While the options keep popping on the market, the regulation of these items is slow to control them, particularly in the U.S. In comparison, places like France are proposing to reduce the use of energy drinks through a tax increase on the beverage, similar to a cigarette tax. Canada is proposing a caffeine cap, where energy drinks can contain up to a certain amount of caffeine per unit. This tax would take drinks like the 20 oz Red Bull cans that are so commonly seen off the market and those 24 oz Monster cans would be out, too. In the US, the FDA does not require companies to disclose how much caffeine is in each product, and face the problem of the various types of packaging energy drinks are being marketed as- whether it be a supplement, a beverage, or something else.
So why is any of this a problem? According to this article, there have been five reported deaths attributed to Monster energy drink. This is likely attributed to the unknown amount of caffeine in these drinks, the high rate of consumption, and the less known about health dangers that consuming large amounts of caffeine can do to the human body.
This doesn't mean you need to throw out all of the energy drinks you have under your bed- caffeine is okay, within the right dose. But like most things, when we consume too much of something it can stop being okay and in this case, be quite dangerous. If you want to drink energy drinks, keep in mind that a healthy adult can safely have around 400 mg of caffeine daily. Although, that much is usually not needed, particularly on a day to day basis. A 6 oz cup of coffee offers about 60 mg of caffeine and may have other health benefits versus an energy drink that doesn't provide those things.
If given the choice between an energy drink or trying an alternative method- what might you do? Some alternatives might include taking a 20 minute nap, taking a study break for a quick walk, or taking a shower. What do you think you would do?
If you've already downed your 1st caffeinated drink today and are about to grab your 2nd or 3rd, consider what caffeine specialist at JHU, Roland Griffiths, has to say on the matter, "high caffeine use by young people can cause a cycle of rushes and crashes that can add a degree of variance to their moods and psychological well-being that they don’t really need."
Does this sound like anyone you know? You? Friends of yours? Consider some alternatives to the energy crash before reaching for another can, pack, bottle, or whatever they think of next.