I Don’t Approve of Energy Drinks (And A Bonus Video).

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Articles, Nutrition

I’m not a big fan of energy drinks.

As a nutrition consultant, for the sake of my clients I have sometimes wished in the past that energy drinks did not exist. And here are the two main reasons why:

1) Danger of Caffeine Overdose and Addiction:
The average energy drink contains nearly 4 times the amount of caffeine found in commercial soda beverages and several of the more popular brands contain the caffeine equivalent of 14 Cokes. A 6-ounce cup of coffee has 80-150 milligrams (mg) of caffeine, but the caffeine content of energy drinks ranges from 50-500+ mg, with one popular energy drink “shot” topping out at 570mg, which gives you the equivalent of about three and a half cups of coffee with a single sip!

Why should this concern you? Because caffeine forces your adrenal glands to secrete enormous amounts of adrenaline and “energy” hormones, even when those glands are depleted. The result is a growing tolerance to the effects of caffeine, and eventual burn-out and severe adrenal depletion. This is accompanied by a feeling of increasing tiredness and a need for higher and higher amounts of caffeine to achieve an energy boost. Attempts at quitting the addiction can result in withdrawal symptoms such as severe headaches and complete loss of mental focus and function.

In addition, by inhibiting the activity of the vitamin folate, B12 and B6, high levels of caffeine may interfere with your body’s ability to regulate two significant cardiovascular disease risk factors: homocysteine and cholesterol. By causing blood vessel constriction and increased risk of blood clots, the caffeine content in some energy drinks can literally be deadly for someone with high stress levels or high blood pressure. Finally, high levels of caffeine consumption have been associated with increased risk of stroke and arthritis, insomnia, heart palpitations, tremors, sweating, nausea, diarrhea, chest pain, and neurological symptoms!

2) Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners. One can of energy drink contains the equivalent of nearly 10 teaspoons of sugar! This amount of sugar causes your sensitive pancreas to create a literal flood of insulin in an attempt to manage all the extra glucose (sugar) that ends up in the bloodstream. Some of this sugar may be used by the muscles, but usually only if you are exercising quite frequently. The remainder of the sugar is converted into fat by the liver. In addition, the body releases both epinephrine and cortisol from your adrenal glands (as if they weren’t already stressed enough from the caffeine!). The result is  quick swing in energy, followed by a subsequent crash, a severely compromised immune system, a surge of cell-damaging “free radicals”, thickened blood and an eventual insensitivity to insulin, also know as type II diabetes.  And you just thought sugar was bad for your teeth!

But what about artificial sweeteners? Don’t they eliminate this problem? Unfortunately, research has shown that there is still a release of gastric hormones when you consume artificial sweeteners. This gives your brain a confusing message: that food is present, but that the food has no “calories”. Subsequently, you develop an appetite craving typically 30-60 minutes after consuming an artificially sweetened beverage.

In addition, these artificially sweetened chemicals (yes, chemicals!) such as aspartame (Nutrasweet), sucralose (Splenda), acesulfame potassium, and sugar alcohols have been linked to upset stomachs, mood swings, birth defects, cancer, diabetes, emotional disorders, epilepsy, seizures, a variety of neurological disorders and even obesity!

And that is why I am not a fan of energy drinks (by the way, I *used* to also think that the citric acid was an issue, but most studies have found citric acid to be safe, and some have even found it to be neuroprotective (protecting nerve cells against damage or degeneration) – consuming large quantities can certainly damage teeth or irritate the intestines, but for most healthy individuals in small doses, it is pretty much benign).

But two years ago, a friend gave me a packet of powder called delta-E. Of course, I immediately took note of the fact that it was not in carbonated and acidic soda form. It was an effervescent powder that I could mix with pure, natural water!

Upon an inspection of the label, however, I noted that it only contained 75mg of caffeine – the equivalent of just one-half cup of coffee. Sure, it wouldn’t destroy my adrenal glands, but how could this possibly enhance my energy levels?

And with no processed sugar and artificial sweeteners, would I even be able to stomach the taste?

Despite my doubts, I tried the little pink packet, pouring it into a bottle of water that sat on the table. After a surprisingly delicious and refreshingly fruity swig, I then sat back, completely expecting the same feeling that I had previously experienced with commercial energy drinks – jitteriness, lack of focus, a short-lived high, then a massive slump in energy levels and enormous stimulation of appetite.

My expectations were completely wrong. For the next 4 hours, I had what I can only describe as a laser focus, a positively pleasant mood, and completely enhanced energy levels – without the jitters!

Later, upon researching this unique feeling, I discovered that this feeling was due to the presence of pure L-Theanine, which had actually crossed my blood-brain barrier and caused a release of mood-enhancing dopamine and serotonin, without destroying my adrenal glands in the process!

