A little bit of background: In the last year, I lost around 40lbs through watching what I ate and running. So I’ve gotten very used to paying close attention to my food, and to items that “claim” to be healthy. So when this press release popped up in the Gear Diary Inbox, I couldn’t resist taking it apart piece by piece, because it is truly the poster child for unhealthy “healthy” food.
So let’s dive right in! My comments are in red, so you’ll know what came from the company and what didn’t.
Bonavitas Introduces The First Truly Thermogenic Energy Drink
Natural Superfoods for Improved Energy, Metabolism and Mental Focus
PROVO, UT—May 13, 2011—Bonavitas announced today the upcoming launch of its natural energy drink, Sweet16. This new drink contains no caffeine, no tea, no artificial colors or flavors. It does, however, contain some of the most powerful plants and superfruits on the planet to improve energy and increase focus and concentration.
Wow…superfruit. As opposed to plain old “normal” fruit. Which is also an extremely healthy source of energy, but not NEARLY as exciting.
Sweet16’s natural energy boosters help you burn fat—especially that hard-to-lose belly fat—improve your mood and fight the free radical cells that can cause you to get sick and age faster. Sweet 16 combines fat burning foods like cayenne, bitter lemon, lime, and other energy yielding nutrients like honey and quercetin, which improve the body’s well-being:
Ooh, it’s like that diet where you fast and drink lemon juice and cayenne pepper, but without the “gnaw your wrist off” hunger. Yay? Also, there is no scientific evidence that you can spot-burn fat (like belly fat). There are no shortcuts to weight loss. The only way you’re losing weight after drinking this is if you also cut calories and work out.
Bitter lemon and lime benefits include healing and detoxifying Which you can also have by squeezing a lemon into 8 ounces of water. Just saying.
Benefits of honey include sweetness, increased energy and nutrition True, but more on this below.
Cayenne extract, which comes from chili peppers, boosts mental focus and provides a quick “pick me up” Again, if you want to drink cayenne pepper, throw it in with the lemon water from above.
“Sweet16 is the solution for people who want an energy drink that not only gives them more pep in their step, but also helps them maintain a healthy weight and stay alert without the effects of caffeine,” said Jacques Jonassaint, CEO of Bonavitas. “Sweet 16 is a no caffeine energy drink for everyone from bodybuilders to people who are simply tired of feeling sluggish and want to have the best pre workout supplement in the market to date.” Ok, where to start. Let’s see: so this is a fruit and honey based drink that is going to help you maintain a healthy weight. It’s not, and we’ll see why in a minute. Second, “the best pre workout supplement in the market to date”? Really? Were all the other cliche’d statements taken?
Try Sweet16 for yourself, and let Bonavitas know your thoughts — and you’ll be able to try products, share your opinion and participate in contests and games that can earn you prizes and rewards. Find out how rewarding natural energy and recovery drinks can be. The first 10,000 Bonavitas online community members will receive extra rewards points. No, I will not be trying Sweet16 for myself. No matter how many rewards points you offer. It’s an energy drink, not a credit card. In fact, after looking at the label, I’m pretty sure eating a credit card before I work out would be healthier.
Headquartered in Provo, Utah, is a wellness company dedicated to the development and distribution of nutritional products that use science and natural ingredients for enhanced recovery, energy and overall fitness. Bonavitas Bonavitas distributes energy plus recovery beverages using superfoods to combat the symptoms and root causes of tired people – for everyone from bodybuilding professionals to moms on the go, fitness experts to weekend warriors and anyone with a pulse.
So I was pretty harsh on Sweet16, and here’s why. Getting past the fact that you could basically make this yourself for a fraction of the cost, look at the label. 2 ounces of this drink is 80 calories. I’m sorry, but 2 oz of a drink is not going to satisfy me before a workout. That’s the size of an alcohol shot, not an energy boost. Plus it’s not exactly satisfying or helpful. One small Macintosh apple is 70ish calories, and that’s a far less processed and more natural way to get an energy boost. Finally, I am having a really hard time figuring out how much honey and sugar they slapped into this thing to get to 80 calories in only 2 oz!
And this “quercetin” that the press release brags about can be found in a number of whole, natural foods like berries, tomatoes, etc. In fact, I plugged the following into a recipe calculator:
1 tablespoon honey
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
8 ounces tap water
Throw all that into a blender, and you get a drink that is 99 calories (slightly less if you cut back on the raspberries and honey). It’s FOUR TIMES what a Sweet16 will give you in terms of hydration and volume (which makes you feel fuller) but gives you the same amount of calories and more nutrients with less processing. The proof of that, though, is in comparing this recipe to the nutritional information on a bottle of Bonavita’s Sweet16:
As in all things in life, the choice is yours. Personally, I prefer to consume real lemon over “natural lemon flavors” and real fruit over a “proprietary antioxidant blend”. My hope is that many people choose the same path-obesity is a growing problem and frankly no energy drink is going to burn fat for you, but eating right is a start. One of the big things that get reiterated a great deal over at Runner’s World is that while fitness happens out on the road, weight loss happens in the kitchen. And I just can’t see how consuming 2oz of an overly caloric “energy” drink is going to help with weight loss OR energy, but that’s just this crazy common sense thing talking. I’m sure the lady with the super scientific looking glasses on Bonavita’s website could explain it better. After all, this is “thermogenic“. Who needs actual hard work when a sprinkling of cayenne pepper can do it for you?