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Extinct Beverage Ingredients

These are the various ingredients included in energy drinks, and a bit about what they're supposed to do. Here's the licensing information for Wikipedia, 'cause I flogged vast amounts of information therefrom. Wikipedia entries are in italics.

Caffeine: Caffeine is an alkaloid found naturally in such foods as coffee beans, tea, kola nuts, Yerba mate, guarana, and (in small amounts) cacao beans. It is added to some soft drinks such as colas and Mountain Dew.

Caffeine has a characteristic intensely bitter taste. Its main pharmacological properties are: a stimulant action on the central nervous system with psychotropic effects and stimulation of respiration, a stimulation of the heart rate, and a diuretic effect. Caffeine consumption leads to pharmacologic tolerance with defined withdrawal symptoms.


Caffeine's included in basically every energy drink known to man, including coffee and Coca Cola. So there.

Caffeine is found in essentially every energy drink known to man, including both tea and coffee.
Citrus Aurantium: Citrus aurantium is a species of citrus. It is also called the bitter, sour, bigarade and Seville orange.

The yuzu is a citrus fruit native to East Asia. It looks a bit like a small grapefruit with an uneven skin (...) Yuzu's flavor is tart, closely resembling that of the grapefruit, with overtones of Mandarin orange. It is rarely eaten as a fruit, though in the Japanese and Korean cuisines its aromatic zest (outer rind) is also used to garnish some dishes, and its juice is commonly used as a seasoning somewhat like the way a lemon is used in other cuisines.


Caffeine's included in basically every energy drink known to man, including coffee and Coca Cola. So there.

Citrus Aurantium is found in Speed.
Folic Acid: Folic acid (the anion form is called folate) is a B-complex vitamin (once called vitamin M) that is important in preventing neural tube defects (NTDs) in the developing human fetus.

Leafy greens such as spinach and turnip greens, dry beans and peas, fortified cereals and grain products, and some fruits and vegetables are rich food sources of folate.


Some of this stuff is quite frightening when you realise you're reading it in reference to lolly water.

Folic Acid is found in most energy drinks.
Guarana: Guarana or Guaranį (pronounced gwa-ra-'naa), Paullinia cupana, is a shrub or small tree in the Sapindaceae, native to Venezuela and northern Brazil, known for the high caffeine content of the fruit.

The Guaranį plant contains caffeine, and so acts as a stimulant. Like many other caffeine-containing plants, it is used for drinks; a kind of carbonated soft drink that is made from the Guaranį berry is known as "Guaranį". There are a number of different brands of commercial Guaranį drinks available, such as Guaranį Antarctica or Guaranį Kuat, it can also be found in the US under the brand Bawls. However, most many commercial brands of Guarana outside of South America are of very low quality having hardly any Guarana flavor at all. It would do a wise consumer well to purchace a South American brand of Guarana. All these drinks are fizzy and sweet, and with a taste compared by some to bubble gum or root beer but with a very fruity after taste.


That pretty much sums that up, then. Having learned this, I'd go as far as to say guarana would be the major proponent of the vile fruity aftertaste in pretty much all energy drinks.

Guarana is found in almost all energy drinks.
Gingko Biloba: The Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba), sometimes also known as the Maidenhair tree, is a unique tree with no living relatives, being classified within its own division, the Ginkgophyta, comprising the single class Ginkgoopsida, order Ginkgoales, family Ginkgoaceae, genus Ginkgo and just the one species, one of the best examples of a living fossil known.

