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"Hornets From Hell" Offer Real-Life Fright
The largest hornet in the world, the aggressive black-and-yellow giant hornet is both feared and revered in Japan. The ingredients of its powerful venom are contained in a popular sports drink touted as a performance booster.
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Read The Story: National Geographic News

Matthew Green tracks down long-distance runner Takahashi Naoko
"VAAM, the Meiji sports drink has become popular ever since Takahashi cited it as the source of her stamina at Sydney. The drink, which contains extract from the giant hornet Mandarina Japonica, has also proved popular with non-Japanese marathon runners since it was the subject of an article in The New York Times."
- Full Story from Japan File

"Sales of giant killer hornet juice soar are sure to soar following Naoko Takahashi record-setting run last weekend at the Berlin marathon. The first woman to crack the two-hour, 20-minute barrier, Takahashi said her success was fuelled by a drink made from the juice of Japanese killer hornets. According to the diminutive Japanese runner, who was racing in her first marathon since taking gold at the Sydney Olympics, the juice reduces muscle fatigue and improves the body's efficiency by increasing the ability to metabolize fat and reduce the buildup of lactic acid. And best of all, hornet juice doesn't appear on any banned substance list."
USAtoday.com

"Scientists at the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research near Tokyo found the juice helped the three-inch (8 cm) long hornets to fly the equivalent of more than two marathons in search of food — and had a similar effect on humans. The juice reduced muscle fatigue and improved the body’s efficiency, according to scientists."
- ABC News

"Reports said that the drink, which is 100% natural, did not fall foul of Olympic laws against performance-enhancing drugs. The hornets, which measure up to 7.6cm, fly the equivalent of two marathons in a day at 32kph looking for food for their young."
- BBC News

Japan's Olympic champion Naoko Takahashi has flatly denied that she was helped by a performance-enhancing substance when she set the world's best marathon time in Berlin. Most Japanese media have ignored the doping allegations, but some tabloids raised a furore over a report in an American newspaper that claimed her performance was chemically enhanced. The report pointed to Takahashi's year-old comment that her success at the Sydney Olympics was partly due to drinking the stomach secretions of larval grubs of giant killer hornets.The drink in question is a commercially-sold Japanese fitness beverage, allegedly derived from 17 kinds of amino acid to promote the burning of body fat.
- BBC News

"Soon after Olympic women's marathon champion Naoko Takahashi showed overwhelming strength to win the Berlin Marathon on Sept 30, the New York Times suggested she might have got some help from a peculiar drug. Almost two pages were devoted to the Oct 1 article by reporter Jere Longman who wrote: 'Since the Sydney Olympics, Naoko Takahashi has been taking a concoction based on the secretion of hornet larvae.'"
- Shukan Post

"Takahashi doesn't drink Gatorade or Powerade. Rather, she is loyal to a more peculiar elixir that she has called the crucial factor in her success. 'It's a sport drink made from a liquid that hornets produce. I've been drinking it for the last five years. It makes it possible to run far. [Hornet juice] enables athletes to give everything.'"
- Mt Holyoke News


"The hornet juice reduced muscle fatigue and improved the body's efficiency, according to scientists. "We are delighted that the fruits of our research have been recognized through Naoko Takahashi's success," a spokesman for the institute told Reuters. A Japanese firm, Meiji Milk Products, has reproduced the raw juice and is now marketing it as an energy drink."
- UW News

"Scientists at the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research near Tokyo began investigating the species of large hornets (Vespa mandarina japonica) to find out what gave them the energy to fly the equivalent of more than two marathons in search of food for their young. The researchers found that the energy source was an acidic juice produced by young hornets and passed back to the adults."
- SMH News

"Naoko Takahashi, who became a national heroine by winning the women's marathon, drank VAAM, the unusual beverage before and during the race after Japanese scientists found it gave an astonishing boost to human performance. The drink, being 100 percent natural, does not fall foul of Olympic laws against performance-enhancing drugs."
- Netscape

"Amino acids taken from the saliva of baby hornets improve physical endurance in humans, according to biochemist Takashi Abe, who developed the drink five years ago. It's sold in Japan by Meiji Milk Products as a high-tech sports drink, under the brand name VAAM, - short for vespa (Latin for wasp) amino acid mixture."
InteliHealth

A Japanese marathon star who won Olympic gold in Sydney got a crucial extra buzz by drinking the stomach juice of giant, killer hornets. Naoko Takahashi, who became a national heroine by winning the women's marathon, drank the unusual beverage before and during the race after Japanese scientists found it gave an astonishing boost to human performance.
- Cosmiverse

It scored a hit with its VAAM health drink, which contains endurance-enhancing amino acids found in hornet saliva. VAAM had crowds abuzz at the 2000 Sydney Olympics after marathoner Naoko Takahashi drank it on her way to a gold-medal finish.
- Hoover's Online

 

 
   
 
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