Kids love playing video games, and if they could, they would play them all night. And now they might just be able to, thanks to a new beverage called Respawn.
The beverage is manufactured by Razer, which built the idea out of an April Fool’s joke in 2010 called Project Venom. It was billed as a drink specifically for gamers. Now, almost a decade later, the company has released a product it says addresses a flawed gap among competitors: While energy drinks deliver an intense high, it’s followed by a crash.
The folks at Razor don’t consider Respawn an energy drink. This powdered drink you mix up with water lacks the sugar and taurine found in common varieties of all-night elixirs like the infamous Redbull. The website states: “Energy drinks are typically promoted for enhancing physical performance. We specifically designed RESPAWN to enhance mental performance, which we feel is conducive to focusing on a screen for long periods of time. We want you to be able to game better, longer.”
The main ingredients in Respawn are:
- Vitamins B3, B5, B6, B12
The beverage also contains Green Tea Extract, Ground Ginger, and L-theanine. But does that make it really different from other products on the market?
“Your body treats caffeine as caffeine—a stimulant that makes your heart pump harder,” Joanne Larsen, from www.dietitian.com tells Parentology. “[It] would be difficult to say if adding theanine to a beverage would affect mental performance or attention.”
Larson notes that Respawn contains 95 milligrams of caffeine per serving, which is less than the amount of caffeine in 5 ounces of coffee, as green tea extract. ReSpawn recommends no more than 3 servings. So, doing the math, 95 milligrams of caffeine times 3 servings equals 285 milligrams of caffeine — which is less than the 400 milligrams per day that the Mayo Clinic says is safe to consume. However, there might be more in the beverage because Respawn contains added caffeine besides the caffeine in green tea extract.
“Respawn also has added niacin [vitamin B3], which can cause facial flushing if taken to excess,” Larson says, “but [it] would help repel mosquitos as a side benefit.”
Energy Drinks — Modern Concerns
In recent years, energy drinks have soared in popularity. They’ve also become a polarizing issue, especially among parents who are concerned about their potential dangers.
Some health organizations suggest that energy drinks can do more harm than good, especially for young people. These sites note that the energy drink industry is highly unregulated, and that these beverages can contain variable amounts of caffeine—sometimes more than ten times the amount that would be found in a can of soda.
Consuming these beverages can lead to increased heart rate, higher blood pressure, heart palpitations, insomnia, dehydration, restlessness, and in rare cases, death. Brands like Monster Energy Drink now print warning labels on their cans.
There are alternatives to consuming these drinks. One of the best ways for gamers (or anyone) to stay alert? Sleep.
“People should ensure they get at least 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night, which will help people feel energized throughout the day, without the need for caffeinated beverages,” Larson says. Diet can also play a role. “[The] best foods to keep you awake during the day are proteins — meat, poultry, fish, soybeans, or tofu for breakfast and noon meal.” On the other hand, Larson says that high carbohydrate foods can help put you to sleep.
While Respawn is touted as being different than Monster, Redbull, and Rock Star, the facts remain to be seen. However, it does raise concerns about energy-drink consumption and extended periods of extreme gaming. Parents have noted concerns about inappropriate and violent content in games, as well as addiction, injury, bullying from other players, and health risks associated with sedentary hobbies, such as obesity.
Regardless, Larson notes that energy drinks or mental performance beverages are not safe for children under 18—and that’s advertised on the product’s website.
“That said, there are a lot of gamers who are less than 18 years of age,” Larson remarked.