Do energy drinks really provide a source of energy?
This case study is designed to teach students at various levels about large biomolecules, nutrition and product analysis. Students conduct a biochemical analysis of several popular energy drinks on the market, which many students purchase at fairly high prices, and determine whether these products nutritionally match their marketing claims.
a) Describe and categorize chemically the components of four popular ‘energy drinks’.
b) Determine the physiological role of these components in the human body
c) Explain scientifically how the marketing claims for these drinks are supported or not.
d) Determine under what conditions each of the ‘energy drinks’ might be useful to the consumer.
e) Write an analysis of energy drinks for a popular magazine.
Keywords: Energy drink, metabolism, food energy, carbohydrates, glucose, glycolysis, stimulant, caffeine, nutrient, calorie, Krebs cycle, oxidative phosphorylation, ATP, RDA, adrenaline rush, impulse, advertising, marketing claims
1. Form groups (6-8 individuals)
2. Understand the difference between ‘sport drinks’ and ‘energy drinks’
3. Do a literature research on ‘energy drinks’
4. Collect four popular energy drinks and study their ingredients.
5. Conduct a comparative analysis (may be in table form) between the collected drinks based on their quality (types and number of ingredients) and quantity (amount of ingredients). Show the similarities as well as the differences between the sampled energy drinks.
6. Determine the physiological role of these components in the human body. Especially, the common ingredients found in the energy drinks. Do they provide energy?
7. Explain scientifically how the marketing claims for these drinks are supported or not.
8. Determine under what conditions each of the ‘energy drinks’ might be useful to the consumer.