Amidst controversy, Sparks Energy drinks were introduced as the first alcoholic beverages available with an added jolt of caffeine. However, due to an advertising campaign that appeared to target minors, and making exaggerated claims about the effects of the drink, parent company MillerCoors re-vamped the drinks by removing the caffeine and other stimulants.
Under pressure from the attorney generals of several states, MillerCoors is now marketing Sparks as a malt liquor beverage only.
Sparks drinks come in four flavors, including Original, Blackberry, Iced Tea and Lemonade, which are also available as Sparks Plus and Sparks Light.
Sparks Blackberry, Iced Tea and Lemonade drinks are eight percent alcohol by volume, and Original Sparks is six percent alcohol by volume. Although caffeine and other stimulants have been removed, you should drink Sparks beverages only in moderation, as they do contain alcohol.
The American Heart Association recommends no more than one 12-ounce beer a day for women and two beers for men. Binge drinking and excessive consumption of alcohol can cause health problems, such as damage to your heart, liver and pancreas.
There are 296 calories in a 16-ounce can of Sparks Blackberry. In a 12-ounce can of Sparks Light, there are 133 calories.
There are approximately 35 grams of carbohydrates in a 16-ounce serving of Sparks. Your body gets most of the energy it needs to function properly from the breakdown of carbohydrates during the digestive process.
MedlinePlus recommends getting 40 percent to 60 percent of the calories in your diet from carbohydrates. However, Sparks alcoholic beverages should not provide a substantial portion of your daily carbohydrates.
Other Nutrients and Alcohol Precautions
None of the Sparks drink varieties provide any additional nutrients, such as sodium, fats, protein or vitamins. Consuming too much alcohol affects your mental state, slowing your reflexes and impairing your judgment. Over time, drinking too much alcohol can damage your liver and heart, and increase your risk of stroke, high blood pressure and some cancers.
Don't drink any alcoholic beverages if you have diabetes, liver disease, or are pregnant or nursing. Never consume alcoholic beverages if you are going to drive or operate any type of machinery. Check with your pharmacist or healthcare provider before drinking alcohol with any medications and supplements.