The Energy Drink Epidemic

The December 2008 issues of the Ensign and the New Era, both include articles about the dangers and risks that come from energy drinks


In his article "The Energy Drink Epidemic", Dr. Thomas J. Boud, MD writes
In recent years there has been an explosion of energy drinks with high levels of caffeine—a drug with greater risks than many realize.
In addition to the risks, he does explain that
from a medical point of view there are certain appropriate uses for caffeine. For example, doctors will sometimes prescribe caffeine for use in neonatal care. In addition, used in moderation, caffeine may not pose significant health risks.
What surprised me was the reported levels of caffeine in some of these drinks.
Not all caffeinated drinks are created equal; the quantity of caffeine varies greatly from product to product. To put this into perspective, consider that most cola soft drinks have from 22 to 55 milligrams (mg) of caffeine, compared to a common cup of tea that varies from 26 to 47 mg. Coffee may have from 57 mg for a cup of instant to 180 mg for a cup of brewed. By comparison, energy drinks may have from 80 to 500 mg of caffeine in one can.
In the second article "Energy Drinks: The Lift That Lets You Down" published in the New Era, a magazine aimed at a youth audience,  Russell Wilcox writes:
Energy drinks are powerful, easily available, and well marketed. Companies boast record sales that increase dramatically every year. There is no doubt the drinks pack a punch, but is it a punch that picks you up or knocks you down? In the long run, the drinks can have a negative effect both physically and spiritually.
I'm glad that I've never been attracted to these types of drinks. I know friends who turn to them to get them through a long night finishing a project or to help keep them awake on the drive home. For me the risks outweigh any perceived benefits, real or not. In short "energy drinks" aren't for me.

2 comments:

Kip Hansen - kip@i4.net said...

Please read a more scientifically correct viewpoint on this issue, founded on evidence-based medicine and real results of actual medical studies and not "medical urban legends" at
http://www.mckinley.uiuc.edu/Handouts/pdfs/caffeine.pdf.

Kip

Christopher Padilla said...

Anyone that wants to refute what has been said here can. However the clinical studies are not invalidated. What has been stated is very true.