Hidden Dangers: High Caffeine Levels in Energy Drinks May Lead to Health Problems

Energy Drinks May Lead to Health Problems Due to High Caffeine Levels
Image: NCCC

In a day and age where we need a little pick me up, more and more consumers are turning to energy drinks. In fact, some studies suggest that as many as 50% of children, adolescents and young adults consume energy drinks.

They come in all shapes and sizes under many different names: Monster, Rock Star, 5-Hour Energy, Red Bull. Energy drinks, which should be labeled 'stimulant' drinks, do nothing more than give you a brief caffeine high.

You would think these drinks are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They are, however, classified as a nutritional supplements in order for the manufacturers of the product to cruise right by the 71mg per 12oz rule the FDA has set in place. Consequently, these drinks can have as much as 400mg of caffeine or more, and that's not including the unseen caffeine from guarana, kola nut, yerba mate, cocoa, taurine, Cyanocobalamin, citric acid and ginseng. While not dangerous in small amounts, all of these substances can wreak havoc when a consumer doesn't know moderation.

Younger people are especially at risk who know that drinking one can will give them a buzz. Logically, drinking more than one can will make it last longer. Right?

Unfortunately, no. Younger people do not necessary know how to moderate themselves, especially when it comes to items packaged in brightly colored cans and hyped by ads. Most people, younger people included, don't even notice the warnings on the side of the cans saying to limit the consumption of the beverage to no more than a certain number of cans per a specific period of time and no more than a certain number of cans per day. Doing so allows the company to escape liability, especially among increasing reports of medical complications to include heart palpations and seizures blamed on the beverages.

NCCC recommends that all consumers seriously weigh the pros and cons of consuming these beverages. It isn't our place to decide if you should or should not consume one. However, if you do decide to consume these beverages, please pay attention to all warning labels and limit your consumption as directed on the container.

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