The Truth About Energy-Boosting Tongue Strips

While browsing GNC over the weekend I stumbled upon a new tongue strip that claims to deliver an energy boost. It’s loaded with caffeine (about a cup of coffee’s worth), B vitamins, no sugar and no calories, but does it really work? My longest relationship has been with my daily cup of Joe, so anything that threatens to break us up is taken pretty seriously.

Here’s the claim: the Sheets Energy Strip dissolves on the tongue, and its “wake you up” concoction of B vitamins, Vitamin E, caffeine (100mg per 2 sheet serving) amongst other ingredients including artificial flavors. Sounds like the perfect solution to finally making that morning spin class right? Not so fast.

Related: is it relation with Vitamin B if having bumps on my tongue? Check it.

“B vitamins are commonly classified as energy boosting nutrients because of their ability to convert the food we eat into energy. But healthy individuals who consume a well balanced diet need not worry about taking B vitamin supplements since consuming higher doses than recommended will not translate to additional or a quicker boost of energy pre-workout and may even be toxic,” New York City based Lisa Moskovitz, RD, CDN says.

The strips do have an all-star lineup of fans. Miami Heat player LeBron James is a stake owner in the product’s company and recently launched a marketing campaign featuring him using the strips, presumably before a game or practice. (Although, as a born-and-raised Floridian, I can’t help wonder if perhaps he should have used an extra strip or two during the last few NBA finals!) And even though James is a supporter, the energizing sheet’s claims have not been evaluated by the FDA.

“This product, like other energy products on the market, has one thing in common–they all contain a significant amount of caffeine. Studies have found that caffeine may improve power, strength and endurance in athletes when taken before an event. Yet, caffeine has also been shown to act as a diuretic on the body leading to performance disturbing dehydration. So while this product may initially help power through a morning-workout the energy-boosting effects are short-lived once dehydration kicks in,” Moskovitz says.

The energy sheets are said to boost energy levels for up to five hours, similar to its competitors including Red Bull and 5 Hour Energy Drink. So, for the sake of research, I decided to “Take a Sheet.” (Say that aloud and you’ll get why their marketing videos have gone viral.) I stayed up extra late and traded in my morning coffee for Energy Sheet Strips. Did I feel a sudden jolt of energy kick in about 20 minutes later…no. But I didn’t feel sleepy, so I guess it’s a wash.

While the jury’s still out on this new energy boost I still believe natural is better. So if you want to be energized for your morning workout: go to sleep earlier (and stick to coffee)! But if you want to give the sheets a try, don’t make the rookie mistake of getting the strip stuck to the roof of your mouth. Give it a few seconds to dissolve on the tongue before closing your mouth.