The sports and energy drink market is estimated to be a $19 billion industry that has grown 50% in the past five years. This niche is expected to grow even further as consumers continue to try to cram more into their day and look for ways to keep up with a demanding lifestyle.
Not long ago, we mentioned how up-and-coming energy supplement company E-Boost was using a flying banner to poke fun at celebrities while advertising their product, showing that it doesn’t take the latest gadget or marketing tactic to get the message out. Example: flying over the beaches of Malibu read the banner, "BRITNEY STOP BOOZING START BOOSTING! EBOOST"
We wanted to see how E-Boost compared to other powdery, just-add-water types of energy drinks like Emergen-C, so we emailed the folks at E-Boost and to our utter astonishment, they actually sent us a sample box of the stuff.
The folks at Alacer corp, makers of Emergen-C, on the other hand, never responded to our emails. (Bad form, fellas.) However, since I have historically used Emergen-C for camping and rough work days, I had a few packets on hand to do a comparison with.
Looking at the two products side by side is where you really start to see the differences between them. Sure, they both contain 1,000 mg of vitamin C, but E-Boost takes the vitamins and minerals a step further. E-Boost contains a whopping 10 TIMES more vitamin B-12, which increases energy and helps to maintain healthy blood and nerve cells. E-Boost also has 100 mcg of folate, which helps to produce and maintain new cells in the body and may also prevent changes to DNA, which can lead to cancer. (look it up for yourself.)
E-Boost also has a blend of green tea extract which can help with metabolism, taurine - which is supposed to help control anxiety and hyperactivity, grape seed extract - an antioxidant that improves cardiovascular health, and a couple of impossible to pronounce chemicals that probably do something really important to the body.
E-Boost also contains more magnesium, chromium, and potassium than Emergen-C. It has only 5 calories, 1 gram of carbohydrates, no artificial colors or flavors and no sugar.
Damn! How’d they do all that?
Created by New York City restaurateur John McDonald and his partner Josh Taekman, they spent two years developing a product that is a major alternative to the sugary over-caffeinated “energy” products that are flooding the store shelves everywhere. They wanted something that not only boosted your energy, but was healthy and also helped improve immunity and mental acuity.
Now, the product is being stocked at upper-end hotels and boutique stores and is becoming a hit with the shiny/ pretty jet-set crowd. It may not get you into the latest closet-sized nightclub on the Sunset strip, but for those in the know, its the underground, hangover-beating secret weapon for uber-trendy celebutards everywhere.
Now I am no doctor or chemical biologist, but I tried to do as much of a scientific critical comparison of the two products as closely as possible, I made sure I had two identical work days, with the same number of hours of sleep, same foods eaten before and after and same level of activity during the day. On the first day, I took one packet of Emergen-C in the morning when I woke up and one at 2pm, just before the onset of the post-lunch “afternoon blahs.” Then I did the same thing with E-Boost the next day and did my comparisons.
The differences were night and day between the two. E-Boost won hands down. 10 minutes after taking E-Boost, I felt as if I had had a cup of coffee, even though there was no caffeine in my system. I could tell that the niacin in E-Boost was starting to do its thing, opening blood vessels and giving me that initial rush feeling. After about 20 minutes, I felt as if I had consumed an energy drink. About 10 minutes later, I felt totally alert. I was energetic but not hyper, pumped but not jittery and overall just felt really awake.
By comparison, I didn’t notice any real increased benefits on the day I took Emergen-C.
Also, I used to dislike how Emergen-C didn’t always dissolve in water, leaving little bits of “stuff” floating in the bottle. E-Boost on the other hand seemed to dissolve completely and with very little effort. You only need 8 ounces of water, but throwing it into a large liter sized water bottle didn’t seem to hurt it at all. E-Boost also comes in a tube of tablets that you can just drop into water. Sort of like alka-seltzer with a kick in the ass.
OK, enough of the science. How does it taste?
Again, its E-Boost by a mile. Emergen-C has always sort of tasted like a ground up vitamin C tablet; kind of tart and with a slight chemical taste. E-Boost on the other hand, just tasted like orange soda. Slightly fizzy, but definitely not hugely carbonated. It was refreshing and tasted great.
I really wanted to dislike E-Boost. I figured that this was yet another energy supplement trying to break into the already-crowded market by pandering to the gen-x’ers and sports enthusiasts like all the others. But in the end I discovered I really enjoyed this product. I started giving away several of the packets to friends and co-workers to try out, but now I find I am hoarding the packets I have left, hiding them away in my pantry and work bag like a little secret weapon I have to face the day with.
Bottom line: E-Boost works and it works well, blowing Emergen-C clear out of the water. It packs a punch without tearing up your insides like energy drinks do, it picks you up without the need for caffeine, keeps you going without having to drink a ton of it and overall just seems to make the day go by just a little easier.