Since consumers do not know what they are consuming monthly, or even daily, they later face health problems like caffeine intoxication, which may lead to an increase in heart rate and blood pressure (Farley 1). Energy drinks are composed of several different ingredients, but the main ones are B-vitamins, guarana, taurine and caffeine. The B vitamin, a ready source of energy, is added to the energy drinks to make up for a dietary deficiency. Guarana comes from the seeds of the guarana plant whose seeds contain high levels of caffeine. Guarana can contain three to four times the amount of caffeine as coffee beans (Sabbah 1).
Taurine, an amino acid that the body produces naturally, is responsible for regulating your heart beat, muscle contractions and energy levels. When all of these ingredients are lavished, it causes great harm to the body and consumers need to know this. Few energy drinks include warnings about the possible health risks they might contain like caffeine intoxication. It can raise heart rate and blood pressure while dehydrating the body. When there is an excess of caffeine intake, an individual may notice disrupted sleep, dehydration, kidney damage, and high blood pressure (Sabbah 1).
In addition to the overwhelming amount of caffeine in these drinks comes an absurd amount of sugar. An eight -ounce can of an energy drink contains thirteen tablespoons of sugar. Energy drinks are unhealthy because they can create long-term health problems for people when taken in large amounts.. College students are more prone to drinking energy drinks to due fact that they stay up late to study. A survey of 496 college students found that 51% of those surveyed regularly consumed more than one energy drink per month.
Most of them said it was a common element consumed every week because of insufficient sleep and the desire to increase energy (Seifert et al. 516). It is highly looked upon energy drinks to help students stay alert and focused in their studies, but they need to know the effects of drinking too many of them. The FDA should require manufacturers to put warning labels on their energy drink cans, list their caffeine content on the cans, and limit the amount of stimulant they contain. The FDA has not done anything but impose limits because energy drinks are not classified as beverages, but are labeled as dietary supplements (Seifert et al.520).
Therefore, companies have no restrictions on the amount of ingredients or even which ones they choose to place in their products. Consequently, the public cannot be assured of its safety. In order to emphasize the fact that these drinks are healthy for the consumer, the companies include ingredients such as vitamins, minerals, and herbs. They may not understand what the ingredients do to their body, but seeing the ingredient vitamins automatically makes them feel like it is good for their health. A vital part of energy drink advertising is the slogans they use which must be catchy and memorable.
For example, Red Bulls slogan is Red Bull gives you Wings, and Monsters slogan Unleash the beast. These slogans are obviously directed toward a younger crowd. Those teenagers seeking for acceptance will do anything possible to raise their popularity level, so they drink them constantly. Energy drink companies understand the psychological aspect of advertising, which is why they are becoming so successful. When caffeine is taken in moderation, it is not harmful. Caffeine is comparable to sugar in the sense that it will only cause harm when consumed in large amounts.
That is just the problem. Energy drinks do not have a moderate amount of caffeine in them, they have way too much. The fact that young adults do not know moderation, leads them to drinking ten energy drinks just to impress their friends without knowing the consequences. Energy drink companies do not provide the public with enough information of what their products contain and do to the body. They manipulate customers into believing their drinks will help improve their life by saying vitamins and minerals are included.
These companies do not tell their buyers about the possible long-term effects these drinks can have on their bodies. Energy drinks have absolutely no health benefits to a persons body when taken in moderate amounts, but the potential dangers outweigh anything that might possibly be gained. They give a quick burst energy, which is quickly followed by a power lapse. In conclusion, FDA regulation in energy drinks should enforce labels to include ingredients, possible effects towards the consumers health, and health risks when too many of them are being consumed.
Works Cited Farley, Kate. Energy Drinks May Pose a Health Risk. The Dartmouth; 13 January 2009: p1-2. Access World News. Web. 1 February 2013. Sabbah, Jessica. Experts Say Energy Drinks Need Regulation with Increased Consumption. The Northern Star; 13 April 2009: p1-2.
Access World News. Web. 1 February 2013. Seifert, Sara M. , Schaechter, Judith L. , Hershorin, Eugene R. , Lipschultz, Steven E. Health Effects of Energy Drinks on Children, Adolescents, and Young Adults. Pediatrics; March 2011: p511-528, Academic Search Complete. Web. 1 February 2013.