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Energy drink “tweaking” isn’t healthy habit
In the wake of modern energy drinks, a regular cup of brewed coffee may have become a quaint relic of simpler times.
The 200 mg of caffeine in an average “cup of Joe” pales in comparison to stimulant packed beverages like “Tweak Extreme.”
Warnings cover the beverage’s label, starting with, “not for sale to minors,” just under the cap and continuing down through, “don’t drink more than two servings daily,” and “keep out of reach of children.” Then fine print warnings urge people with medical conditions and taking mood medications not to drink.
Balancing warnings with healthy buzzwords, the label proclaims, “Zero Calories. Zero Sugars. Zero Carbs.”
The Tweak Extreme Berry flavor tastes like a sweet and sour fruit candy with a purple-pink color. It’s easy to consume quickly, but the berry aftertaste is far less pleasant than the beverage itself. It’s less bitter than Red Bull, but falls short of Monster’s sweetness.
Before drinking Tweak Extreme, I recorded my baseline set of vitals. The accepted normal blood pressure for adults is 120 over 80 with a pulse rate of 60 to 100 beats per minute.
My readings were a blood pressure of 126 over 85 and a pulse of 82. Ignoring the two serving limit, I sipped Tweak Extreme over 30 minutes and then reassessed my vitals.
I routinely consume excessive amounts of caffeine without any measurable effect, and was surprised when my blood pressure jumped to 146 over 90 with a pulse of 122 beats per minute. With the elevated vitals came full-body-jitters, sweat, jumpiness, dry-mouth, stomach discomfort, hot flashes and an inability to sit still.
All that lasted about 3 hours as the side effects wore off one-by-one.
What did the manufacturer put in this? The listed propriety blend combines 223 mg of active ingredients: Caffeine, a stimulant, Evodiamine, which raises body temperature, N-Acetyl-L-Tyrosine, an amino acid that converts into a variety of hormones, Yerba Mate, a stimulant, Oriental Ginseng Root Extract, a stimulant, Vinpocetine, which increases blood flow, Yohimbe HCL, a sexual stimulant, and Green Tea Extract, an anti-oxidant and stimulant.
The known side effects of these ingredients come mostly from anecdotal sources. With the exception of caffeine, very little scientific research has been conducted.
A gratuitous rush of energy? Yes. A nice experience? No.
In today’s hurried society, pushing the limits to accomplish more is normal. Tweak Extreme charges past the normal into ridiculous. Not surprising, considering the word “tweaking” is slang for the effects of crystal meth, and meth users are often called “tweakers.
Conclusion: drinking Tweak Extreme can’t be healthy, even if I had followed the directions.
Christopher Lewis is a photojournalism senior. He can be reached at email@example.com.