Caffeine Experts Call for Warning Labels for Energy Drinks
October 16, 2008
Scientists who have spent decades researching the effects of caffeine have stated that a slew of caffeinated energy drinks now on the market should carry prominent labels that note caffeine doses and warn of potential health risks for consumers.
Some energy drinks contain the equivalent caffeine of 14 cans of Coca-Cola, yet the amounts are often unlabeled, and few include warnings about the potential health risks of caffeine intoxication.
Caffeine intoxication is marked by nervousness, anxiety, restlessness, insomnia, gastrointestinal upset, tremors, rapid heartbeats (tachycardia), psychomotor agitation (restlessness and pacing) and in rare cases, death.
A regular 12-ounce cola drink has about 35 milligrams of caffeine, and a 6-ounce cup of brewed coffee has 80 to 150 milligrams of caffeine. But because many energy drinks are marketed as "dietary supplements," the limit that the FDA requires for soft drinks does not apply. The caffeine content of energy drinks varies from 50 milligrams to more than 500 milligrams.