I..actually didn't know it was a living fossil. Interesting. More about the herb:

Extracts from the Ginkgo leaves contain flavonoid glycosides, among others, ginkgolides and are therefore used as a pharmaceutical. The extract has many properties but it is mainly used as memory enhancer and anti-vertigo agents. However, studies differ about its efficacy. Throughout the past three decades, more than 300 studies have shown Ginkgo biloba to provide a number of benefits. The most important are listed below:

- Increases blood flow to the brain and throughout the body's blood vessels that provide blood and oxygen to the organ systems
- Increases metabolism efficiency, regulates neurotransmitters, and oxygen levels in the brain
- Enhanced circulation in the brain include improved short and long term memory, reaction time and mental clarity
- Helps control the transformation of cholesterol to plaque associated with the hardening of arteries, and may relax constricted blood vessels
- Ginkgo has been shown to be a supportive herb for treating infertility or impotence in males
- Aids in preventing damage to organs from free radicals, and also blocks the platelet activating factor which causes some skin disorders such as psoriasis
- Helps in the treatment of eye and ear disorders
- Recent studies have shown that Ginkgo helps reduce altitude sickness.


Most of the above are quoted as "mind expanding" or "memory enhancing" components of energy drinks.

Gingko Biloba is found in most energy drinks, along with caffeine or caffeine from guarana.
Ginseng: Ginseng comes from the Chinese term Ren Shen (??), which means man root. It is the common name for several plants of the family Araliaceae, valued for their medicinal properties. Although ginseng is nowadays most often associated with the genus Panax, some researchers believe that the original ginseng used in ancient China may have been a different plant.

Ginseng is highly prized as an adaptogen (a product that does no harm, but increases the body's resistance to stress). Unfortunately, this property is extremely difficult to prove scientifically as well.


Apparently a variety of ginseng classified as "red ginseng" has been proven to have a positive effect on impotence.

Ginseng is found in many energy drinks, including the Red Eye drinks.
Glucuronolactone: Glucuronolactone is a naturally occurring substance manufactured by the human body. It has received some notoriety due to rumors that it was a Vietnam War era drug manufactured by the American government. The rumors go on to say that it was banned due to several brain tumor deaths at the time. These rumors are not based on documented facts.

It is one of the many ingredients in the currently popular Red Bull energy drink. Its positive benefits are undocumented as well.


This...does not fill me with confidence.
Gotu Kola: A relative of parsley and carrots, found in India and Sri Lanka, among other places. Considered to be a spiritually rejuvenating herb, used for revitalising brain and nerve cells. Has been used to treat cancer, leprosy, skin disorders, arthritis, haemherroids and tuberculosis. Apparently it's also useful for kids with ADD. Also promotes wound healing and both energises and relaxes the body. Clearly this is a confused herb. colonpipe.com does not promote the use of Gotu Kola as a remedy for haemherroids, by the way.

Gotu Kola is found in a lot of energy drinks, including the Red Eye drinks.
Grapeseed: Grape seed oil is a vegetable oil pressed from the seeds of Vitis vinifera grapes, an abundant byproduct of wine making. Grape seed oil is used for: salad dressings, marinades, deep frying, flavored oils, baking, massage oil, sunburn repair lotion, hair products, body hygiene creams, lip balm and hand creams.

In a large survey published in 1993 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Dr. Nash showed in a sample group of 56 men and women using up to 1.5 ounces (43 g) per day, an amount that one can cook with, grapeseed oil had the ability to raise HDL levels by 13% and reduce LDL levels by 7% in just three weeks. The total cholesterol/HDL ratio was reduced 15.6% and the total LDL/HDL ratio was reduced by 15.3%, which could be significant for those at risk of heart attack.


The above basically amounts to saying "it thins out the blood somewhat".

Grape Seed extract is found in Red Eye Extreme.
Inosine: Inosine is a molecule (known as a nucleoside) that is formed when hypoxanthine is attached to a ribose ring (also known as a ribofuranose) via ab-N9-glycosidic bond. This is a very common nucleoside in tRNAs and is essential for proper translation of the genetic code in Wobble base pairs.

Uh, if anyone understood that, please let me know what the bollocks it means. I don't speak scientist.
Inositol: Inositol is almost a vitamin. It's an ingredient of cell membranes and it's required for your nerves, brain and muscles to work. It's apparently useful in treating depression, liver problems and thinning hair. Neurotransmitters like seratonin (the one they have trouble with all the time on Star Trek) need inositol to function. The stuff is common in fibrous food.
Milk thistle: This is a frightening addition to some energy drinks.

