Why Do Energy Drinks Contain Vitamin B?

Why Do Energy Drinks Contain Vitamin B?

A balanced and nutritious diet energizes and fuels the body. In yesteryear, most of the population in the United States consumed food grown on a family farm. As more people moved to urban settings in the 1930s and 40s, consuming processed food became more common.

The nutritional value of natural food sources is often lost with food storage, handling, and processing. Scientific advancements and social awareness of nutritional deficiencies led the Food and Drug Administration to issue a nutrient fortification policy in 1980.



As diet trends change, the need to fortify various foods changes, too. The current vegan diet trend has increased the need for non-animal sourced foods to be fortified with vitamins and minerals. Vitamin B2 and B12 are found more abundantly in animal-based products.

Today the grocery store shelves are stocked with numerous fortified foods aimed to improve the population’s nutrition and health. Breakfast cereals, flours, milk and dairy products, infant formulas, oils and fats, and many beverages are fortified with vitamins and minerals.

Energy Drinks Fortified with B Vitamins


Take a look at the nutritional fact label of your favorite energy drink. Red Bull, Monster Energy, 5-Hour Energy, Rockstar, and Teacher Power Energy Drinks are fortified with various B-Vitamins. But, why?

In general, sufficient levels of B Vitamins are required by the body to do one or more of the following things:

1. Convert food into energy,
2. Maintain proper cell development, function, and growth, or
3. Make new genetic material, including DNA.

 

Breaking Down Popular B Vitamins in Energy Drinks


The most popular B Vitamins added to energy drinks are Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine), and Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin). Some energy drink brands include Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) and Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid).

For each of these B Vitamins, we list its functions in the human body. We identify research studies associated with the vitamin.

Based on the recommended daily amount (RDA), we give the daily value (DV) or percentage of the RDA in a single serving of popular energy drinks. (RDA includes all food, beverages, and supplements ingested in a single day.) We also give the recommended upper limit of the vitamin with possible side effects from overconsumption.

Vitamin B1 (Thiamin) and Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid) are not often added to popular energy drinks. As such, we have not included detailed information for these two vitamins.


Popular B Vitamins in Energy Drinks


Vitamin B3 (Niacin) - helps convert food into energy. It is an essential part of cell development and function.

Research: The effects of high doses of Vitamin B3 in the form of nicotinic acid has been studied in people with hardened arteries to determine if it reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease. Studies1 show it may help increase good cholesterol and reduce bad cholesterol. However, it does not change the risk of a heart attack or stroke because it also increases insulin resistance.

DV Comparison: RDA for adult males is 16 mg, adult females 14 mg.

Teacher Power 

Red Bull 

Monster Energy 

5-Hour Energy 

Rockstar 

Zao Zero 

250% 

120% 

200% 

20,833% 

100% 

100% 


Upper Limit: For adults, it is 35 mg.

Doses over 30 mg have been linked to irritated skin, headaches, and dizziness. At 188% of the RDA, one serving of 5-hour energy hits the recommended upper limit.

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

 -is involved in over 100 enzyme reactions that metabolize food into energy. It is also involved in the immune system and in fetal and infant brain development.

Research: Studies indicate Vitamin B6 supplementation may help improve physical and psychological symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Results2 were improved when 40 mg of Vitamin B6 was taken with 500 mg of Calcium.

DV Comparison: RDA for adults ages 19-50 is 1.3 mg. For males over 50, it is 1.7 mg. For females over 50, it is 1.5 mg.

Teacher Power 

Red Bull 

Monster Energy 

5-Hour Energy 

Rockstar 

Zao Zero 

120% 

360% 

200% 

2,353% 

100% 

100% 



Upper Limit: For adults, it is 100 mg.

Taking long-term high doses of Vitamin B6 can cause severe nervous system issues, including loss of control of body movement. These issues normally dissipate when the user stops taking Vitamin B6. Other side effects of overusing Vitamin B6 include skin rashes, nausea, heartburn, and sun sensitivity.

 

Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin) 

-is involved in cell division and helps make cell DNA. Vitamin B12 deficiencies can lead to anemia, a condition caused by too few red blood cells. Since Vitamin B12 is not found abundantly in plant food sources, vegans and vegetarians should consume B12 fortified foods or take a supplement.

Research: 3Low blood levels of Vitamin B12 may be linked to depression.

DV Comparison: RDA for adults is 2.4 mcg.

Teacher Power 

Red Bull 

Monster Energy 

5-Hour Energy 

Rockstar 

Zao Zero 

250% 

120% 

200% 

20,833% 

100% 

100% 


Upper Limit: The Office of Dietary Supplements has not set an upper limit for Vitamin B12. Even at high doses, B12 has not been shown to cause any harm.


