The Energy Drink Scam

Jul 27

The Energy Drink Scam

Do Energy Drinks Help You?

! 01 logo-designsToday I have a little rant on energy drinks… so I’m climbing up on my Dr. high horse for this one. If you want to be effective in IM you also want to be healthy. If you want to be healthy ~ listen up!

Energy drinks seem to be all the rage, and they promise you the world with outrageous claims of all of the super energy that you are going to have, and how you’ll become the best athlete in the world, start lifting cars over your head, and get a perfect body. The ladies will flock to you guys and your performance will be unbelievable.

So a couple of questions arise:

  • Are these “energy” drinks really any good for you?
  • Do they actually increase your energy?
  • Do they really have some sort of magical energy formula?
  • Will they help you lose weight?

Energy Drink Ingredients:

First of all, let’s look at what most of these energy drinks have in them. The vast majority of them are simply carbonated water loaded with gut-fattening high fructose corn syrup (or other added sugars), caffeine, the amino acid taurine, and some crappy artificially-derived vitamins added for show to trick you into thinking there’s something healthy about these concoctions.

Let’s start with the high fructose corn syrup (HFCS). Empty calories ~ these will go straight to your belly fat, and that are possibly even WORSE for you than plain old refined sugar (although that’s up for debate, but semantics in the big picture). Some energy drinks use other added sugars instead of HFCS, but it doesn’t really matter, because they are all gut-fattening empty calories with no nutritional benefit whatsoever.

Okay, so you say that they also have low-sugar or sugar-free varieties as an alternative to the HFCS-laden energy drinks. Yes, but now you have the problem of the harmful chemicals in the artificial sweeteners which have their own set of health dangers. I’ll rant about those in another post, but for now let me simply say stay away from artificial sweeteners ~ even Stevia (in my humble opinion). If you want “sweet” use  organic blue agave nectar (even WalMart carries it).

Another problem with artificial sweeteners is that there are some research studies that indicate artificial sweetener use leads people to inadvertently consume more calories and gain more weight in the long run… in addition to having a negative hormonal effect in the body. I won’t go into all of the details on that topic because that would fill up an entire discussion by itself.

Just trust me that artificial sweeteners and artificial chemicals in food in general, are ALL bad news for your body! It’s never a good idea to try to “trick” your body with artificial tastes.

What About The Caffeine?

Caffeine doesn’t in itself provide “energy”. Technically, the only substance that actually provides energy is calories (from carbs, protein, and fat).

However, caffeine can be an aid for livening or waking some people up, by means of stimulating the central nervous system.

Instead of caffeine artificially added to some carbonated “energy” drink, I’d rather get my caffeine from a natural source like green, white, or oolong teas (or my new favorite – yerba mate teas), which actually provide very powerful healthy antioxidants too!

Keep in mind though, if you’re a regular daily coffee drinker, you probably have some level of addiction to caffeine and probably wouldn’t receive too much benefit from the caffeine in an energy drink anyway.

Most teas contain much less caffeine than coffee, and some teas (such as green, white, and oolong) contain synergistic phytochemicals that work to slow the response of the caffeine that they do contain. This means you get a milder response from the caffeine in green, oolong, or white teas compared to the harsher jittery response that some people get from coffee.

Now What About That So Called Magical Blend Of Taurine And B-Vitamins That They Load Into These Energy Drinks?

Big whoop…you get taurine in almost any protein source. And the vast majority of those artificially added B-vitamins are simply coming right out into the toilet in your pee. Vitamins are best obtained naturally from a REAL food source, not artificially added to some carbonated drink. Your body just doesn’t use fake sources of vitamins as readily as natural sources from real food.

So as you can see, in my opinion, I give all of these energy drinks a big-time THUMBS DOWN! Don’t fall for the ridiculous marketing of all of these so-called “energy drinks”.

Here’s A Recipe For A Home-Made Energy Drink:

1. Make a big iced tea mixture using green tea, white tea, and yerba mate tea. I like to add a little fruit flavor, so I’ll use 1 tea bag of a raspberry or blueberry hibiscus tea, and then use 2-3 green and/or white tea bags, and 2-3 yerba mate tea bags, and make a gallon container of iced tea. Remember if you want to sweeten the batch of tea use agave nectar.

2. I buy a container of organic coconut water from a health food store, or buy fresh coconuts to obtain the coconut water from the inside.

3. For my healthy energy drink, I mix a half of a glass of the white/green/yerba mate iced tea mixture and fill the rest of the glass with the coconut water.

This is actually a delicious and truly healthy energy drink instead of the chemical-laden crappy energy drinks that everybody is getting suckered into buying these days.

The green, white, and yerba mate teas contain a small dose of caffeine along with a diverse mixture of powerful antioxidants and synergistic phytochemicals. Plus, the coconut water is a rich source of electrolytes and a diversity of vitamins and minerals. Coconut water is known to provide a good instant energy source, and also contains a small dose of medium chain triglycerides (MCTs), which are healthy fats that are readily used for energy and also aid your immune system.

So enjoy this natural healthy energy drink, knowing that you’re doing your body good instead of filling it with chemicals with normal store-bought energy drinks.

Now ~ for some marketing fun

Just how do these bottlers sell their wares?

  • Target Market => Youth
  • Methodology => Sell Sexy

! 03 energy drink logo'sThat’s pretty much it. Let’s take a quick look at some of the not-so-subtle suggestive messages presented in logos, images and subtext.




adrenalinHere we have an out and out lie! This is not adrenalin nor will it give you the fight or flight response of true adrenalin. Your adrenal glands ought to be rolling over in their graves.


!atomic energy drinkJPGNice logo, but what are we selling. I asked a teenager and he said, “Super powers like Spidey!”

