Should Energy Drinks be Considered Stimulant Drugs?

April 3, 2013 by  
Filed under Diet Tips

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It’s pretty common knowledge that energy drinks are full of unhealthy amounts of sugar and caffeine. However, they are still a very popular way of getting spurts of energy during the day. One doctor, KevinMD, thinks these energy drinks should actually be considered stimulant drugs.

“Consider that just two ounces of a popular brand, 5-Hour Energy, contains 207mg of caffeine, which is almost as much as six cans of Coca-Cola or four shots of espresso,” KevinMD writes. “It is more than double the recommended amount of daily caffeine intake for teenagers, who are often targeted in advertising campaigns.”

Caffeine isn’t the only ingredient in most energy drinks. Many also included ginko, taurine, and/or milk thistle. It’s the presence of these herbal ingredients that allows energy drinks to be sold as “dietary supplements” instead of stimulant drugs. Because of this, companies don’t have to disclose how much caffeine their drinks actually contain.

KevinMD also listed a few of the health consequences people can encounter from too much consumption of energy drinks. These can include high blood pressure, dehydration, heart palpitations, increased heart rates and heart attacks.

These concerns haven’t gone completely unnoticed. Canada will soon only sell energy drinks with a maximum 180mg of caffeine in every can or bottle. In Mexico, energy drinks might be getting banned altogether.

Do you think the United States should take action against energy drinks?

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