B Vitamins Added to Some Energy Drink Blends

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) -

helps convert food into energy. It is important for cell function, development, and growth. Athletes who follow a strict vegan diet or avoid dairy should consume B2 fortified foods or take a supplement.

Research: For adult 4migraine sufferers, taking 400 mg of Vitamin B2 daily (spread out among meals) may help reduce the frequency and duration of migraines.

DV Comparison: RDA for adult males is 1.3 mg. For adult females, it is 1.1 mg.

Teacher Power 

Red Bull 

Monster Energy 

5-Hour Energy 

Rockstar 

Zao Zero 

-- 

-- 

200% 

-- 

100% 

25% 



Upper Limit: The Office of Dietary Supplements has not set an upper limit for Vitamin B2 since it has not been shown to cause any harm.


Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid) -

helps convert food into energy. It helps make and break down fats. Vitamin B5 is naturally abundant in plant and animal food sources. Most people get enough Vitamin B5 as part of their diet.

Research: For 5participants with low to moderate risks of cardiovascular disease, high doses of B5 supplementation (600-900 mg/day) may help lower cholesterol risk markers.

DV Comparison: RDA for adults is 5 mg.

Teacher Power 

Red Bull 

Monster Energy 

5-Hour Energy 

Rockstar 

Zao Zero 

200% 

70% 

-- 

-- 

100% 

25% 



Upper Limit: Taking 10,000 mg a day of Vitamin B5 may cause digestive tract issues, upset stomach, and/or diarrhea.


Teacher Power Energy Drinks

Teacher Power adds B Vitamins to our delicious drinks to aid natural metabolization. In addition, with our powder mix, you are in control of your caffeine consumption. A full scoop of our mix gives 100 mg of caffeine or the equivalent of a cup of coffee. A half scoop gives 50 mg of caffeine or the equivalent of a 16 oz soda.


Our drinks are sugar-free and priced to meet your budget. Teacher Power Energy Drinks can be bought on our website or on Amazon.com.

Article by Miss Jae



The content of Teacher Power’s website is for information only, not advice or guarantee of outcome. Information is gathered and shared from reputable sources; however, Teacher Power is not responsible for errors or omissions in reporting or explanation. No individuals, including those taking Teacher Power products, should use the information, resources or tools contained within to self-diagnosis or self-treat any health-related condition. Teacher Power gives no assurance or warranty regarding the accuracy, timeliness or applicability of the content.



Sources:

1Patel, Kamel. “Vitamin B3 (Niacin).” Examine.com. 2021. https://examine.com/supplements/vitamin-b3/

2 Masoumi SZ, Ataollahi M, Oshvandi K. Effect of Combined Use of Calcium and Vitamin B6 on Premenstrual Syndrome Symptoms: a Randomized Clinical Trial. J Caring Sci. 2016 Mar 1;5(1):67-73. doi: 10.15171/jcs.2016.007. PMID: 26989667; PMCID: PMC4794546.

3 Tiemeier H, van Tuijl HR, Hofman A, Meijer J, Kiliaan AJ, Breteler MM. Vitamin B12, folate, and homocysteine in depression: the Rotterdam Study. Am J Psychiatry. 2002 Dec;159(12):2099-101. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.159.12.2099. PMID: 12450964.

4 Namazi N, Heshmati J, Tarighat-Esfanjani A. Supplementation with Riboflavin (Vitamin B2) for Migraine Prophylaxis in Adults and Children: A Review. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2015;85(1-2):79-87. doi: 10.1024/0300-9831/a000225. PMID: 26780280.

5 Evans, Malkanthi et al. “Pantethine, a derivative of vitamin B5, favorably alters total, LDL and non-HDL cholesterol in low to moderate cardiovascular risk subjects eligible for statin therapy: a triple-blinded placebo and diet-controlled investigation.” Vascular health and risk management vol. 10 89-100. 27 Feb. 2014, doi:10.2147/VHRM.S57116

“Listing of Vitamins.” Harvard Health. 2020. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/listing_of_vitamins

“Vitamin and Mineral Supplement Fact Sheets.” National Institute of Health: Office of Dietary Supplements. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/list-VitaminsMinerals

“Questions and Answers on FDA’s Fortification Policy.” Food and Drug Administration. https://www.fda.gov/media/94563/download

Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Use of Dietary Reference Intakes in Nutrition Labeling. Dietary Reference Intakes: Guiding Principles for Nutrition Labeling and Fortification. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2003. 3, Overview of Food Fortification in the United States and Canada. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK208880/

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