Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Physics of Energy Drinks

  1. Oct 14, 2007 #1
    Hello, any ideas of experiments that I can carry out which investigate the physics part of energy drinks? This can be anything from exploring the effect energy drinks has on the Horse Power of an individual to the index of refraction of the liquid itself.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 15, 2007 #2
    isn't that medicine and chemistry?
  4. Oct 15, 2007 #3
    No, actually it's not medicine and chemistry. In fact, I'm confused as to why the site moved it to the chemistry section when the title of the thread explicitly suggests that the post deals with 'physics', hence why I placed it in 'physics' section. Anyway, as a school project, we are to investigate the biological, chemical and physical aspects of energy drinks. For chemistry, I will be determining the concentration of phosphoric acid in energy drinks (we've narrowed it down to Red Bull). As for physics, I've settled with measuring the Hp of an individual who has Red Bull in his/her system. But I find this experiment a bit weak and imprecise because there are many outside variables involved...Hence, I'm asking for any ideas....?!
  5. Oct 16, 2007 #4


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Well I suppose you could test how it refracts light of different colours and how much each colour bends by, and if you wanted to be really fancy you could test whether it was optically active. You could also test the buoyancy of the drink, or how it reacts to temperature changes for example when ice is added to it. You could also test it as a potential energy drink rocket.
    This is of course is very dangerous but if ya wanted to give it try, simply take a bottle about a 1/3 full and keep pumping warm air into it, seal it shut, and then give it a shake somehow.. make sure not to be in too close of a proxitimity when this happens!!! You could then compare how high this drink launches to say ordinary water.

    Tbh there is fine line between physics and chemistry but I'd say these kinda count as more physics than chemistry.
  6. Oct 16, 2007 #5
    Thanks Malty. I really like your idea of the rocket, but wouldn't it be difficult measuring the height if you're claiming that the can flies very high into the air...would it be possible to have it parallel with the ground, instead of 'perpendicular' (if you see what i mean), and so I would have a starting point and an 'ending' point...I was thinking of comparing the speeds of the water bottle and the can by timing the time it takes the bottles to come to a full stop!!
  7. Oct 16, 2007 #6


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Oh yeah by all means parallel to the ground would make alot more sense, but watching the rocket like effect going vertical is much more awesome! Just be careful carrying out this experiment! Also It wouldn't really go that high, but nevertheless it would still be hard to measure the height. Just remember that when "timing" something you must do repeat the experiment a few times to be precise because your reflexes and eye hand coordination won't be the same each time.
  8. Oct 23, 2007 #7


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper
    Gold Member

    Whoa Nellie!

    Here is a list of ingredients for Red Bull:

    You will notice that there isn't any phosphoric acid there. The pH is controlled by sodium citrate, apparently.

    Here are the levels of some of the ingredients:

    What isn't shown is the caffeine content. It is about 80 milligrams or about as much as in a cup of coffee.

    Search on Pantothenic acid, niacin, vitamins B6 and B12. How does your body use these ingredients and why would you put them into an energy drink? What about the other ingredients?
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook