine levels. But however that review ends, one thing is clear, interviews with researchers and a review of scientific studies show: the energy drink industry is based on a brew of ingredients that, apart from caffeine, have little, if any benefit for consumers.
The full story is worth a read, so check it out here.