Saturday, October 27, 2012

Health Concerns Over Energy Drinks

The death of five teenagers since 2009 following the consumption of high-energy drinks has renewed calls for the FDA to do something about regulating these products. At the moment, the makers of energy drinks are not required to disclose how much caffeine their products contain, because they are marketed as beverages or dietary supplements, not drugs. But as the sales of such products have soared (doubling since 2006), so too have emergency room visits linked to energy drinks –over 13,000 in 2009 (the last year for which data are available), according to the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Canada is ahead of the game when it comes to regulation of energy drinks, compared to the U.S. Under new Canadian rules, energy drinks will be limited to 180 mg of caffeine per can. That’s less than is in some of the most popular energy drinks, such as the 24-oz. can of Monster Energy and the 20-oz Red Bull. The American Beverage Association, which represents some of the energy drink companies in the U.S., has said it will resist the establishment of caffeine limits in the U.S.

How much caffeine can be packed into commercially-available caffeine products? A 3-tablespoon squeeze bottle of MiO liquid “water enhancer”, sold by Kraft Foods, contains over 1,000 mg of caffeine – roughly equivalent to 8-10 cups of coffee.

For more on this subject, go to a previous blog post titled "Alcohol and Caffeine - A Potent Mix."

No comments: