Blonde Kim Kardashian wearing a white dress and white heels while sitting on an exercise bench lifting dumbbells is the picture of health — or at least that’s what Alani Nu wants people to think.
remarkable picturewhich was a promotion for a pink lemonade flavored energy drink called “bumblebeeIt took social media by storm when the wellness brand and reality TV star shared it on Instagram July 10. Within weeks, and 2.1 million ad likes later, the product was sold. Why? Because people are addicted to caffeine and anything touted as wellness culture. , according to one Registered Dietitian, Abby Sharp.
“These new-age energy drinks are coming to be seen as a healthy alternative to soda or coffee for women who are looking for a bang for their buck—maybe in the gym, for performance, or for everyday life, but maybe watching their weight,” says Sharp. Yahoo Live. “It’s often marketed alongside a lot of female celebrities who have socially desirable bodies. And so there’s a clear assumption that this contributes in some way to the way their bodies look.”
While Kardashian attracts a unique kind of attention to her body and lifestyle, it’s not the first time the industry has seen an energy drink in pink packaging, a fun flavor and 200mg of caffeine with minimal calories. TikTok “It girl” Alex Earle had it Similar collaboration with AminoLean – a brand whose motto is “Just Good Energy” with products said to give you energy and help build muscle and manage weight – on Berry Elixir in March. Other brands, such as Celsius And Super Fuel from EBOOSTThey have also hired the help of fitness influencers and models to market their products.
This “healthwashing” of the industry, as Sharp calls it, contributes to the already troubling trend of young people consuming energy drinks, now targeting women specifically.
Red Bull and Monster Energy continue to dominate the market, according to A Mordor Intelligence report. But as consumer concerns evolve, brands offering energy drinks that are labeled “clean” or low-calorie are disrupting the market and enticing a new customer.
“I remember seeing a girl buy an energy drink at a convenience store (in Florida) and kind of put it on the side of her hip,” Grant told Yahoo Life. “You knew she wanted it and she wanted to drink it, but she didn’t come out proudly, like you would with a matcha or Starbucks.”
Grant, who also founded the lingerie brand alive, knew that big-name energy drink brands had a “stereotype” that didn’t align with “health-conscious humans,” because they were typically associated with core workers or other high-performance use cases. However, today she sees energy drinks as her daily drink.
“Especially in the post-pandemic period — because everyone needs to get back to this crazy rhythm they had in life before the pandemic,” she says. “What I’ve come to realize is that it does happen, so what we can do is just normalize it and make it really proud and fun and interesting.”
More importantly, it sought to make it something that could exist in the wellness space. Whole Foods, for example, can’t carry other energy drinks because, she says, “they have sucralose, they have erythritol, they have a lot of caffeine, and then they have weird things like taurineetc,” Grant says Gorgias no.
Can energy drinks be healthy?
“This is a really great example of health ‘washing’, where we take something that’s generally unhealthy for you, add a little bit of stuff that we feel will give it that nutritional buzz, and all of a sudden it turns into healthy food,” says Sharp.
The knowledge that energy drinks are not healthy is not new. In reality, negative effects of beverages have been reported to the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for decades. “The caffeine has been and continues to be a challenge,” he says. Roger ClemensMAN, Assistant Professor in the College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Southern California.
Excessive caffeine intake, which is considered more than 400 milligrams, according to 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americansis a serious concern, as it can lead to digestive distress, anxiety, insomnia, high blood pressure and a rapid heartbeat. Harvard School of Public Health It is noted that in rare cases, it can cause heart attacks and arrest. amount sugar In many of these drinks it can lead to other chronic diseases, while the effect of additional substances added to alertness – such as ginseng root and guarana Seed Extract – Not properly researched.
The regulation of these components is also complex. “Energy drinks are typically sold as a dietary supplement in the United States, while soda and coffee or tea are considered foods,” says Clemens. Regarding dietary supplements, as long as the ingredients are considered safe (according to the Dietary Supplements Health and Education Act 1994 or Wide range of new food ingredients), the formulation of this product may be marketed without any clinical studies or regulatory approval.”
In the case of Gorgie, it was the consumer’s input on social media that determined which ingredients were most desired in the drinks. “we had BCAA There and magnesium, but people really care more L-theanineB6, B12 and biotin,” says Grant. People also disputed about the 200 mg of caffeine the product originally contained. I decided most “big brands” had that amount or more. Relatively speaking, “a normal cup of coffee is about 80 to 120.” Gorgie consumers wanted a little more than coffee.
“We really wanted to create something where you feel alert and focused. And that’s where we really found the sweet spot, with 150 milligrams of green tea with a dash of L-Theanine,” she says. “It’s basically the Red Bull Championship in 2023. It’s better for you, it tastes better, it looks better.”
“Many of the above natural ingredients are better than just mega doses of caffeine,” she says. doctor. Melina Gambolischief medical officer and co-founder of the Precision Nutrition Program, AharaYahoo Live.
However, Sharp says, “Don’t aim for nutrients from energy drinks. … If you want B6, you want B12, eat whole foods.”
What women should consider
“Women metabolize caffeine more slowly than men, so they may be more sensitive to higher doses in energy drinks,” Jampolis explains. “High amounts of caffeine may have an effect on hormonal balance, so for women who have hormone-related issues, including menstrual fibroids and endometriosis, they may want to limit their intake of high-caffeinated energy drinks.” “
Aside from caffeine intake, she also cautions against “falling into products with a ‘healthy halo’ while looking for ‘better for you’ options,” which Jampolis says women are more likely to do.
with irresponsibility Influencers or celebrities marketingThis could get worse.
According to Sharp, “Well, if they’re healthy, if they’re in good physique, if they’re great-looking, how can that be unhealthy? It can only be good for me,” might be consumers’ thought process. “But we obviously know that’s not the truth. We also don’t even know if these celebrities or influencers are consuming this stuff, period.”