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Energy Drinks

UPDATE:15 January 2012

Once again energy drinks are in the news and it appears that it isn't good (no surprise!).
Agence France-Presse reports that "Australia experts call for energy drink warnings".

We encourage you to check out the almost two dozen articles we have posted on Natural Health News about this subject .  We also invite you to consider our organic natural herbal blend, herbalYODA's sportZtea, in place of these drinks over loaded with caffeine, artificial flavoring, artificial coloring, and worst of all artificial sweeteners like aspartame, acesulfame K, and Splenda.  The sports food bars are not far off with too much sugar and too many GMO ingredients.
Learn more here and here.

Researchers in Australia called for health warnings on caffeine-loaded energy drinks following a spike in the number of people reporting medical problems after drinking them.
Health professionals from the University of Sydney's Medical School and the New South Wales Poisons Information Centre said reports of adverse reactions to drinks like Red Bull and V jumped from just 12 in 2004 to 65 in 2010.
Over the seven years to 2010, 297 calls for assistance were recorded with at least 128 people hospitalised with symptoms including heart palpitations, agitation and stomach upsets.
Of these, 20 people had more serious issues, such as seizures and hallucinations.
The study, published in the Medical Journal of Australia on Monday, said the average person affected was 17 years old and that they often mixed energy drinks with alcohol.
"Our study demonstrates the extent of the growing problem in Australia with energy drink consumption and toxicity, particularly among adolescents," the study's authors wrote.
"Given the clear evidence of toxicity and the growing number of hospitalisations associated with consumption of energy drinks... health authorities should increase awareness of the problem, improve package labelling and regulate caffeine content."
They recommended that "labelling and any marketing of these products should include appropriate health warnings and the national poisons hotline number". A can of energy drink may contain up to 300 milligrams of caffeine -- compared to an average 65-120mg for a cup of drip coffee -- and Poisons Centre medical director Naren Gunja called for more thorough regulation.
"Things to look at would be... how much caffeine do these drinks contain, how many can you buy at once, what age should you be when you buy them, should there be an age limit to being sold the drinks," he said.

Originally posted September 2008

Five years ago I released one of my long used herbal formulas on two college campuses to try to provide help to reduce college binge drinking. My formula makes it so you just don't drink too much, and certainly not enough to get drunk.

Learning that many people mix energy drinks with alcohol is also a concern to me.

In addition to the herbs to help stem the tide of drinking, and in relation to developing my sports enhancement formula (ADVENTURX), I revived the sports drink herbal blend I used to mix up for my kids and others years ago.

You can use my organic, herbal 'sportZtea' blend as the basis for your sports drinks while saving money and avoiding stimulants and caffeine. Using the 'tea' with ADVENTURX makes a lot more sense.

Energy drinks: What you need to know
By David Liu, Ph.D.
Sep 28, 2008
Editor's note: Please note that the statement "Energy drinks are soft drinks (meaning with alcohol) that ---" is incorrect. The author meant to say "Energy drinks are soft drinks (meaning without alcohol) that ---." By definition, soft drinks are non-alcoholic beverages! We apologize for the error.
Common Questions and Answers about energy drinks

What are energy drinks?

Energy drinks are soft drinks (meaning without alcohol) that contain caffeine and other stimulants such as ephedrine, guarana, and ginseng. The beverages may not contain more calories than normal soft drinks, but they are often believed to help enhance performance and boost alertness as some studies showed. Energy drinks are often marketed to people under 30, particularly to college students.

Is it true that energy drinks boost alertness and enhance performance?

At least two studies showed significantly improvements in mental and cognitive performance and increase subjective alertness in those who drank an energy drink. In repeated cycling tests in young healthy adults, an energy drink drastically increased upper body muscle endurance.

Are there any dangers to drinking energy drinks?

High doses of caffeine are known to pose a range of short-term side effects. The problem with energy drinks is probably that there is no regulation in the US about caffeine, which is a natural stimulant. Energy drinks may contain caffeine at a level anywhere between from 50 mg to 505 mg per can or bottle, according to a recent Johns Hopkins study. Without paying attention, people may over-ingest caffeine leading to unintentional caffeine intoxication. Normal adverse reactions induced by high doses of caffeine, particularly in those who are sensitive to the compound, include increased heart rate and blood pressure, in severe cases dehydration, and inability of falling into sleep.

One study showed side effects associated with caffeine in energy drinks include insomnia, nervousness, headache, and tachycardia. Four caffeine-related deaths and four seizures have been reported.

When should energy drinks not be used?

Energy drinks should not be used when exercising as fluid loss from sweating and the diuretic activity of caffeine can cause severe dehydration. Energy drinks should not be used in an attempt to offset the effect of alcohol on one's capability of operating a vehicle.

What would happen when energy drinks are combined with alcoholic drinks?

The real danger of caffeine to someone who is drinking is that caffeine could mislead him to believe that he is drinking the right amount of alcohol without realizing that actually he could have been drinking too much.

It is true that caffeine provide alertness. But it does not change the level of alcohol in the blood. Once the stimulant disappears, the depressant effect of the blood alcohol at high concentration would manifest leading to vomiting in one's sleep or respiratory depression.

Both energy drinks and alcohol can be very dehydrating and thus inhibiting the body's ability to metabolize alcohol and boosting the toxicity of alcohol and the hangover.

How safe is it to use energy drinks?

Energy drinks in itself are relatively safe. Most ingredients including ginseng, maltodextrin, inositol, carnitine, creatine, ginkgo biloba, taurine, vitamins and herbs appear to be safe. The only concern is probably caffeine, which varies in its content greatly from brand to brand.

A recent report authored by Reissig CJ, Strain EC, and Griffiths RR at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and published in the Sep 20, 2008 issue of Drug and Alcohol Dependence calls for warning labels for energy drinks.

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