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Alison McKellar
Alison McKellar
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Energy drinks and caffeine dependence: a growing problem

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Energy drinks have grown enormously in popularity during thelast several years and the number of brands, labels, and manufacturers hascreated fierce competition among marketers, each looking to carve out their ownmarket niche as “the most extreme”, “the fewest calories”,or “the most used by celebrities”.¬†

The United States has some of themost relaxed laws regulating the ingredients and distribution of drinks such asRed Bull, resulting in products that carry anywhere from 50mg to 500mg ofcaffeine and are targeted primarily toward adolescent males as performanceenhancers. Reports of caffeine intoxication have risen sharply, andcaffeine dependence, as well as the combined use of caffeine and alcohol isconsidered to be a real concern by some researchers.

A recent study concludes that energy drinks may need to carry some type of warninglabel similar to those seen on alcohol and tobacco products advising consumersof the risk of caffeine dependence and other possible adverse reactions.