Product News and Recalls

Energy drinks frequently don’t list caffeine amounts

A recent story in Consumer Reports says health concerns about highly caffeinated energy drinks are justified. The magazine conducted tests of energy drinks and found that, per serving, some have as much as twice the caffeine found in a typical 8-oz cup of coffee.

Despite that, the labels frequently don’t reveal the caffeine levels. In tests of 27 top-selling energy drinks, Consumer Reports found that 11 did not list caffeine amounts.

Incident reports filed with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration have linked Monster Energy drink with five deaths in recent years. The FDA says the reports can’t establish a direct cause, because they don’t account for factors such as what other substances the people who died may have ingested.

But Consumer Reports cites other research suggesting that more than 13,000 people visit U.S. emergency rooms annually because of symptoms associated with energy drinks. Thousands more call regional poison control centers.

The mother of a 14-year-old girl who died after drinking two 24 oz cans of Monster Energy drink obtained the reports through a Freedom of Information request. The mother is now suing the manufacturer.

Consumer Reports notes that the energy drinks are becoming increasingly popular, “especially among teenagers and young adults who appear to be the target audience of an omnipresent advertising campaign extolling the health and wellness benefits of these products.”

Although the drinks may contain additional ingredients, the caffeine is most frequently associated with reported adverse reactions, include restlessness, tremors, palpitations, nervousness, and potential life-threatening heart rhythm changes.

See the story here: