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DATE News (chronologically)
07/12/12
nassprint
Are Clint Bowyer and Dale Jr. Next on NASCAR's hit list?  UPDATE A reader writes, Dear AR1.com, Since Amp Energy Drink sponsors NASCAR poster boy Dale Jr., I wonder if he tested  positive for a stimulant from his sponsor's drink before a race if they would handle it the same or would they sweep it under the rug to protect their #1 poster child?  Dale Murphy

Fuel in a Bottle
07/12/12 See, now this is why I wasn't that concerned over the AJ Allmendinger deal. Now we know (from his PR person, not from NASCAR) that the test results showed he was over the tolerance for a stimulant. Given that he has a sponsor who is -- surprise! -- a stimulant. Fuel in a Bottle lists the following ingredients at their website:

Taurine - an amino acid found naturally in meat, fish, and breast milk (just passing along what I found out from Mayo Clinic). It's thought to improve athletic performance. Up to 3,000 mg per day is considered safe, but the FIAB website doesn't say how much is in the bottle.

Malic Acid - found in sour or tart-tasting foods, when used as a supplement, it reduces muscle fatigue. It also plays a central role in the energy production rates of all cells in the body.

L-phenylalanine - an essential amino acid found in proteins, and changed by the body into tyrosine, another amino acid that's needed to make proteins and brain chemicals including L-dopa, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Since symptoms of phenylalanine deficiency include confusion, lack of energy, depression, and decreased alertness, we can deduce that a supplement of L-phenylalanine would boost alertness, energy, and mental clarity.

Caffeine - We pretty much know what this is, what it does, and how it affects the body. The one variable that's quite important is how it interacts as part of a cocktail of other stimulants.

Glucuronolactone - another naturally-occurring chemical in the body, this one is produced in the liver through the metabolism of glucose. It's been the focal point of many rumors involving medical problems following its consumption. One area for concern is that there is a far higher dosage of this chemical in energy drinks than would be found in a regular diet.

Now, since Fuel in a Bottle does not disclose how much of each of these chemicals is in one shot, we're left wondering. Curiously, they DO say how much of the vitamins and minerals are in a bottle (30mg Niacin, 40mg Vitamin B6, 400mcg Folate, and 500mcg Vitamin B12.) Everything else (as listed above) is merely lumped together as 1870mg in their "energy blend".

So look at that list of ingredients up there again. You've heard of them before, and the last time we had this discussion, it wasn't about a driver's dirty drug test -- it was about a different driver sponsored by a similar product, who nearly lost his life. Let me remind you that Red Bull contains Caffeine, Taurine, Glucuronolactone, and "B group vitamins" (as well as sucrose, glucose, and alpine water), and also doesn't reveal how much of each are in the can.

Remember all the years when NASCAR wouldn't allow certain products (hard liquor, for instance) to sponsor in the series? And remember when the government stepped in and said that cigarettes could no longer advertise on TV? I don't know why I'm drawing those two mandates together, but it seems to me that if a product such as Red Bull, or Fuel in a Bottle are the risk that they are to health and/or a failed drug test, that maybe it's time for NASCAR to say they cannot be part of the sport.

Sure, there's already a crunch when it comes to finding new sponsors, but if a product is going to result in a driver either hospitalized or suspended under a veil of shame for having a dirty drug test, maybe the whole sport is better off without it.

Oh, and are you wondering what ingredients might be in 5 Hour Energy? Taurine, Malic Acid, Phenylalanine, Caffeine, Glucuronalactone, and two extras, citicoline and tyrosine. If I were Clint Bowyer or anyone at all working for Michael Waltrip Racing, I think this might be a good time to consider the value of a proper diet, a good night's sleep, and plenty of water to purify your system. racejournalonline.com

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