Hazardous to Your Health? Drinks with the highest caffeine content should also warn of potential health dangers, says Roland Griffiths, PhD, a professor of psychiatry and neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, and senior author of a new report on the beverages.
If labels listing caffeine content are required on energy drinks, they should also be required on coffeehouse coffee, says Maureen Storey, PhD, a spokeswoman for the American Beverage Association.
Hundreds of brands are available. Although the FDA limits the caffeine contents of cola-type soft drinks to 71 milligrams per 12 fluid ounces, no such limit is required on energy drinks, Griffiths tells WebMD.
Dietary supplements are regulated differently than food. The FDA does not approve or review the products before they are marketed. Caffeine Content Griffiths and his colleagues contacted more than two dozen makers of energy drinks, asking for caffeine content.
Here are some of the findings: The caffeine content is in milligrams per serving. Although serving sizes vary, Griffiths contends that most people will drink the entire can, whatever the number of ounces.
Among the lower doses: Bomba Energy has 75 mg per 8. The Report Energy drinks are popular with teens and young adults, Griffiths found in his research. Bad reactions to energy drinks have been reported to U.
From tohe says, 41 cases of caffeine abuse from caffeine-enhanced beverages were reported. In a report of nine cases of adverse reactions to the energy drink Redline, the patients reported nausea and vomitinghigh blood pressuretremors, dizzinessand numbness.
Data also suggest those who drink the energy drinks may combine them with alcohol, Griffiths tells WebMD.
One danger to that: Users may feel alert enough to drive, even if they are inebriated. Griffiths worries that the energy drinks are sometimes "gateways" to use of other substances. In one study, college students who used energy drinks were more likely to later use stimulants for recreational use, he says.
He looked at some studies. A oz cup of coffeehouse coffee has about milligrams of caffeine, according to the statement, while a typical oz mainstream energy drink has mg. If labels should be required on energy drinks, Storey says, coffeehouse coffee should also be required to label caffeine content.
Most companies market their energy drinks responsibly, the association contends. Only a few companies give the products illicit or suggestive names such as Cocainean energy drink that triggers controversy.
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