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Lance Armstrong Chooses FRS Energy Drinks But Should You

FRS Energy Drinks

Of the many energy drinks on the market, the one endorsed by Lance Armstrong, FRS Healthy Energy, gets a lot of hype. This should come as no surprise, given Mr. Armstrong’s high profile in the world of bicycling, his courageous battle with cancer, and his strong return to the sport. Many people love Lance, but should they also love FRS?

FRS Healthy Energy (the FRS stands for Free Radical Scavenger) is a beverage that contains antioxidants, substances that fight molecules called free radicals, which cause cell damage and many diseases. According to the makers of FRS, their product can improve athletic performance, fight fatigue, and improve cognitive function without causing shakiness or wide swings in energy. That’s because FRS contains healthful ingredients (catechins, vitamins, and quercetin) instead of sugars and high amounts of caffeine (FRS does contain a minimal amount of caffeine, which helps the body absorb the nutrients).

According to the FRS website, “Lance chose it [FRS] to be the exclusive beverage he represents worldwide,” and “Lance uses FRS to help energize his return to cycling and to juggle is busy schedule off the bike.” Exactly what ingredients in FRS are energizing Mr. Armstrong?

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FRS is available in 11.5 ounce cans, as soft chews, a concentrate, and a powder, with the cans being the most convenient and most popular. A review of the ingredient panel shows that each can contains the following nutrients and their %Daily Values: vitamin A, 30% (this can vary); vitamin C, 270%; vitamin E, 270%; thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, B6, and B12, 130% each. The other forms of FRS contain a proportionate amount of these nutrients.

Each can also contains 85 mg catechins (green tea extract) and 325 mg quercetin, a plant pigment extracted from fruit and vegetable skins and a potent antioxidant. Quercetin is the ingredient the manufacturers call their “secret weapon.” According to a study noted on the website and cited from the International Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, participants who took quercetin increased their endurance by 13.2%. The amount of quercetin used in the study is the same as eating about 100 red apples each day or downing about three cans of FRS daily.

At about $2.59 or more per can of FRS, this is a costly way to get quercetin and a few antioxidants. The other forms of FRS are slightly less costly per serving. A good supplement or two could provide the same or greater levels of these antioxidants and the same benefits. But for the people who choose to drink FRS or other energy drinks, cost may not be a factor, or at least not an important one. Perhaps for a moment, while they are enjoying FRS, they imagine they are riding alongside Lance Armstrong.

Forbes June 30, 2006
FRS Healthy Energy website