The use of energy supplements and its research in hopes of overcoming mental fatigue has become prevalent in today’s world. In recent times, the increase of demand on students and the working class have been evident. Many people turn to coffee or energy drinks to survive their daily routine, but most energy drinks contain sugar in them, and many people like sugar in their coffee. Contrary to popular belief, it is sugar that causes heart disease, not fat (Hyman, 2014).
In relation, the World Health Organization (2015) suggests that added or free sugar should make up less than 5% of total calories consumed in a day, but as stated in Yang, et. al.’s (2014) findings, 71.4% of Americans consume 10% or more of their calories from added sugar, and around 10% consume 25% or more, meaning less than 20% of Americans consume the recommended amount of added sugar.
As stated by Treloar (2015), energy drinks have been around for half a century and has been gaining popularity in the United States for three decades amongst the working class and students. In relation to the popularity of the beverages, the Food and Drug Administration (2012), mentions that 32.7% in the energy drink market consumes Red Bull while 18.7% consumes Rockstar in 2008.A fully occupied schedule is common among the working class and even the youth. Work and school takes up around two thirds of the day, and many people have extra activities they do afterwards.
This leaves little time for sleep, and because of this, the consumption of energy drinks and/or caffeinated beverages is on the rise. As mentioned by Chrysant (2015), consuming high amounts of caffeine could lead to cardiovascular diseases such as coronary heart disease or even death. More health complications may add up if over consuming is continued such as, palpitations, seizures, chest pains, and could complicate pre-existing conditions. (Manchester & Ethel, 2017). Energy drinks contain caffeine and taurine, which are the main ingredients that give them their energizing quality.
Caffeine dilates the blood vessels, raises heart rate and blood pressure, and dehydrates the body. Highly caffeinated drinks have been reported in association with seizures, diabetes, and cardiac abnormalities or heart diseases (Hershorin, 2011). Taurine on the other hand is a naturally produced amino acid that helps regulate the heartbeat, muscle contractions, and energy levels. Arneta, et. al.
‘s (2008) findings show that it can help lower cholesterol, increase the effectiveness of heart muscle contractions, and improve blood flow and oxygen supply to heart cells. According to the European Food Safety Authority (2015), the recommended amount of caffeine per day is 400 mg, and Zeratsky (2015) suggests no more than 3000 mg of taurine a day. Mixing these two together can give a person the same energy boost of pure caffeine, without the negative side effects of it. The consumption of energy boosting products such as energy drinks, and caffeine based beverages are the current solution to overcoming mental fatigue. Over consumption of such products can result to numerous health complications and is being monitored by professionals.
Rotstein et. al. (2013) claims that over consumption of energy drinks could cause complications in the cardiac system such as arrhythmia, increased heart rate, chest pains, and, palpitations. Monitoring the consumption of energy drinks can help doctors, researchers and professionals identify the proper amount of consumption for energy drinks.There is a need to investigate on healthier alternatives of sugar filled energy drinks and caffeine based beverages, in order to veer off the current trend of rising heart disease related deaths. To reiterate, an excess in added sugars is the cause of heart disease (Hyman, 2014). A study by the American Heart Association (2007) reports an increase in systolic blood pressure, four hours after fifteen participants (8 women, 7 men) were given 500ml of energy drinks.
In relation, the study of Riksen et. al. (2009) states similar results with the consumption of coffee. Though such product could provide an increase in energy for the consumer, factors such as diseases, hypertension, palpitations, chest pains and increased heart rate should be taken into consideration.A considerate amount of literature has been published on the effects of sugar, caffeine, and taurine on the body.
The World Health Organization (2015) recommend that added or free sugars should make up less than 5% of total calories consumed in a day, but Gregg, Yang, & Zhang’s (2014) findings have shown that 71.4% of American adults consumed 10% or more of calories from added sugar, and around 10% consumed 25% or more. Hyman (2014) further asserts that sugar is the cause of heart attacks, yet Angelopoulos & Rippe (2016) concluded that singling out added sugars as unique culprits for diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease appears inconsistent with the evidence found. Gregg, et al (2014) noted that recommendations for added sugar consumption vary substantially, with the Institute of Medicine (2015) recommending less than 25% of total calories, and WHO (2014) recommending less than 10%, which has been further lessened to 5%. (WHO, 2015). On another note, the Food and Drug Administration (2017) recognizes caffeine as a safe substance if within its tolerance level of 0.
02 percent. Caffeine is one of the main ingredients of energy drinks, and while the FDA has limited the caffeine content of sodas to 18 mg per 100 mL, energy drinks are not currently subject to the same FDA regulations. (Babu, Church, & Lewander, 2008). Hershorin, et al’s (2011) study observed that highly caffeinated drinks have been reported in association with seizures, diabetes, and cardiac abnormalities or heart diseases.
This view has been challenged by Thorne (2017), who asserted that caffeine, when categorized as a food, is fit for human consumption and is generally recognized as safe. Taurine is the other main ingredient of energy drinks, and is the most abundant free amino acid in humans and it plays an important role in several essential biological processes such as bile acid conjugation, maintenance of calcium, homeostasis, osmoregulation and membrane stabilization. (Marcinkiewicz & Kontny, 2014). Mawer (2016) pointed out that taurine has been shown to have several health benefits, such as a lower risk of disease and improved sports performance. Mawer (2016) further states that it is also very safe and has no known side effects when taken in reasonable doses. Zeratsky (2015) affirmed this view by stating that up to 3000 mg of supplemental taurine a day is generally considered safe. Arneja, et al (2008) noted that through numerous experimental and several clinical studies, taurine was demonstrated to help the cardiovascular system through a variety of mechanisms including an improved lipid profile, and the modulation of Ca2+.
Arneja, et al (2008) further state that while no severe side effects were reported with taurine-supplemented beverages or commercially available multivitamin and mineral formulations, some caution should be used when consuming these. Gaeini, Kazemi, & Rahnama’s (2010) paper tested the effectiveness of energy drinks on maximal cardiorespiratory fitness and blood lactate levels, using VO2 max testing. VO2 max, or maximal oxygen consumption, refers to the maximum amount of oxygen that an individual can utilize during intense or maximal exercise.
This measurement is generally considered the best indicator of cardiovascular fitness and aerobic endurance, and its testing is what will be used in this paper. Gaeini, Kazemi, & Rahnama (2010) found that the ingestion of Red Bull and Hype prior to exercise testing is effective on some indices of cardiorespiratory fitness but not on the blood lactate levels. This study evaluated the effects of taurine and chocolate milk supplementation on oxidative stress and protein metabolism markers, and aerobic parameters in triathletes, and found that taurine supplementation did not improve aerobic parameters, but was effective in increasing taurine plasma levels and decreasing oxidative stress markers, which suggests that taurine may prevent oxidative stress in triathletes. (De Carvalho, et al, 2017).A considerable amount of research has been made on energy drinks and its effects on its consumers, but little research has been made on how long an energy drink remains effective and the use of candy as a substitute to the mentioned product as sweets are known to provide energy.
This study aims to test candy as a healthier alternative to energy drinks/supplements.Hence, additional studies regarding sweets as an alternative to energy drinks/supplements are needed in order to assist future studies. These studies require more detail to further identify and understand what type of mint is an effective alternative to energy drinks/supplements.The aim of this paper is to study the effectiveness of a caffeine and taurine based mint as a healthier alternative to energy drinks/supplements.
The product will have different ratios in caffeine and taurine to test the effectivity of the product on the consumer. The study will be done in 2-3 weeks from preparation of product down to experimentation and results.