The hype over the newest energy drinks and energy shots is such that the media keeps running similar articles about the same theme. Phil Amato has written yet another piece which poses the question about the safety of the two-ounce shots. To begin, it’s important to point out one thing - it might be confusing some consumers as to the difference between the “shots” and the “drinks”. The shots are less than two ounces and cannot be called drinks. There is absolutely no natural nutrient in them, except the water. The drinks on the other hand are in drink portions, such as 8 ounces, and though they contain little more in the natural nutrient category, they at least are not so concentrated and are more like the normal soft drink. In his article, Amato interviews two shot consumers and quotes a dietician. The two users only report on their experiences which really cannot answer the safety question. The dietician does highlight some of the problems: the caffeine is too concentrated; the niacin can cause temporary skin reddening; and the sudden dumping in of the caffeine – equivalent to a cup of coffee – could negatively affect heart problems. Coffee is consumed much more slowly, so the shock to the system is not so bad. Also, none of the nutrition information published by the shot maker stated the source of the caffeine. All of the other ingredients are artificial, such as the flavors, which are various fruit flavors. The sweetener is sucralose, which has its harmful effects. So the shot is giving the consumer artificially sweetened water with some vitamins, and the caffeine of a cup of coffee. The company also offers low caf versions, so the energy is coming from the taurine and other chemicals. Also the two ounce bottle costs more than a coffee. Again, most coffee drinkers do not drink coffee solely for the caffeine high, but most drink if for the great taste. If this weren’t so, there would be no demand for decaf. Besides the taste, coffee delivers an aroma and the feeling of well-being; one cup drunk slowly usually doesn’t even give the jitters, though it can wake a person up. Amato doesn’t draw any conclusions so he doesn’t answer the question initially asked. He leaves that up to the reader. You decide.
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