BY STEVE BORN
In the US there are seven certified FD&C dyes approved for use in foods. These are Yellow No. 5 (tartrazine), Yellow No. 6 (sunset yellow), Red No. 40 (allura red), Blue No. 2 (indigo carmine), and Blue No. 1 (brilliant blue), Green No. 3 (fast green), and Red No. 3 (erythrosine). These color additives are derived from petroleum products , with Red No. 40 the most prevalent dye identified in all food categories. [1, 2]
Artificial food colorings/artificial dyes may make a beverage or food source look more appealing to consume, and because aesthetics in foods matter to many people—especially children who are attracted to “pretty foods”—companies like to use them to help sell products. In fact, no less than five studies  have shown that companies intentionally market foods using bright colors that appeal to children.
Additionally, the amounts of artificial food colors (AFCs) consumed has risen dramatically. In the 50’s, the amount was 12 mg per person daily. In 2010, that number had risen over five-fold to fold to 62 mg per person daily.  With the sharp increase in processed foods, drink mixes, and sports beverages/fuels that contain AFCs, one can only imagine how much greater the amounts consumed are now.
Which leads to the question as to why they’re considered a necessity in foods. Artificial colors/dyes have no nutritional value, they provide no positive effects on athletic performance and overall health, and they’ve been linked to deleterious issues, with much research done with children and behavioral disorders. [5 - 8]
A very recent (12/2022) piece of research  has produced a disturbing conclusion: “Chronic exposure of AR [Allura Red—Red No. 40] at a dose found in commonly consumed dietary products exacerbates experimental models of colitis in mice.” General signs of colitis and ulcerative colitis include:
- Stomach cramps that come and go
- Constant belly pain
- Loss of appetite
- Mucus or blood in the stool
- Joint pain
- Low fever
Dr. Minesh Khatri states that colitis is “is a term used to describe inflammation in your large intestine, or colon. There are many causes, including ulcerative colitis (UC). That’s a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). 
In the United States, about 1 million people are affected with ulcerative colitis . The annual incidence is 10.4-12 cases per 100,000 people, and the prevalence rate is 35-100 cases per 100,000 people. Ulcerative colitis is three times more common than Crohn disease.
As to the seriousness of ulcerative colitis, Dr. William Faubion states, “Ulcerative colitis (UL-sur-uh-tiv koe-LIE-tis) is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes inflammation and ulcers (sores) in your digestive tract. Ulcerative colitis affects the innermost lining of your large intestine, also called the colon, and rectum. In most people, symptoms usually develop over time, rather than suddenly. Ulcerative colitis can be draining and can sometimes lead to life-threatening complications.” 
Back to the 12/2022 study, in which the researchers concluded:
Humans are exposed to various chemical substances everyday through diet. Western diets are especially rich in synthetic colorants that enhance the appearance of foods to attract consumers, particularly children. Although several dietary risk factors that are associated with chronic diseases were identified, our knowledge on the role of these dietary components on IBD pathogenesis is still modest. Here, we provide evidence that a widely used synthetic colorant AR [Allura Red—Red No. 40] enhances colitis susceptibility.
Artificial colors and dyes are in so many of the foods and drinks lining supermarket shelves, and they’re ubiquitous in the sports nutrition world. Not Hammer Nutrition fuels, however; they include no artificial colors (sweeteners or preservatives either). Why? Because an ever-growing body of research is showing they are NOT benign substances, but instead contribute to some serious health disorders, including colitis.
Another reason Hammer fuels contain no artificial colors is because these substances provide NO benefits for improving athletic performance. NONE. Sure, that bright red color may be appealing to the eye, but do you really need Red No. 40 to let you know that it’s a fruit punch flavored drink? All Hammer Nutrition fuels contain either no colors at all (HEED), or they contain only healthy, natural colors, such as the beta-carotene in Orange Perpetuem 2.0.
If the combination of athletic performance AND overall health are of importance to you, we urge you to stay away from all artificial ingredients, including artificial colors, and fuel your efforts on the artificial ingredient-free Hammer Nutrition fuels.
 Hughner and Maher, 2006; Weber et al., 2006; Song et al., 2014; Stevens et al., 2014; Batada and Jacobson, 2016.