Lifeguard - Gastro Obscura
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Drinks

Lifeguard

This Japanese energy drink contains a controversial bee secretion.

On appearance alone, a bottle of Lifeguard looks like a classic, over-the-top energy drink. Bursts of color on the label? Check. Wild-eyed mascot doing something extreme? Check. Each pour has a bright-yellow glow? Check. But to set their drink apart, Japanese beverage company Cheerio added two buzz-worthy ingredients: honey and royal jelly.

Also known as “bee milk,” royal jelly is a white, viscous secretion produced by nurse bees. While normal “baby” bees subsist on a mixture of this substance, honey, and pollen, those lucky larvae destined for queendom subsist on only royal jelly. Perhaps its this regal origin that has led some companies to make bold claims about the substance’s health benefits. While it’s been suggested that royal jelly can boost vitality and the immune system, a review by the European Food Safety Authority could not substantiate those claims.

Lifeguard probably won’t make you healthier, but this super-sweet soda will perk you up for a little bit (at least, before the sugar crash). One drinker described the flavor as “liquefied Pixy Stix.” While most compare its flavor to Red Bull, some say that the honey adds a smoothness that’s lacking in other energy drinks.

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