The Energy of Wellness: A New Era of Healthy Energy Drinks?

As I never cease to say, and as I have no intention to cease saying, corporate wellness is inseparable from personal wellness. For workers to have the health and energy to thrive, for them to have the means to maintain the energy to be productive and succeed, for them to consume foods and beverages (particularly the latter) that do more to enhance performance without a subsequent collapse in their performance -- for them to do any or all of these things requires a more thorough review of the ingredients in the meals, snacks and drinks they consume.

Nowhere is that issue more relevant, and nowhere is that subject more timely, than it is concerning the debate about energy drinks. To save ourselves time and energy, allow me to cut to the chase: Too many energy drinks have too much sugar, too much caffeine, too much of everything we do not need; and too little of what we do need. Regarding sugar, we are in the midst of a national crisis. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) or sugary drinks are leading sources of added sugars in the American diet.

Frequently drinking sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with weight gain and/or obesity, Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney diseases, non-alcoholic liver disease, tooth decay and cavities, and gout, a type of arthritis. The study emphasizes the specific challenge to African Americans because SSB intake is higher among males, young adults, non-Hispanic blacks or Mexican American, or low-income adults. Jonathan Johnson, Founder of Vitamin Energy, which contains an optimal amount of Vitamin C and no sugar, offers excellent insight into this epidemic."As an African American, this issue speaks to me in a very personal way.

As an American, period, this issue summons me to speak on behalf of my fellow Americans and say: 'Consumers have a right to enjoy excellence. We have a duty to demand excellence, in terms of the ingredients companies use to manufacture various foods and beverages. We have an obligation to ensure the excellence we receive is the excellence we want, meaning there should be no compromise in quality (or quality of taste) -- and no use of sugar.

That advice is sound because it is smart: It is a response to both a market opportunity and an opportunity to choose the morally correct path. In other words, consumers want - indeed, they crave - energy drinks that are safe, effective and superior to the majority of products lining store shelves throughout the nation. These same consumers want a choice, not a product by another name.

They want a product that is the result of research, testing, reviews and an overall pursuit of excellence. By these standards, we can achieve a new era of corporate wellness. That era will mark a period of progress, transparency, communication, collaboration and enthusiasm - no, energy - about causes that matter to employers and employees alike. That era is near.That era is now.

About the Author

Lewis Fein writes about a variety of health and wellness issues, in addition to pieces about technology, business, and management. Based in Southern California, you may email him at