With a full spectrum of immune-system enhancing vitamin C, cellular metabolism-boosting vitamin B12, the muscle-exciting amino acid taurine and a delicious pomegranate juice extract as a natural sweetener, I was suddenly finding my paradox challenged – was there actually such a thing as a “healthy” energy drink?

For the past two years, I have used delta-E to achieve that same successful feeling over and over again, with zero “tolerance build-up”, afternoon energy slump, or compromised immune system health. Perhaps even more impressively, I have double-dosed with delta-E prior to my intense athletic competition in Ironman triathlon, and experienced the greatest athletic success of my life.

As a nutrition consultant and personal trainer, I have utilized delta-E to “wean” clients from caffeine addictions, enhance sleep levels and assist with insomnia, instill inspiration and energy to complete a fat-burning workout after a long day of work, boost the immune system prior to airplane travel, and naturally flavor water without risking chemical consumption.

And I must say, I’m still not a fan of energy drinks.

But delta-E is not an energy drink.

It was not formulated to be a sleep substitute, to satisfy a caffeine addiction, or to fuel late night partying.

Just like all the products I use, it was formulated for energy and enhanced mental and physical function, but from the perspective of complete mental and physical health, and because of that, it stands out among the crowd of unhealthy energy alternatives.

Try it just once. I think you’ll agree. Click here for details, ingredients and ordering information, and check out the BONUS VIDEO below!

Ask Ben a Podcast Question

27 thoughts on “I Don’t Approve of Energy Drinks (And A Bonus Video).

  1. Worthley says:

    So not even a few “healthier” energy drinks like Sambazon or Scheckter’s?

    1. Depends on the ingredients!

    2. Jared says:

      Ben, what is your take on Bang Energy Drinks?

      1. Don't love 'em. They sure do put on a heck of a show at health conferences though.

  2. Nathaniel says:

    Could you by any chance provide evidence to back up your reasons? If you could that would be great!!

    1. Source: American Journal of Medicine
      “Detrimental Effects of Energy Drink Consumption on Platelet and Endothelial Function”
      Authors: M.I. Worthley, A. Prabhu, P. de Sciscio, C. Schultz, P. Sanders, S.R. Willoughby

  3. Brian says:

    Who cares, all foods and beverages in the US are garbage. If you want to attack a ” chemical ” then attack MSG. Research the effect of MSG on the liver and bam, the reason Americans are obese is right there. Choose your battles …..

  4. Rich says:

    You might as well be describing VERVE instead of delta E haha. Verve is made of Vemma, which is a full spectrum health supplement, with 80mg of caffeine and Fructose for sugar to make it considered an energy drink. As you know fructose is sugar from fruit, not to be confused with high-fructose corn syrup which is a complex sugar that the body can't digest properly from corn. Verve does not give the jitters. Verve does improve your total health. Same with Vemma. I'm more interested in human health than anything else so if you'd like you can call me about it. 267-577-3970

  5. Troy says:


    Was just looking up some information on how unhealthy energy drinks can be, trying to get some insight on it because i have a speech to do over what drinks are healthy for you, and what are not. Plus trying to see on how different DELTA-E is from the drink that i am recently taking that gives me great energy day in and day out. And something that is considered a health supplement that help out with health issues and things like that. If you want you can take a look at a product that is healthy for you, and gives you the type of energy that you might be looking for but in a healthy way.

    Here are a few websites to check out:
    www.drinklifein.com www.Zija365.com

  6. Daniel F says:

    Are the other amino acids then harmful or just don’t work as well?

  7. Braden says:

    im doing huge research project on the health risks of energy drinks and i was hoping that you could help me. Can you specifically list some less obvious ingredients that are particularly harmful to the body and what part of the body they hurt.

    1. Braden, if this is a research project, you'd best be served by going to the actual peer reviewed research. Here's a good place to start:

      Source: American Journal of Medicine
      “Detrimental Effects of Energy Drink Consumption on Platelet and Endothelial Function”
      Authors: M.I. Worthley, A. Prabhu, P. de Sciscio, C. Schultz, P. Sanders, S.R. Willoughby

      1. billy bob says:


      2. billy bob says:

        no reply?? :((

  8. parker says:

    one, i apologize for the hostility, and 2 the picture i was looking at, after a closer look was doctored, to make it 4 instead of 27g(which is located on monster energy website) and actually teaspoon and gram is a measurement of “mass”, not volume volume is L mL gallons and what i meant by “different systems of measurement” i did not say units, i say system, because g is metric and teaspoons is english system.

  9. Parker,

    I sense some hostility in your response. You can easily find my qualifications with some research, which you seem to be keen to do. Knock yourself out.

