Monday, August 17, 2009

Stimulation Drinks: The New Craze Amongst Functional Beverages?

With energy drinks on the rise and Red Bull cans practically selling faster than bottled water, there is always another market for something new in the beverage world. Forget Rockstar, Monster, Amp, or any of the many other energy cans, bottles, or convenient shots out there and indulge in a new trend: stimulation drinks. What is a stimulation drink, you ask?

General Nutrition Centers, or GNC as they have been come to be known across America, are now stocking stimulation beverages called Fever that is described as a drink that “produces feeling of pleasure and euphoria” and is marketed as a wellness beverage that is supposed to naturally enhance your normal bodily functions throughout the day. In sweet, new enticing flavors such as Kiwi/Strawberry, Mango/Banana/Coconut, and Strawberry/Pineapple, the makers of Fever want consumers to know that this detoxifying, organic form of energy elixir is full of antioxidants.

A “stimulation drink” seems to be a puzzling phrase as I could claim that vodka is a stimulant, a drink, and is also made of natural resources—broken down to its roots, vodka is merely distilled and fermented grains or potatoes after all. Coffee is another that comes instantly to mind—you know…those beans that come from a plant that are roasted, ground, steeped, and served to millions of customers at Starbucks every singe day. The founder and CEO of Fever Beverage USA, Delmond Newton, insists that Fever is different than any number of other drinks out there providing stimulation, “Fever is not another energy drink. It is a stimulation beverage. This is a brand new category.” While the category stimulation beverage may be vague and I contend that vodka, coffee, and Fever can all fall under it, the 14-oz soft drink containing nine herbs just may turn out to be the healthiest of them all.

Perhaps the most interesting addition to Fever is the aphrodisiac qualities it produces in order to stimulate the libido in both women and men. The phyto-aphrodisiac is also supposed to promote bone health. Although I am not sure this product would be suitable for the normal workday, with its mascot being a lion sporting a cupid and bow on its back ready to aim, there is also no evidence that the beverage is distracting, it is merely supposed to help you get fired up. At 120 calories per bottle, Fever is safe to drink daily and is being toted as the sexy alternative to drinking healthy…sex sells, right?

Newton continues to say that these drinks have more potential as the growing popularity of natural health takes shape, “The functional beverage category offers endless opportunities for beverages to do more than just hydrate and energize….We are thrilled to be included in GNC’s family of products devoted exclusively to helping its customers improve the quality of their lives.”

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