Energy Drinks? Have a Banana.

Energy Drinks? Have a Banana.
The original study comparing energy drinks and bananas is here, but Kathy Orlinsky sumarizes it concisely:

“Of the 103 metabolites that were tested for, only one differed between the banana group and the energy drink group: banana eaters had much higher levels of dopamine. Those levels continued to rise even an hour after exercising. It seems that not only was the banana just as good at replenishing athletes during intense exercise, but it made them feel better too.”

“Ditch the energy drinks and eat a banana,” Kathy Orlinsky, The Stochastic Scientist


“Jamie Oliver: ‘Energy drinks are like cocaine for kids,'” Mayer Nissim, Digital Spy

“Concerns grow over the dangers of energy drinks,” Marle Nawrocki, Modesto Bee


“Some Athletes Reject High-Tech Sports Fuel In Favor Of Real Food,” Alastair Bland, NPR blog


Short Link:

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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2 Responses to “Energy Drinks? Have a Banana.”

  1. Kyle Stadnyk Says:

    The article is about sports drinks, but you show energy drinks. This is misleading. The source article also uses the terms interchangeably, which is wrong. Please clarify.

  2. Mike Licht Says:

    Kyle Stadnick writes: The article is about sports drinks, but you show energy drinks. This is misleading.

    The “function” of “functional beverages” and “functional foods” is a product of marketing rather than science and, in those terms, Mr. Stadnick is correct.

    “Energy drinks” contain more sugar and some caffeine as well as salts, perhaps some little-known ingredient like taurine or guarana, and a trace of an exotic herb or spice as an excuse for charging an exorbitant price for sugar water. “Sports drinks” are largely over-priced sugar water with salts. There are also “performance drinks,” “conditioning drinks,” “recovery drinks,” and “vitamin water” and all are pure bunkum.

    If you regularly exert yourself physically, eat a balanced diet. If you expect to sweat a lot, drink water. That’s what it tells you to do in the fine print at the bottom of “functional food” ads anyway. Read the fine print and leave the snake oil tonic on the shelf.

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