Are energy-drinks really harshing your mellow?

asleepA study in extremes?  A marketing fad-wagon?  A good idea?

Promising a “vacation in a bottle” or an “acupuncture session in every can,” makers of anti-energy drinks, as they’re known, say that after bailouts, foreclosures and Ponzi schemes, Americans nowadays would rather chill out than tweak out. To help us do so, they’re spiking their new beverages with ingredients such as chamomile, melatonin, and valerian root — all known for their supposed calming effects.

To be sure, there are definitely some benefits to offering modern humanity more ways to just calm down.  Introducing the mainstream to plant medicines such as valerian root and kava kava root are also pluses as I see it.  However, these treatments need to be more widely understood and used if we hope to break our toxic dependence on western medicines “treat the symptom, not the disease” disease.

As anti-energy drinks gain in popularity we’ll surely begin to see ever more research on the compounds that give the drinks their mellow.  This will lead to warning labels, conflicting health advice from competing drink makers’ marketing departments, and fear-mongering of potent plant-based medicines such as valerian and kava.  Further, there have already been studies which have proven that kava lactones, the active ingredient in kava kava can be damaging to the liver (made worse if combined with alcohol!) .  This research just underscores the importance of using these herbs in their whole state, rather than extracting the potenet lactones and divorcing the medicine from the complex of vitamins, minerals, and flavinoids that mitigate and balance these strong medicines.

Melatonin is also being used in these drinks, and while melatonin is a naturally-occurring hormone in our brains, it’s the one that regulates our sleep.  Messing with the bodies equilibrium by introducing added doses of hormones, amino acids, etc. can have all sorts of undesired effects (i.e. insomnia).

Ultimately, i am of the opinion that this newest trend in beverage marketing will be the most destructive yet.  These products WILL be abused because they are mind/body altering substances and people seems to really love that shit.

via Daily Finance

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