The Jittery Rise Of Energy Drinks

Aug 23, 2012

Energy drinks aren't new. In the late 1800s, there was something called Vin Mariani, which was coca leaves soaked in wine and had about 6 miligrams of cocaine or more per fluid ounce. Thomas Edison drank it to stay awake. Ulysses S. Grant said it helped him finish his memoirs. 

On the heels of Vin Mariani came a series of stimulant-heavy beverages around the turn of the century. Notable among them was Coca Cola, also containing cocaine in its early formulations.  The modern energy drink era began in in 1962 when a Japanese company launched Lipovitan D, which is still dominating the Japanese market 50 years later. Over the next few years, the US energy drink market will surge toward $20 billion. But who wants us to be so wakeful? Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.