Tuesday, July 29, 2008

"Herbal" Soda Not Good For You Either

You've seen the energy drinks, probably at the gas station or the corner store, bright green tallboys with aggressive graphics and names like "Monster" and "Rock Star". Mostly sugar and caffeine, they also have herbal extracts of the latest and hottest energy herb. Guarana and ginseng are often-abused herbs in these sugar bombs.

For the vast majority of people who take these drinks, it will be the only contact they have with guarana or ginseng, and that's a shame. It would be like only knowing Marlon Brando from The Island of Dr. Moreau and never seeing On the Waterfront. Instead of experiencing these herbs in the context where they can do the most good - a spare, well-directed herbal formula - they see them only as fat, ineffective addons to an already disgusting product.

Now comes news that the Coca-Cola company has set up a huge research center in China, partnering with the prestigious China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences in Beijing to (choose one):

a) Sponsor important research on eliminating epidemics in developing nations using low-cost, highly effective Chinese herbal formulas
b) Investigate the connection between soda drinking and childhood obesity, diabetes, ADHD and autism
c) Discover great new flavors for herbal Coke!

Answer (sort of) here.

See also:

1 comment:

steph said...

I live in Japan, and there is a great 'ice tea' in the ubiquitous vending machines here that is unsweetened, has oolong for a base, and has some Chinese herbs added to it. And it is distributed by Coca-Cola. I like it bc of the oolong base and the no sugar. The herbs and teas are pictured on the label and labeled in English (but I think with the Japanese names). One is orange peel. I don't know if this is similar to what they will release in Beijing but it's a decent product. Maybe the big beverage company is catching on to a health trend...
(what? miracles happen!)