    While you’re at it, I’d be curious which Monster Energy drink you have, because each serving contains 26g of sugar, and Monster Energy drink contains 2 servings. I’ll let you do the math.

    Teaspoons and grams are both volume measurements, my friend, and if you do a thorough re-read of your essay, you’ll basically see that all you did was make my point very well: namely, that energy drinks have lots of sugar.

    I’m not going to thread this along by responding anymore, but if any other readers care to contribute…go for it!

  10. parker says:

    i have a generic soda brand in my hand, its a “mimic of coke” it has 44g of sugar, where for example one of the most popular energy drinks “Monster Energy” has 6 g in the entire container, which has 2 servings and is bigger than a coke. Amp energy has 58g of sugar in 2 servings, that infact is a lot but if you would like to do a ratio, 44g of sugar in a 1 serving container of coke (12 fl oz) is higher concentration then 58g in 16 amp (16 fl oz) being that 44g/12 fl oz = 3.66666 repeating and 58/16 fl oz = 3.625 , so even though it is a small amount you are still wrong, and if u wanna go off of the “recommended serving” then your way way more wrong. now that is just a generic brand of coke, lets go to a mainstream brand “Coca-Cola” has 39g of sugar in it, which once again doesn’t match up to a monster energy because monster energy has 6g in 16 fl oz, amp energy now has more than a “Coca Cola” but it is so so so close, but still the fact that one energy drink has an extreme low amount of sugar in it, and a regular drink has 39 g compared to 6g your still to generalized you shouldn’t say anything about it unless you get specific, but ill further proove my point rockstar energy drink 31g of sugar in 1 serving once(2 per can) again very close but if you go buy the serving size again, your still wrong, full throttle 58g of sugar whole can 29g in 1 serving, so i dont rly need to repeat myself, but these amounts are very very close, so much that its not even going to hurt you “because of the sugar” unless your like diabetic or have some other problem like ur elderly, the way u stated it in ur sugar/artificial sweeteners paragraph is highly over exaggerated and i know this paragraph is loaded with grammar mistakes so sry lol. and most people dont know what half of those words mean and they are horrified by the words “Chemical and 10 Teaspoons!” which mean notthing, and nice job eluding people from the amount in a can of coke because teaspons r different system than grams. btw, what is your qualification for your job?

  11. parker says:

    you can completely wipe out the sugar point because most energy drinks have less sugar then a coke

  12. june says:

    I just want to say that i drink energy drinks every day, and i experience alot of the effects you talked about. The headaches, the loss of energy, my body heats up and i also endure alot of stress sometimes so your article has made me realize that i am in alot of danger when i drink them but i also know that sometimes their the only thing that gives me motivation to get up in the morning. Yeah its unhealthy but so are alot of other things in this world and it doesnt seem to be getting any better. someone my age doesnt have much to count on as i get older so why not enjoy all the unhealthy tasty stuff now. lol. Im getting older and time seems to be going bye faster, im already loosing because of the things i cant do so why loose more bye not doing the things i can. your article is very insitefull, thank you.

  13. isabell says:

    this is stupid energy drinks are sooo good

    1. Lotr says:

      You are right! :)

  14. Cade Barrow says:

    Hi ben, just finished reading your article on "delta-E" little back story here: I work overnight and am constantly being asked to perform at peak performance even at times when the human body is at its lowest ebb. Ive tried energy drinks and started to experience the same things your article mentions are negative about them the jitters, the diminishing returns effect (more caffine to achieve the same ammount of energy) and the crash after. I'm looking for something that will give me that boost to get the job done at night but not leave me feeling dead in the morning. could delta-e be the answer and if so where would I be able to get it and give it a try.. and do you know if it (like caffine) has the diuretic effect (I dont have a lot of time at work to stop at the water fountain so this is kind of a deal breaker) your thoughts and information would be welcome. thanks.

    1. There is actually no diuretic effect, as it only contains the equivalent 1/4 to 1/2 a cup of coffee, with none of the acidic or gastrointestinal damaging features of coffee. The unique property of delta-E is the L-theanine that it contains, which gives you a bit of a mood boost without affecting your central nervous system. Anyways, the best place to get it is at http://www.pacificfit.net/supplements.html .

      1. nikita terwedow says:


  15. bob beede says:

    Hi Ben its been a while since you tested me in solvang,I have completed 2 ironmans this year,new zealand and brazil,just finished 70.3 vineman,70.3 monaco is coming up,next years schedule gets really wild,70.3 in pucan chile,ironmans in st george,spain,then france,might need a coach to get me to the finish line,take care Bob

    1. Hi Bob, I’d be happy to help coach you. Having done Pucon, Chile, I can tell you that there some pretty specific things you should be doing to prep for that race. Go to http://www.pacificfit.net/bengreenfield.html to get started!

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