The milk thistles are the genus Silybum of flowering plants, in the daisy family (Asteraceae). They are native to the Mediterranean regions of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East.

By far the more widely known species is S. marianum which is known to give some remedy for liver diseases.

Hooray, another potential cure for major disease, hidden away in an energy drink. Who said this stuff was bad for you?

Milk Thistle Herb is found in Go Fast.
Niacin: Niacin, also known as nicotinic acid or vitamin B3, is a water-soluble vitamin whose derivatives such as NADH play essential roles in energy metabolism in the living cell. The designation vitamin B3 also includes the amide form, nicotinamide or niacinamide. Severe lack of niacin causes the deficiency disease pellagra, whereas a mild deficiency slows down the metabolism, which in turn decreases cold tolerance and is a potential contributing factor towards obesity.
Pantothenic Acid: Pantothenic acid, also called vitamin B5, is an antioxidant water-soluble vitamin needed to break down carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.

Pantothenic acid is an important tool in natural medicine, and replaces cortisone. It is also needed for proper and healthy growth of hair.


If an energy drink ever claims to "put hair on your chest", it may not be kidding.
Pasteurization: Pasteurization is the process of heating food for the purpose of killing harmful organisms such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa, molds, and yeasts. The process was named after its inventor, French scientist Louis Pasteur.

Not an additive, but a process performed on a substance. Anyhow. Red Bull is the only energy drink I've come across that's pasteurised. Which is somewhat disturbing.

Red Bull is pasteurised.
Riboflavin (B2): Riboflavin (E101), also known as vitamin B2, is an easily absorbed, water-soluble micronutrient with a key role in maintaining human health.

Milk, cheese, leafy green vegetables, liver and yeast are good sources of Vitamin B2, but exposure to light will destroy the Riboflavin in these natural sources. Any excess is excreted in the urine but as the human body does not store riboflavin it is thought deficiency is common.


Riboflavin is something you pee. Gotcha.
Sodium: Sodium is the chemical element in the periodic table that has the symbol Na (Natrium in Latin) and atom number 11.

Sodium ions play a diverse role in many physiological processes. Excitable cells, for example, rely on the entry of Na+ to cause a depolarization. An example of this is signal transduction in the human neural system.


I'm under the impression that sodium is something present in basically everything that has to be accounted for in case someone sues someone else for not telling them it was there. I could be wrong, though. Fact is, I can't be arsed to research. It's sodium, for Christ's sake.
Taurine: Taurine, also known as 2-aminoethanesulfonic acid, is a biologically important chemical compound.

Taurine has two major roles in human metabolism: (1) there is some evidence it is an inhibitory neurotransmitter in the central nervous system, and (2) it plays a role in digestion (see bile). It has been linked to a number of other metabolic functions but its role is not clear.


This would stand very much to reason, given Chefelf's insistance that Red Bull tastes and smells like bile. Chefelf's familiarity with the flavour of bile is best left unexplored.

Taurine is the ingredient Red Bull is presumably named after, although it's an ingredient in virtually all energy drinks.
Vitamin B6: The two major forms of vitamin B6 are pyridoxine and pyridoxamine. In the liver they are converted to pyridoxal 5'-phosphate (PLP) which is a cofactor in many reactions of amino acid metabolism.

So, uh, in short: Vitamin B6 is a chemical the liver converts into another chemical which is used in something to do with amino acids. I ACED BIOLOGY.
Vitamin B12: Cobalamin or vitamin B12 is a chemical compound that is also known as cyanocobalamine. It is needed for nerve cells and red blood cells, and to make DNA.

Vitamin B12 defeciency is the cause of several forms of anemia.

Vitamin B12 is a popular substance for use in diluting (or cutting) methamphetamine.


Now that's educational.







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