Archive for the ‘power drinks’ Category

Power Drinks, Cheerios, the FDA, and Us

Monday, July 20th, 2009

In 2005 the Canadian Food Inspection Agency reported that 71% or 117 of 165 sports nutrition products on sale violated regulations regarding nutritional information or labeling requirements. The expected results were concerted attacks and complaints by industry on the agency’s scientific methods. Nestlé Canada, however, the maker of Powerbar®, who complied with regulations, spoke out in support of CFIA’s initiative, saying that it will “rid the marketplace of products with illegal ingredients and claims“.

Here in this country, the Dietary Supplement Act of 1994 has overridden FDA pre-marketing responsibility for the safety of food and drugs. No longer would the FDA even regulate advertising claims, which became the purview of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). As long as these products did not claim to treat or prevent disease, manufacturers could claim their diet supplements in any food or drink, enhanced performance, “energized,” controlled appetite, accelerated fat loss, relieved pain, “detoxified,” in short use their imagination to make virtually any claim.  Thanks to the 1990 Nutrition labeling and Nutrition Act, and 1993 supplemental rules by the FDA, in response to a 1995 petition submitted by Quaker Oats, the FDA in 1997 authorized the first food-specific health claim related to coronary disease (CHD) risk reduction.

The FDA did finally go after Quaker Oats for claims that Cheerios reduced cholesterol, but Quaker Oats simply changed the TV and other promotion to claim that the cereal could “help reduce cholesterol.”  If you like Cheerios, though, you can convince yourself you’ll live longer.

Power Drinks and the Market

How about the enticing  $18 billion a year market for power drinks? It hardly compares with the $70 billion a year soft drink market. Makers like Coca Cola are upgrading to new and ever more intensely promoted voodoo health drinks, e.g. Coke with Diet Coke Plus®, Full Throttle®, Pepsico with Tava®, Nestlé and Coke with Envige®, and Anheuser Busch, makers of Low Calorie 180 Blue® with Açaí “which uses only the highest quality ingredients, including carbonated water, vitamins B6, B12, C , …A serving of açaí berries has 80% RDA of antioxidants and it is said to contain 33 times more antioxidants than red wine grape.”

Literally hundreds of sports and power beverages adorn the soft drink aisles of your favorite supermarket: Max Velocity, Rockstar®, Monster, Sobe No Fear®, Red Bull® among others, most with various vitamins, minerals, amino acids (taurine, carnitine, arginine,) caffeine, and ginseng or other herbals. Retail prices are steep with Monster at $1.99 for 16 oz., Max Velocity® at $1.49 for 8 oz, and Red Bull® at $1.99 for 8.3 oz.

It reminds me of the cost of upscale bottled water in the range of $3.00 or more per gallon. And we complain about the cost of gasoline! (Think how much money you throw out every week in a country where municipal tap water is almost invariably superior and safer than the bottled product.)

Stay tuned.







Power Drinks:The Bottom Line

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

The power drink market sounds piddling, only $18 billion a year compared to $70 a year for soft drinks.Yet this previously expanding market has been hurt by linkage of carbonated sodas to obesity. Makers like Coca Cola purchased Glaceau, the maker of vitamin water, are upgrading to new and ever more intensely promoted voodoo health drinks, e.g. Coke with Diet Coke Plus and there’s Full Throttle®, Pepsico with Tava®, Nestlé and Coke with Envige®, and Anheuser Busch, makers of Low Calorie 180 Blue® with Açaí “which uses only the highest quality ingredients, including carbonated water, vitamins B6, B12, C , …A serving of açaí berries has 80% RDA of antioxidants and it is said to contain 33 times more antioxidants than red wine grape.” Literally hundreds of sports and power beverages adorn the soft drink aisles of your favorite supermarket: Max Velocity, Rockstar®, Monster, Sobe No Fear®, Red Bull® among others, most with various vitamins, minerals, amino acids (taurine, carnitine, arginine,) caffeine, and ginseng or other herbals, of which many I have not heard. Retail prices are steep with Monster at $1.99 for 16 oz., Max Velocity® at $1.49 for 8 oz, and Red Bull® at $1.99 for 8.3 oz.. It reminds me of the cost of upscale bottled water in the range of $3.00 or more per gallon. And we complain about the cost of gasoline! (Think how much money you throw out every week in a country where municipal tap water is almost invariably superior and safer than the bottled product.) Watch Full Movie Online Streaming Online and Download

What About The Buzz Factor?

Last January, Anheuser Busch rolled out a new product, Spykes, in two-ounce bottles in flavors like mango, lime, lemon, and chocolate. First there was Disney’s Champagne for Kids. However, unlike the kiddie Champagne that was “just for pretend,” Anheuser-Busch’s new Spykes has real alcohol – it’s a “premium malt beverage” with a 12% alcohol content. This has raised a lot of temperatures to the boiling point. The reason? People are worried that Spykes is aimed at teens, particularly during Prom and graduation season. Not only does the sweet drink arrive in nice flavors but it also comes in a tiny bottle that’s easily pocketed and therefore hidden from a parent’s or chaperone’s watchful eye. Even though Spykes can only be sold in liquor stores the authorities are worried about reckless marketing to teens. It’s meant to be drunk straight or used as a mixer with beer or a cocktail. According to the new brand’s web site, “It’s whatever you want it to be.”

The evidence suggests that power drinks are little more than juiced up voodoo beverages containing sugar, carbonated water, caffeine, and a variety of mineral and vitamin supplements, generally of minimal amount, marketed with glittery packaging and seductive names. The only problem is the presence in many drinks of a variety of herbal compounds, ill-defined as to composition and quantity. Some, perhaps very few, are a health hazard, if consumed to excess. Yet it would certainly seem prudent to attempt deciphering the label before spending extravagantly for a can full of “power, health, and energy.” If you want a lift, what’s wrong with a cup of well-brewed coffee, or even a superannuated-read “plain” or “classic”- Coke or Pepsi?