Whacky Wednesday: Zero Calorie Energy Drink

Posted on January 5th, 2011

Ok, now this is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard… a zero calorie energy drink. Seriously? The only people that will fall victim to this gimmick is likely the average “health conscience” consumer who are somewhat clueless to what actual energy and food really is. Gatorade has a low calorie sport drink, but PowerAde is trying to one up them with a zero calorie beverage. They are taking the angle of carbohydrates as a source of fuel, and are claiming athletes don’t want, “wasted calories.”

Carbohydrates alone won’t continue fueling your body for long without essential calories. Simply put, calories translate to energy, but so do carbohydrates, right? So what is wrong with a zero calorie drink that has zero calories? Well, can you think of a high carbohydrate food without any calories? One medjool date alone contains 66 calories and is packed full of carbs (18 grams). To put it simply, PowerAde zero is highly unnatural.

Just look at the standard list of ingredients: water, high fructose corn syrup, salt, potassium citrate, phenylalanine, sucralose, sodium citrate, malic acid, vitamin B6, vitamin B2, etc. Notice any natural ingredients in that list, other than water and salt? I sure don’t. Nothing in this beverage is natural, other than the water. This beverage is the last thing I would want to consume during or after exercise.

So what does make up a good energy drink? There are very few beverages on the market I would consider a good energy drink, but you can create your own, highly nutritious energy drink that packs a punch. Below is a recipe based of Brendan Brazier’s spots drink from his book, The Thrive Diet.

Homemade Energy Drink

  • 2 cups of water
  • juice of one lemon
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 4 medjool dates
  • 2 TBSP of agave nectar (optional)
  • 2 tsp of coconut oil (optional)
  • pinch of sea salt

Directions: Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until mixture is drinkable

I have used the above recipe to help provide energy during half marathons and long bike rides. Combined with my shot blok recipe, the pack quite the punch. Not only is it 100% all-natural, it’s highly nutritious and good for you. Since discovering this wonderful recipe, I have always made my own energy drink. The taste is great too, it has plenty of carbohydrates, salt and coconut oil – to help replenish electrolytes, and CALORIES, to help provide you with lasting energy.

KickstarterAlso, on a side note. We are still raising funds for Adventure Naturals on Kickstarter, and we still need your help. We are currently close to 40% funding and have just over 30 days left to meet our $5,000 goal. So, help us bring our 100% organic, raw, vegan, gluten free, energy bars and seasoned nuts to market. Please consider donating at the $35 level or greater, but anything you can give is greatly appreciated and needed.

What is an energy bar?

Posted on December 16th, 2010

What makes an energy bar and energy bar? Watch the video and find out, and listen to by short plea about how you can help launch my new energy bar company – Adventure Naturals.

The $5 Plea

Now, through Christmas, if you donate just $5 to our Kickstarter campaign you will receive an extra energy bar. These bars will retail for around $3 each, so you are essentially saving $1, AND you are helping start an AWESOME company, dedicated to bringing nutritious energy foods to the masses.

Think about it, $5 doesn’t go very far these days. Five dollars barely will cover a large latte, you can’t even buy a move ticket with five dollars, it will barely even get you food off a value menu, and five dollars won’t even get you two gallons of gas. So, when you think about it, your five dollars is going a LONG way by helping start our company.

So, check out our project and make a donation today! Kickstarter

Wacky Wednesday: Cola for babies!

Posted on December 1st, 2010

So, I decided to start something new here on the blog to give myself inspiration to write more. Every other Wednesday or so; I will be posting some sort of whacky bit of false information. My business partner with Adventure Naturals told be about this little jewel….

Coca-Cola for Babies
This 1950′s ad by Coca-Cola promotes carbonated beverages as a healthy thing for your baby.

Source of Ad: http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.php?az=view_all&address=389×9637643

I know it’s hard to read, but the ad essentially promises that your infant will grow to have an easier time in his or her teenage years and “fit in” better if they start drinking cola on a regular basis now, promising a “lifetime” of guaranteed happiness. How about a lifetime of lethargy and being overweight?

How crazy is that. The ad even claims scientific evidence to back it up. The even crazier thing is, people probably believed this lie. Just like people fall for false health claims today. As I continue with Wacky Wednesday, I hope to find some modern day examples of this ad. I’m positive I will be able to find plenty of examples.

The Truth About Soda

Well, we all pretty much know the truth. Even those of you who still drink soda know it. You just don’t want to admit it. Sugary carbonated beverages are not good for you, no matter what crazy healthy claims are put out there by the cola industry. Lets take a look at some of the common ingredients in coke: carbonated water, carmel color, natural flavors, caffeine, phosphoric acid, and high-fructose corn syrup. What is it about ANY of these ingredients that would lead anybody to believe these beverages contained any health benefit what so ever?

I will only focus on two of these ingredients because grandma wouldn’t even know what any of the other ingredients are. If you have read Omnivore’s Dilemma or Defense for Food, you will now it’s always best to avoid foods that contain ingredients you can’t pronounce.

So, I will start with caffeine. Caffeine itself isn’t that bad. A “safe” level of caffeine consumption is generally agreed to be around 300mg per day. A single coke contains around 45mg, a cup of coffee 85mg. Back before I was into raw foods I would consume around 255-520mg a day. I was far above the “safe” level and likely explains the extreme detox symptoms I experience when I temporarily gave up the beverage completely. With that said, a single soda in terms of caffeine content seems harmless, right? Well, lets look at why we might want to avoid caffeine.

Reasons to avoid caffeine are because of the negative effects on cortisol levels in the body. Cortisol, also known as the stress hormone, increases with the consumption of caffeine, thus reducing our bodies ability to fight disease, it can also lead to weight gain, moodiness, and heart disease. Also, when our bodies are “stressed” they are more run down and we end up reaching to caffeine again for another boost.

This isn’t to say caffeine is always bad, was with anything it should be consumed in moderation. Also plants like green leaf tea contain caffeine that is slowly released into the blood stream in smaller doses, so the effects are far less adverse and you still get a small boost of energy from the caffeine, minus the big buzz you get from drinking coffee. With that said, I must confess I have been guilty of drinking a cup or two of coffee a day lately because I have been been spending a lot of time in a local coffee shop working on Adventure Naturals. I really should switch to green tea or other healthy beverages such as Yerba Matte which also have a smaller dose of naturally occurring caffeine.

As far as high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS) goes, I think we all know that has become a negative buzz word lately. Health advocates have done such a great job of bringing this sugary substance to light that manufactuers are changing the name of this ingredient to “corn sugar.” Even though it’s made from corn it doesn’t mean you are getting the nutritional content provided in whole-cooked corn. The corn is so highly processed you no longer get any of the nutritonal benefits corn actually provides.

One of the main reasons why HFCS is so bad is that it doesn’t have to be digested before being absorbed into the blood stream, as opposed to sugar, the body must first digest the sugar before the fructose and glucose can be absorbed. This is why HFCS has a greater impact on blood glucose levels than regular sugar. Not to mention it masquerades around under a different name, deceiving the unknowing. But either way you look at it, too much sugar is bad for you. A few negative effects of sugar are: increased risk of obesity,  immune system disorders, quickens aging, causes tooth decay, and increases stress.

Anybody I have known that has stopped drinking coke has lost weight and had an increase in energy. I haven’t meet a single person that has stopped drinking coke and not experience health benefits. Even if you aren’t vegetarian, cutting cokes out of your diet will greatly increase your level of health.

So there you have it, this whacky bit of information has been set straight. Let me know if you have any other suggestions for Whacky Wednesday or just want to share some crazy bit of “health information” you have received.