FRS:The lance Armstrong-backed energy drink
Sold and advertised at virtually every major health food store in North America, FRS (as it is so eloquently known) has hit mainstream as an antioxidant/energy drink. It is backed by the Live Strong founder, Tour de’ France champion, philanthropist, and cancer survivor, Lance Armstrong. He also sits on the board of directors after realizing “the science behind the product” and how unique and valuable the product (i.e., FRS) is.
The aforementioned value of FRS may or may not be true. But one this is for certain, after carefully reviewing what makes FRS … well FRS … it seems that dollars (e.g., contracting a household name and spending millions in advertising) makes far more sense than a product that doesn’t even promote what its name truly implies.
On behalf of consumer angst, one has to wonder What is FRS? What does it stand for? Here is the answer: Free Radical Scavenger. That’s it. No fancy acronym there. So the question looms How can a product backed by a world renowned athlete, one with an enormous need and drive for energy derive such power from simple “Free Radical Scavenger”?
While there may be many controversial answers to such a question, know that FRS’ branding is based on flavonoid antioxidants, catechins, and vitamins primarily Quercetin derived from the Uncaria plant cultivated in Brazil and the Green Tea Catechin, EGCG.
The company claims via “independent” trials that this type of Quercetin can provide for not only antioxidant protection, but also sustained energy and increases in athletic performance. To date, the scientific community is at odds with the findings from FRS.
Many nutritional specialists state that the purported energy production of FRS is primarily the result of the carbohydrates in the drink and possibly the included vitamins, but not the Quercetin or Green Tea Catechins. They do, however, agree that Quercetin may extend some energy by inhibiting a particular enzyme (COMT). Additionally, Quercetin is not a stimulant like caffeine; an interesting comparison that is made on the FRS website.
This being said, the proof is in the proverbial pudding. Quercetin is a powerful antioxidant and Green Tea Catechins have been shown to enhance thermogenesis and increase metabolic rate; which may help you burn excess carbohydrates and body fat. FRS will definitely not give you the energy lift of a powerful cup of 2 shot espressos or an energy drink loaded with herbs, caffeine, and guarana extract. But, there is obviously a market for it and FRS may be just what you’re looking for if you want a less “productive” and less jittery alternative. And, in the end, it may boost your athletic performance a tad.
FRS comes in a variety of flavors and packaging. You can purchase it as a ready to drink beverage, concentrate, powder, or soft chew.