KSJ Tracker Tag: glucuronolactone

January 2, 2013

Stop the presses: Scant proof that energy drinks do what they promise.

On the front page of this morning's New York TimesBarry Meier has a 2,000-word piece on the promise of such "energy drinks" as Red Bull, 5-Hour Energy and Monster Energy. Under the headline, "Energy Drinks Promise Edge, but Experts Say Proof is Lacking," he delivers the following strong message: Energy drinks promise an edge, but experts say the proof is lacking. In other words, once you've read the headline, you pretty much know the story.

It's not a bad story. I learned something about the marketing of energy drinks, their origins in Japan, and two obscure, 40-year-old studies of glucuronolactone injections in rats. (Glucuronolactone is an ingredient in popular energy drinks. The injections in the rats made them swim better, but nobody knows whether it does anything in energy drinks.)