May 3, 2008

And The Most Unnecessary New Product Award Goes To...

Snickers Charged.

A "limited edition" Snickers bar sprinkled with caffeine, B vitamins, and taurine "to help get you through the day."


Okay, let’s break this down.

A regular Snickers bar adds up to 280 calories, 14 grams of fat, 5 grams (25% of a day’s worth) of saturated fat, and 30 grams (7.5 teaspoons) of sugar.

Snickers Charged comes in at 250 calories, 13 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 25 grams of sugar.

The lower values are simply because Charged is smaller in size than its regular counterpart. The folks at Mars Inc. have not gotten more health conscious.

Anyhow, Charged tacks on 60 milligrams of caffeine, 250 milligrams of taurine, and 10 percent of the daily value Vitamins B6 and B12.

Can you say underwhelming?

That same amount of B6 can be obtained from half a cup of avocado, one can of tuna, a single ounce of sunflower seeds, one quarter of a chicken breast, a quarter cup of fortified cereal, or half a banana.

As for B12? Ten percent of the daily value can be found in 1 egg, ¾ cup of milk, 1/6 cup of fortified soymilk, 1 ounce of cheddar chese, 1/5 cup of Cherrios, 1/12 cup of Total cereal, 3 ounces of chicken breast, an ounce of shrimp, or HALF an ounce of lean hamburger meat (remember, a serving is three ounces).

Snickers Charged is not providing hard-to-come by nutrition.

Besides, B vitamins in and of themselves do not provide energy.

The amount of caffeine in this product is also nothing spectacular. A tall latte at Starbucks offers more.

Drinking a cup of coffee with a regular Snickers basically provides the same caffeine total.

Now let’s talk taurine.

Although it is found in seafood, dairy, and meat, it is a non-essential amino acid. In other words, our bodies naturally produce it. There is no need to seek it out in the diet.

One of its main roles is regulating the cellular transport of sodium and potassium ions.

There is no scientific body of evidence linking it with central nervous system stimulation.

Frankly, I'm more than ready for this whole "energy" functional food fad to burn out.

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