Increasingly popular among younger people, Energy Drinks are popular in schools, training centers and in bars around town. Easily accessible to all, they arouse controversy. Their increasing consumption has raised many questions.
A symbol of vitality and strength, these drinks contain mostly Guarani, a plant whose seed is concentrated in spring caffeine, taurine, an amino acid believed to induced a stimulating effect and also extracts of Ginseng and Ginkgo Biloba. Two plants which have an effect of creating high energy. Except for the caffeine, those plants are an important source of sugar. A can of 250 ml (1 cup) of Guru, Monster, Red Bull and others contain around 10 tea spoons of sugar and its also surpassing the maximum recommended limit of caffeine intake for young people under the age of 13 and less. (the recommended limit is 45 to 85 mg per days). For young people of 13 years of age or less, drinking 5 cans of 250 ml will have consume at least 400 mg of caffeine during that day. In comparison drinking 2 cans of pop is equivalent to 80 mg of caffeine, the same quantity of caffeine contained while drinking one single can of Energy Drink. Other food source containing caffeine are chocolate, coffee, tea and certain medications.
As they are a source of empty calories, their increasing popularity is a growing source of concern. Most young people do not seem to be conscious about the potentially dangerous effects of over consumption of those drinks. Side effects such as nervousness, headaches, tremors and insomnia may be incurred. Combined with alcohol, which is strongly popular among young people and also encouraged by most bars around town can have deadly effects. It accelerate the heart rate, raised the arterial blood level and tend to mask the effect of alcohol which may lead the individual to take risks (like driving with a high blood level of alcohol, believing that he or she is completely in good shape for driving).
Contrary to other drinks Energy Drinks are considered healthy on the same level as natural health products. This is not letting people know about the secondary bad effects that those drinks may have on their health. The main issues associated with Energy Drinks is the fact that their sales are not fully legislated. Mostly all those drinks are available to the population, without having been evaluated and tested by Health Associations. Drinks that have been tested have a visible displayed number and a high consumption warning tag. Only about 9 type of those drinks have been tested and have an assigned number added on the container. All the others are not tested, and their is numerous brands of Energy Drinks going around. In most countries it is forbidden to add caffeine to any other drinks than pops. But by adding Guarana, a high natural source of caffeine most fabric ants have found a way to bypass those laws.
Energizing drink and physical activity
The marketing strategies deployed by these industries are trying to reach youth through extreme sports events. Sponsorship for such a drinks are depicting high level athletes and suggests to the consumers that those Energy Drinks are a sufficient source of hydration. Sports drinks like Gatrorade, unlike Energy Drinks does not contain caffeine, but sugars and minerals necessary for the re hydration and replenishment of energy reserves.
Energy Drinks are not recommended for pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers and children. Health Associations have suggested a maximum consummation of 500 ml per day, or the equivalent of two drinks.