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Energy Drink Health Risk Warnings Needed According to Researchers

  • Written by: AboutLawsuits
  • 53 Comments

According to researchers at Johns Hopkins University, the labels of popular energy drinks, such as Red Bull and Rockstar, should contain warnings about the amount of caffeine they contain and the potentially harmful side effects they could cause.

In recent years, a number of different energy drinks have been introduced to provide an energy boost or as dietary supplements. They contain high levels of caffeine as well as other additives,such as taurine, ginseng and carnitine that act as stimulants.

Some of the more popular brands are Red Bull, Monster, Rockstar, No Fear, Tab Energy, Wired and Fixx. They are heavily marketed, especially to young adults, with slogans such as “Red Bull gives you wings” and others that compare the effects of the drinks to the use of drugs like cocaine.

The FDA does not currently require energy drinks to display warnings or limit the amount of caffeine they can contain. However, a report published in the September 24, 2008 edition of the journal Drugs and Alcohol Dependence calls for warnings to be added about the potential health risks energy drinks could pose.

Scientists from Johns Hopkins have spent years evaluating the effects of caffeine and the impact these high-caffeine energy drinks can have on a person’s health. While a typical 12 ounce soft drink has about 35 milligarms of caffeine, some energy drinks contain up to 500 milligrams. The researchers suggest that most consumers are unaware of the caffeine content in these energy drinks or about the potential dangers, and that information should be added to the product labels.

In addition, many of these drinks are heavily marketed in bars or for use in combination with alcohol, which could further increase the health risks for consumers.

Last month, an energy drink lawsuit was filed by the Washington-based consumer advocacy group, Center for Science, against MillerCoors involving their alcoholic energy drink Sparks. The lawsuit filed in the District of Columbia Superior Court alleges that Sparks contains unapproved additives and poses a health risk to consumers.

Similar alcoholic energy drinks sold by Anheuser-Busch as Bud Tilt and Bud Extra were removed from the market in June 2008 after a similar lawsuit was filed by state attorney generals and advocacy groups.

In August 2008, a study conducted by the Cardiovascular Research Centre at the Royal Adelaide Hospital in Australia found that energy drinks could increase the risk of strokes and heart attacks. According to the research, even consuming one can of the caffeinated energy drink Red Bull could cause the blood to become sticky, increasing the risk of clotting.

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53 comments

  1. alias Reply

    A little advice. ..take your preferred energy drink and write down the ingredients. Now research each individual ingredient on actual cites for physicians. Makes sure you note the dosages. Write down side effects and uses for each ingredient. Also write recommended dosages from said cite. Then make your own judgment on whether you should take this drink according to each individual health situation. For further questions about individual ingredients. Consult your physician about the individual ingredient and whether it fits in with the medicine you already take…or maybe should be taking if you are having health issues which you maybe falsely attributing to an energy drink or any other substances you are injesting.

  2. mark Reply

    im 31 yrs old with no medical issues,
    i use to drink redbull maybe just twice or 3x a month but one day when i had a very bad hangover feeling very weak without nothing in my stomach and decided to drink redbull thinking to feel better and yes it does but after an hour i just felt loosing my consciousness im on my knees feels like everything is revolving and my heart beats very unusual feels like im going to have an heart attack,i thought im gonna die at that moment then i was rushed to the hospital,i was given a tablet under my tongue and after 30 minutes im back to normal. i informed the doctor about the red bull thing but he can’t give me what really happened to me

  3. Becky Reply

    Had a terrifying experience when my 19 y/o son had a grand mal seizure this summer while we were on vacation. He had no seizure history and all drug screens and blood work were clear. He was tired and drank 1 and 1/2 large Rockstar Energy drinks to stay up for a family party. A few hours later her suffered a major seizure that landed him in the hospital and traumatized us all. The ER doctor reported that the combination of these drinks and sleep deprivation were the culprit. The drinks are marketed as a way to combat fatigue and this is so wrong. Nothing this dangerous should be on the market!

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