Energy Drinks Should Carry Caffeine Warnings
Doctors recommend that energy drinks should carry health warnings against the dangers of caffeine overdose after research found that the performance enhancing beverages can contain more caffeine than 7 cups of strong coffee.
Energy drinks have become popular within the past few years to increase alertness, especially within youth involved in extreme sports. Roland Griffiths, from Maryland's John Hopkins University School of Medicine, carried out the survey of 28 energy drinks to determine how much caffeine was present.
Writing in the journal Drug and Alcohol Dependence, Griffiths calls for energy drinks to carry the same warnings as caffeine pills, pointing out risks such as anxiety attacks, rapid heartbeats and nausea.
Here are the caffeine levels found within popular energy drink cans:
- Red Bull: 80 milligrams per 8.3-ounce serving
- Tab Energy: 95 mg per 10.5-oz serving
- Monster and Rockstar: 160 mg per 16-oz serving
- No Fear: 174 mg per 16-oz serving
- Fixx: 500 per 20-oz serving
- Wired X505: 505 mg per 24-oz serving
Compare to other popular caffeinated beverages:
- Brewed coffee: 200 milligrams per 12-oz serving
- Instant coffee: 140 mg per 12-oz serving
- Brewed tea: 80 mg per 12-oz serving
- Mountain Dew: 54 mg per 12 oz. serving
- Dr. Pepper: 41 mg per 12-oz serving
- Pepsi Cola: 38 mg per 12-oz serving
- Coca-Cola Classic: 34.5 mg per 12-oz serving
- Canned or bottled tea: 20 mg per 12-oz serving
Companies who make and market energy drinks are responding that if they have to provide caffeine levels, so too should coffee houses.
Energy drinks can become increasingly problematic when mixed with alcohol, as drivers could feel awake enough to drive even while drunk.