Coca-Cola has decided to expand its brand of carbonated refreshments to include a new line of energy drinks. The company’s spokesperson announced that the line will be called “Coca-Cola Energy” and will be made with a naturally-derived caffeine and guarana extract. In addition, Coca-Cola plans to release a sugar-free option branded as “Coca-Cola Energy No Sugar”. Guarana is a plant native to the Amazon, that is known to have antioxidant-promoting properties as well as up to four times the amount of caffeine than coffee beans. It has become quite a popular supplement additive, replacing coffee to fight fatigue. The company is hoping that their natural, organic approach will set them apart from other energy drinks and the negative connotations that come with drinking them.
The spokesperson told TODAY Food that Coca-Cola’s new product will be a preferred option for people who enjoy drinking energy drinks, alleging that consumers want these types of ingredients. Unfortunately, Coca-Cola has yet to officially announce the launch due to legal arbitrations with competing energy drink brand, Monster Energy. Coke partnered with Monster back in 2015, spending $2.15 billion for a 17% stake in the Monster Beverage Corporation. Therefore, official details of the launch will not be released until Coca-Cola figures out whether it can legally sell products that may compete with Monster Energy drinks.
Apparently, the decision to create a line of energy drinks has been an extremely long process due to highly-caffeinated drink’s association with caffeine overdoses, health issues, and the death of at least one teenage consumer. The soda drink has long been condemned for its extremely negative effects on one’s health such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, and tooth decay. Medical News Today posted an article on how Coke affects your body when you drink it, claiming that it is comparable to heroin in how it stimulates the brain’s reward and pleasure centers. On the contrary to caffeine-related health deficiencies, other studies have shown that consuming caffeine in moderate amounts, about 200 to 400 milligrams a day, can lead to a longer lifespan.
Following the public announcement, reactions to Coca-Cola Energy began flooding in via Twitter. Many are confused as to why the original Coca-Cola drink is not considered an energy drink in itself. Consumer, R.D. McDonough stated, “For years Coke was the energy drink. Caffeine and 150 calories of sugar…what am I missing?”. Other reactions posed similar concerns, claiming that Coke was the very first “energy drink” on the market with their original formula- “Different Stimulant but same concept”, noted Phillip Hawley. Despite some negative feedback, many avid Coke drinkers are excited about the new product and can’t wait to try the latest innovation.
It is bizarre that Coca-Cola is trying to launch a “natural, healthier” energy drink line when their most famous product is known for being detrimental to one’s health. The sugar content is obscene as well as the caffeine levels. In addition, I’m sure we have all heard of the rumors and/or jokes that Coca-Cola is used to clean blood off of the highways. Of course there is Diet Coke and Coke Zero, but removing sugar implies the addition of artificial sweeteners. Artificial sweeteners are heavily associated with weight gain, increased blood pressure, high blood sugar, excess body fat, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. While “0 grams of sugar” on the nutrition label may make you feel better about your diet, its effects on your health are no better than the added sugar found in regular cans of Coke. If Coca-Cola Energy launches successfully, then consumers will be able to decide for themselves whether they want to drink it or not. But remember, moderation is key!