Scientists Warn of Energy Drink Intoxication
I see many people every day and most of them choose to have an energy drink for their breakfast or as part of their breakfast. Energy drinks are quite popular these days, but scientists at the John Hopkins Medical Institutions warn that energy drinks could lead to caffeine intoxication and other health problems. The scientists argue that warning labels should be placed on all beverages that contain caffeine.
"The caffeine content of energy drinks varies over a 10-fold range, with some containing the equivalent of 14 cans of Coca-Cola, yet the caffeine amounts are often unlabeled and few include warnings about the potential health risks of caffeine intoxication," says Roland Griffiths, Ph.D., one of the authors of the study.
The marketing and advertising campaigns for most energy drinks mostly targets teens and young adults in which the beverages are promoted as performance enhancers and stimulants.
From the press release: “Reports to U.S. poison control centers of caffeine abuse showed bad reactions to the energy drinks. In a 2007 survey of 496 college students, 51 percent reported consuming at least one energy drink during the last month. Of these energy drink users, 29 percent reported "weekly jolt and crash episodes," and 19 percent reported heart palpitations from drinking energy drinks. This same survey revealed that 27 percent of the students surveyed said they mixed energy drinks and alcohol at least once in the past month. "Alcohol adds another level of danger," says Griffiths, "because caffeine in high doses can give users a false sense of alertness that provides incentive to drive a car or in other ways put themselves in danger."”
Caffeine intoxication is a recognized syndrome and is marked by nervousness, anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, gastrointestinal upset, tremors, rapid heartbeats (tachycardia), psychomotor agitation (restlessness and pacing) and in rare cases, death.
Personally, I have never tried an energy drink, but a young girl once told me they ‘taste like candy’. Maybe we should think twice about grabbing that energy drink off the shelf the next time we are thirsty.