Energy is big business…and I’m not just talking the kind that flows through power cables. The likes of Red Bull, Monster and Relentless are multi-million pound industries now, with us looking to get that instant ‘pick-me-up’ to get through the day. The next step in the energy drink market was efficiency. We don’t want to have to sit and drink a whole can of energy, we want it in one teeny tiny bottle.
Hence the birth of the ‘energy shot’. These have since gone on to appeal to an even wider marker, by claiming not only to give us enough of a buzz to want to run a marathon – twice- but to ALSO meet a plethora of nutritional needs in one 60ml swoop!
How demanding are we?!
A few weeks ago, I was sent 6 bottles of the new ‘6vitaminshot’…the latest brand to produce one of these energy shots, designed to provide the consumer with their ‘recommended vitamin allowance and more’. The shelves are now saturated with competing brands trying to get in on the action, but does this one stand out from the rest?
What is it?
6vitaminshot is marketed as an energy boosting supplement and having never heard of the brand before, I was excited to give them a go! The ingredients are listed on the side of the bottle, and directions just tell me that for maximum effect I should drink between meals. The front of the bottle claims that is has 6 key benefits:
– Sustained energy
– No jitters
– Mental clarity
– Increased endurance
– Enhanced performance
– Sugar free
How does it taste?
Regardless of the content, the flavour of the shot itself is probably one of its most important features – it may well be able to work miracles, but if it tastes awful, no-one is going to want to drink it! The liquid is ‘Acai Berry’ flavour….not too thick and a pinkish colour; the smell reminded me of artificial sweet drinks from when I was a kid, but I was pleasantly surprised by the fruity flavour! It went down easily, but I did find chilling them in the fridge made them a bit more enjoyable.
But what’s actually in it?
A fair old bit actually. A ton of ingredients are listed are listed on the packet, with details of the benefits of each on their website (reduced fatigue, antioxidants, athletic performance, metal alertness, a boost during exercise…the list goes on). ‘Sugar free’ is always a bonus, compared to many of the full sized cans of energy drink which are laced with the sweet stuff – though this does have artificial sweetener in it instead.
Taking a closer look at the vitamins contained themselves, the amount per serving is given alongside the % Daily Values recommended. The website says…
‘6vitaminshot contains ingredients which have proven benefits to enhance sporting performance whereas Berocca just contains low dose vitamins and minerals for more general use’
A quick look at the B vitamins shows that many of them are over the recommended allowance anyway (B12 is 8333% – necessary?) and are actually comparable in amount – if not less in some cases – to those in Berocca. The other ingredients further down the list are those that ‘enhance sporting performance’ (Betaine, Taurine, L-Tyrosine). Unfortunately I don’t know enough science behind these to pass accurate judgment, but there are studies available into the effects of them on performance and mood – many of which have proved to be positive. I did quick bit of research into recommended dosage for improved performance – Betaine is 2.5g daily, L-Carnitine is 3-4g daily, L-Tyrosine suggests 0.5-1g 3 times daily). The levels in 6vitamin shot are 0.5g, 0.3g and 0.5g respectively – these low amounts probably aren’t going to make much of a noticeable difference to performance in a single dose.
One of the most important features that caught my eye in the listed ingredients was caffeine. Each shot contains 120mg, which is the equivalent to 2 cups of instant coffee. Obviously depending on individual sensitivity, this is enough to perk anyone up! The FAQ section of their website explains the supplemental benefits of caffeine, but says that 300mg is regarded as the safe upper limit for daily, so make sure to factor in any other drinks you’re having that day.
How much will it set me back?
I’ve not seen these for sale in shops yet, but you can buy directly from their website (www.6vitaminshot.co.uk) priced at £2.50 a bottle or a tray of 12 for £24.99 – if it’s the B vitamins you need, I’d say that you can get a cheap multivitamin tablet to do the same job.
Marketed as a daily supplement, this price is too high for me – while it’s pleasant enough to drink, this could soon add up if you’re drinking one everyday!
And do I feel on top of the world?
Vitamin-wise, I only had a small supply to try, and as I have a fairly healthy diet anyway I don’t think I’ll have been lacking in B-vitamins, so taking extra wouldn’t really make a difference. Sport-wise, it was good to have before the gym for the energy boost (which I definitely need at times!), however, I do think this may have been more from the caffeine and I didn’t notice any marked improvement in performance.