Everybody in Santa Ramona Valley must have heard about Charge Soda. Its adverts play all the time on the TV and it’s available in stores and bars throughout the city. But what is it? And do its energy claims stand up? Charge Soda comes in three flavors. Apple, Citrus and Tropical Twist. It is manufactured in Mexico and claims to contain no narcotics. Its TV advert asserts that it contains “more energy than five cups of coffee” and is “what you need to connect with your innermost desires." So the Chronicles decided to investigate. Charge Soda was developed by Dr Gunther Roberts, a psychiatrist and skilled hypnotist. In a recent TV interview he made the claim that Charge Soda is better than a full night’s sleep “for giving you energy”. In the same interview he said that it was Charge Soda’s special formula that gave it the kick of a traditional energy drink without “all the excessive jitters and calories”. But he also admitted, later on, that it has the same sugar levels as a traditional cola. He stated that more than a dozen herbs and extracts go into his special formula. He declined to give full details, as you might expect. but he mentioned Caralluma Fimbriata and Green Coffee Bean Extract as being two of them. He said it was the combination of herbs and extracts that made the drink effective. Are there side effects? Well one side effect it doesn’t have, according to the Sheriff’s Department, is to give you blackouts. The SD became interested in Charge Soda after a number of people they arrested insisted that they had committed crimes while blacked out and hence they couldn’t remember a thing about the incidents. Some said they had blacked out after drinking Charge Soda. The SD are cautious about such statements, but they sent samples to a lab to have the drink analyzed. The analysis confirmed that, as the advert claims, the soda contains no narcotics and that the additives are all natural. It found nothing to suggest the drink could cause a blackout. The Chronicles spoke to Dr Allie Brentt of the Santa Ramona General Hospital about Charge Soda. The first thing we asked her was whether Charge Soda was indeed better than a full night's sleep. She was emphatic. “Nothing replaces sleep. The body needs it. It is when the body heals and regenerates. A body at rest is best.” We then asked her about Carrallluma Fimbriata. This, an internet search had told us, comes from an Indian cactus and is a herbal medicine used to lose weight. Dr Brentt confirmed that this is what it is mostly used for, most often in quantities less that 500mg and for no longer than sixty days. Too much, she warned, could produce side effects such as stomach upset, intestinal gas, constipation and stomach pain. But after a week these side effects should subside. There have been no studies on its long-term effects, as with most herbal medicines. But, as she pointed out, everything has side effects. It seems, therefore, nobody apart from Dr Roberts can tell us what Charge Soda is. The bottom line, though, is that sleep is important, and even if Charge Soda is natural there could be side effects.
But, on the other hand, the Sheriff’s Department have assured us that it doesn’t seem to be responsible for the blackouts that have been recently plaguing many residents of Santa Ramona Valley. (The Chronicles sent a request to Dr Roberts for comments, but he has so far not responded.)