Dr David Kitchen with his alternative energy drink Kanguru.
Dr David Kitchen with his alternative energy drink Kanguru. Christine McKee

Surgeon takes on energy drink giants with new brew

A ROCKHAMPTON eye surgeon is daring to take on the energy drink giants with an all Australian product he says will redefine the market.

Kanguru is the result of four years of research and development for Dr David Kitchen, who launched the "guilt-free" alternative to the market nearly five months ago.

It's now being distributed in 500 outlets around Australia with plans to expand into South-East Asia and the USA.

Each 250ml can is sugar free with 98 kilojoules (less than 25 calories) and 80mg of caffeine, which is in the lower range of one cup of coffee.

"When it comes to combating a mid-afternoon lull or burning the midnight oil, energy drinks are a saviour, but not everyone feels great about consuming them and there's the sugary crash to deal with," Dr Kitchen said.

"The consumption of energy drinks is on the rise in Australia, but many of the ingredients in existing brands have no real benefit or purpose and some have more than 10 teaspoons of sugar.

"What was needed was a more scientific approach using evidence-based ingredients."


Kanguru energy drink developed by Rockhampton eye surgeon, Dr David Kitchen
DARING TO TRY: Kanguru energy drink developer, Rockhampton eye surgeon, Dr David Kitchen is taking on the giants of global energy drinks.

What's inside?

. 5 natural botanicals - Korean Red Ginseng, Yerba Mate, Guarana, Schisandra and Green Tea.

. Vitamins including B1, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B12

. Taurine and caffeine - more than 90% of the caffeine is derived naturally through botanicals

. Natural flavours.

. Zero sugar

Dr Kitchen first devised the idea as a way to combat his own reliance on energy drinks and coffee with cream and sugar to cope with his own busy lifestyle as an eye surgeon with four young daughters.

"I looked at the evidence for the various ingredients in energy drinks around the world and how strong and consistent that evidence was," he said.

"That ruled a lot out.

"Once I had my 'dream team' of ingredients, I looked at the synergies between them."

Conventional energy drinks tend to create a sharp spike and a sugar crash, he said.

Kanguru, Dr Kitchen says, has a smooth lift and anti-crash.


Kanguru energy drink developed by Rockhampton eye surgeon, Dr David Kitchen
Kanguru energy drink developed by Rockhampton eye surgeon, Dr David Kitchen

"The crash tends to happen off sugar, caffeine or creatine, which is banned in Australia, or not having the right amount of B vitamins," he said.

"Australian food regulations classify it as as caffeinated, carbonated beverage which recommends two cans a day, so I formulated it to supply the recommended amount of B vitamins and beneficial effects from the herbal ingredients.

"It had to be something that had positive, beneficial effects and tasted good."

It took more than 2000 samples to get the mix right.

Kanguru is produced by Red Kangaroo Beverages and manufactured in Dr Kitchen's home state of South Australia with a marketing campaign to encourage everyday Australians to "be more".

Alongside the product, the Be More Collective will launch before Christmas, offering grants to help everyday Australians overcome and "be more".

For more info, go to www.kanguruenergy.com.au.