Holy Cow ~ does that mean I’ll get irradiated if I drink this stuff? I’m not sure, but I am sure that there isn’t a member of the target audience that’s thinking of this. Irradiated, indeed, I’m just an old fart in a hat.


!beast_mode_energy_logoThis is pretty delightful. I guess if I drink this I’ll turn into a BEAST! Sort of like Atomic.

We can see a pattern beginning to develop. Drink this stuff and you’ll become supercharged.

It gets better.


!dna EnergyNow they’re going to start muckin’ with my DNA.

I’d be afraid if I were a young person expecting to continue the species with procreation.  Look at that logo. I don’t want my offspring looking like that skull kind of thingy.

!effectenergy-drinkEffect – unspecified, but I guess you can make up your own special effect. Who says they don’t give kids choices any more? We all know that “special effects” are good, so this must be wonderful.

AND, it’s a “high quality” energy drink. I guess that’s as opposed to a low quality energy drink. You see, in marketing, we have to separate ourselves from the less effective charlatans out there. As we can clearly see they put a great deal of time and energy into the logo for this drink.

!HellEnergyDrinkLogoWhiteBgThings are getting cuter. Now we’re going to be a little devil. Of course he’s a little cutie not some evil dude who’ll scare the daylights out of everyone. Maybe it tastes like fire and brimstone.

!Hi-iBall EnergyNow here’s something any kid will want to dig into. If Mom and Dad can have hi-balls why can’t I? And this is legal. As an aside here: Just because it’s legal doesn’t mean it’s good for you.

I’d love to be a fly on the wall in one of these brainstorming sessions where they come up with these marketing logos, by-lines and slogans. These people must be high on something and it’s probably not their energy drinks.

!Hyper_Active_energy_drinkHere’s a good one. Let’s all get hyper-active. Then we can all sit around and take some Ritalin. What fun that will be ~ “Better Living Through Chemistry”.

Does anyone else realize that DuPont doesn’t use that slogan any longer. Gee, I wonder why. We’re all addicted to pharmaceuticals thanks to Big Pharma and our local pill-pushin’ docs. Another topic.

!monster-energy-954591Now we’re getting into the meat of things. Here’s one of the most popular energy drinks on the market….

Why are they the most popular?

Because they are one of the first to toss lady parts into our faces to get our attention.



!monster-oneHere it is ladies and gentlemen. Our first taste of full-on, blatant sex in an energy drink ad.

Why would I be showing all these various horrible drinks and the questionable marketing programs promoting these products? Because the drinks SELL and the marketing WORKS!

All you have to do is walk through your local supermarket or simply drive by the many convenience stores in your neighborhood to see huge banners proclaiming the benefits of this drink (over that one). There are flashing neon signs urging you to become as powerful and well-liked as humanly possible. Just drink this concoction.  These ladies will probably visit you too.

!Mother-energy-drinkI’m pretty sure, but not positive, that this Mother does not refer to MY mother in any way nor any mother I’m familiar with. I think it refers to only half-a-word.

It is a NEW taste… the Mother of all energy drinks.

And it has DOUBLE the energy HIT ~ whatever that may mean.

Catchy though. You got me. You got me. Where can I get one? Gimme… gimme… gimme.

!playboy energy drinkIt’s inevitable ~ we cannot get along without the help of Playboy.

After all if sex is inferred in any way Hef will come trotting out of his little mansion.

And speaking of marketing sex ~ who does it better that Mr. Hefner?

Here it comes…


!Playboy pure-nrgfxAhhh, the sweet dulcet tones of the Playboy theme are wafting in the background.

Bunny at the ready ~ drinks at hand.

It’s the “Playboy Energy Drink”. Of course it is… for all those occasions when we need more stamina and lasting power. This energy drink will do it for sure.


!Red-Bull-energy-drink-logo-designWe can’t end this little diatribe without including the other ‘most popular’ energy drink.

Kids throw so much money at these drinks that they sponsor race cars, motorcycles, race boats, airplanes, eXtreme events to name just a few.

Where’s the sex, you ask…


!red bull body art 8

Well, here’s a cute variation on the theme.

Yes, they have their sex-pot posters…

Their shorty tank tops…

and their logo-ed panties.

But, they also have this lovely lady wearing nothing but paint.

There is no end to the ways we can market goods and services using SEX. (maybe I shouldn’t use the word services here – lol)

The fact is, this is a billion-dollar a year business that sells crap!

Imagine what we can do when we sell good, quality products. Products that work well and have great support behind them.



And ~ the third of the most popular of the energy drinks ~ RockStar.

We all know what RockStars are like and what their reputations are. Wouldn’t any red-blooded American boy want to be like one? All you have to do is drink one of these! Right?


I’m certain that if you drink a few of these RockStars these pretty ladies will be following your every move.

They’ll come to your school, they’ll be at your gym, heck, they’ll even come to your house.

And, when they come to your house ~ clothing is optional! (It looks as though it’s optional right now!)   (>|<)

By the way, these pictures are in no way intended to offend anyone. They are here for two reasons.

  • First: They are everywhere already ~ this isn’t the first time you’ve seen them.
  • Second: I’m making a point!
  • You can sell anything with sex!
  • But WHY does it work?
  • Because it sells on pure emotion. There is no logic involved whatsoever!
  • Emotion sells; logic sucks.

Low and behold the Washington examiner has an article about some senate democrats calling representatives from the energy drink industry before a committee. how timely. you can read the article here:
click here button

One comment

  1. Dr. Tim /

    Low and behold the Washington Examiner has an article about some Senate democrats calling representatives from the energy drink industry before a committee. How timely. You can read the article here:
    click here button

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