Mounting Evidence Exposes Dangers of Energy Drinks

by Natasha Longo | Prevent Disease | December 22, 2014

energy-drink-517211_1280Two research papers, each published separately, suggest that concerns over levels of caffeine and sugar in energy drinks, and their effects on young people who drink them, are mounting.

Energy drinks are beverages that claim to “make you more alert and give you energy.” Most have ingredients like caffeine, sugar, taurine, vitamins and herbs. They can be found anywhere you buy beverages beside the pop, juices and sports drinks.

The amount of caffeine in energy drinks is more than what is recommended for children. Most government public health agencies say that children under 12 years of age should have less than 85 mg of caffeine per day depending on their age. This means that one energy drink can easily put children over their caffeine limits.

Energy Drinks have previously been found to cause irreversible damage to tooth enamel and detrimentally affect the contraction of the heart. A study published in the issue of General Dentistry, the peer-reviewed clinical journal of the Academy of General Dentistry, found that an alarming increase in the consumption of sports and energy drinks, especially among adolescents, is causing irreversible damage to teeth–specifically, the high acidity levels in the drinks erode tooth enamel, the glossy outer layer of the tooth.

The FDA says they are powerless to change formulation of energy drinks. “We have no guidance or regulations that govern the formulation of energy drinks,” said FDA spokeswoman Susan Cruzan. The agency does not have the authority to do that.Cruzan said. “Under current law, the manufacturer is responsible for ensuring that its products are safe and such products do not require FDA premarket review or approval.” Full article