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Got Wings? The Risk Behind The Drink.

beth January 31, 2013

Risk Of Energy Drinks

In a fast paced world many turn to whatever form of pick me up they can find. However, one of the more popular options has brought along with it many health concerns that make you wonder – is it really worth it?

What”s In It?

Well, that’s the problem – A LOT! Energy drinks contain tons of sugar (much more so than your typical soda), an array of “herbal supplements and vitamins” (many of which can come with their own side effects, colors and dyes, and far more caffeine than anyone should be consuming. If your like me and check ingredient labels some of the more minor offenders might  make you toss it to the side.  However, the problem comes for people who are newer to reading labels or for children who don’t know better. With these drinks the risk goes far beyond having to much sugar.

The levels of caffeine in energy drinks can be hard to pinpoint. In soda the FDA regulates that beverages cannot accede 0.02 percent caffeine – however, since energy drinks are marketed as a stimulate rather than a beverage they can slide through without being required to meet that limit. The caffeine in energy drinks is thought to be far greater than the regular level in other caffeinated beverages. While your average cup of coffee or soft drink contains around 50 mg”s of caffeine energy drinks contain closer to 200-505 mg”s. This steep increase in concerning due to the addictive, stimulate effects that caffeine has on the body. Side effects of over consumption include: insomnia, anxiety attacks, heart palpitations, and even death.

Warning”s From Afar

While the US has done little in terms of monitoring and regulating energy drinks – the warnings are there. The Academy of Pediatrics noted that these drinks “have no therapeutic benefit, and many of the ingredients are understudied and not regulated.” While the US has not been formally tracking and investigating the health risk of energy drinks – many, many other countries have. The following countries have called the safety of energy drinks into to question:

  • Ireland
  • Austria
  • Thailand
  • Sweden
  • Italy
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Canada

Throughout these studies these countries have found that energy drinks are not suitable for children, pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, or anyone that is very susceptible to caffeine. They also noted that these beverages mixed with alcohol could become a very deadly concoction further increasing the risk for alcohol related injury. They have placed requirements on labeling and marketing so that their populace knows this and understands the risk involved with that they are consuming.

So, Why Exactly Are People Still Drinking Them?

There are a lot of factors. The US has not put any regulations in play for the risk of energy drinks and the high level of caffeine and other ingredients they contain. There are also no regulation on their marketing – so the companies are allowed to make these drinks as appealing as they want – even to the young. Thankfully, there are scientist, universities  and many in the medical profession that are starting to see these poor effects and do studies and test in order to showcase the detrimental health effect. Do to recent widespread media coverage resulting from death’s and injuries associated with these beverages the word is getting out. Until then it is up to us as consumers to do our own research and talk with our wallet.

Did You Know About The Possible Effects Of Energy Drink Consumption? What Do You Think Should Be Done About It In The US?

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I’m Kate, mama to 5 and wife to Ben.  I love meeting new people and hearing their stories.  I’m also a big fan of “fancy” drinks (anything but plain water counts as ‘fancy’ in my world!) and I can’t stop myself from DIY-ing everything.  I sure hope you’ll stick around so I can get to know you better!

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