Thursday, January 6, 2011

trade secrets: how safe are popular energy drinks?

The buzz about alcoholic energy drinks (Four Loko, Joose, etc) is raising questions about whether any of the energy drinks are safe.

Many people don't realize how much caffeine and other stimulants these drinks contain...and it's often not specified on the label. Caffeine amount varies...

about 80 mg for Red Bull

 about 100 mg for 5-Hour Energy

and over 300 mg for some kinds of Rockstar.

Most healthy adults can safely consume up to 400 mg/day of caffeine...about three 8 oz cups of coffee.

For children, suggest keeping it under about 45 mg/day for 4 year-olds...sliding up to about 85 mg/day for 12 year-olds. Be careful...caffeine and children are in my opinion a true contraindication.

Other ingredients that sneak in there are that you need to know about:
Guarana often appears on labels, but let me explain that it's just another source of coffee beans, cola nuts, and tea or mate leaves. Unfortunately though guarana is usually not counted as caffeine on labels.

Taurine is often added...supposedly to improve performance. But the amount in energy drinks has no proven benefit.

B vitamins are also added to supposedly increase energy. Your body needs there for cellular energy metabolism...but there's no proof that supplements boost energy.

Just be careful NOT to combine energy drinks with stimulants (methylphenidate, pseudoephedrine, etc)...due to additive effects. Also be careful not to use energy drinks for rehydration...caffeine can be dehydrating if you are use to it.

When in doubt...grab a glass of water if your thirsty and just think twice before opening a can loaded with caffeience. And as always...feel free to share my info away with friends and family or not. Either way, it will be our little secret.



  1. whoa, I have a few vices, but energy drinks are not one of them.
    now if you start warning about coke or chocolate, I'm in trouble!
    great info!

  2. Yeah, I've never really felt right about these!

  3. These spook me so I have managed to steer clear. I have heard, however, that they are wildly popular with middle school kids. Yikes!

    Loving the inside tips!!

  4. Thankfully, these do not even taste good to me. I tried them once. My 11 year old son doesn't seem to understand why they are a no no and he has a heart Arythmia and I was told to watch the caffeine. I think these only promote an unhealthy diet. Just my opinion though. I feel better just eating right. Great post again E!

  5. i stay away from them completely. and i just stopped drinking diet coke- i am 2 months clean! :) i feel so much better NOT drinking it. i am sure energy drinks would make me feel icky, too.

  6. I truly don't understand why anyone drinks this stuff.


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