Enlyten Energy Strips vs Red Bull

I’ve received several questions asking how enlyten energy strips compare to more common energy drinks (like the market leader, Red Bull) and other forms of caffeine, like coffee and I thought I would throw a few facts out there to provide some clarity.

There are really just two main factors to consider. The first factor is the amount of caffeine contained in each Red Bull versus an enlyten energy strip. And the second factor is the absorption percentage of the active ingredients (in this case caffeine). This second factor is a key point that is often overlooked when comparing enlyten strips with traditional supplement delivery methods.

One serving of Red Bull contains 80 mg of caffeine.  One serving of Enlyten Energy Strips (3 strips) contains 32 mg of a “proprietary blend of caffeine, ginseng, and ginkgo biloba,” which does not tell us the exact amount of caffeine in a serving. We can tell that there is a minimum of 11 mg of caffeine since that is the ingredient listed first and based on the percentages of caffeine to ginseng or ginkgo biloba in energy drinks, there is probably more like 15 to 25 mg of caffeine in the strip with the remainder being ginseng or ginkgo biloba. I have read internet posts speculating that there is more like 25 to 30 mg of caffeine in the three strip serving but this seems really high to me. For the purposes of this post, I will more conservatively estimate there is 20 mg of caffeine in an enlyten energy strip serving.

Now lets discuss absorption rates of enlyten strips absorbed via the cheek and gums versus an energy drink or coffee absorbed through the stomach and small intestine (ingested via the GI tract). Enlyten corporate materials summarized several Duke university and other studies regarding the absorption percentages of the different supplement delivery methods that found the active ingredients in ingested supplements have a maximum absorption percentage of just 40%. And again this was listed as a maximum. Tablet or pill form supplements were in the 20% to 30% range and liquid supplements, like energy drinks, were in the 30% to 40% range.

Enlyten studies have shown active ingredient absorption rates of over 80% and in ideal situations up to 95%. This is a massive difference when compared to any ingested supplement.

Doing the simple math, a Red Bull with 80 mg of caffeine at a ~35% absorption percentage delivers about 28 mg of caffeine to your body. An enlyten energy strip serving with ~20 mg of caffeine at a ~85% absorption percentage, delivers 17 mg of caffeine to your body. If the Red Bull is consumed with food or consumed quickly, even lower caffeine absorption rates will occur (20% to 35%); enlyten energy strips do not have this limitation.

So what does this all mean? It means that about 3 to 5 enlyten energy strips equals the effective caffeine in one can of Red Bull (depending on how much caffeine absorption you get from the Red Bull). At least this is my best estimate based on the data I have to work with. If you have come to a different conclusion, please post a comment for us all to benefit from.

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