Are Energy Drinks a Modern Fad?

Energy drink manufacturers boast that their products will make you feel alive, but a century ago, such drinks contained the type of energy that could do just the opposite. While it might come as a surprise to learn that energy drinks are no new fad, having been introduced to the U.S. market in the early 1900s, it almost certainly will come as a shock to learn that the "energy" many contained was radium. Radium is radioactive and fatal when taken in sufficient doses, yet brands that contained it, like RadiThor, were big hits. RadiThor was just radium dissolved in water, but it was promoted as providing plenty of pep and even being capable of curing some health issues, including impotence. Fortunately for most people, brands that contained radium were expensive, and many consumers bought other, less-costly products that promised energy but didn't contain radium. Those who could afford the radium-enhanced drinks, though, were really buying themselves trouble in a bottle. One famous victim of RadiThor was Eben Byers, a Pittsburgh magnate who drank it on a regular basis for years after first taking it to help heal a broken bone. Over time, the radium leached into his bones and tissues, and he eventually died of radium poisoning in 1932. By that time, health concerns and other factors had largely forced the products off the shelves, but not before they had caused considerable harm.

Inside energy drinks:

  • An average (modern) energy drink contains only about half as much caffeine as a standard cup of coffee.

  • One of the most popular energy drinks, Red Bull, originated in Thailand and was marketed to truckers and construction workers.

  • Besides being a popular ingredient in energy drinks, taurine can be found in all cat food, as it helps protect their eyes, teeth, and fur.

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More Info: Live Science

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