Energy Drinks and Hospitalizations Checklist: How to Ask The Right Questions

It’s happened again: someone was admitted to the hospital after consuming an energy drink. Reporters covering the story warn readers about the dangers of energy drinks…something is missing. In this post, I’ll review real headlines about energy drink to demonstrate how the omission of a few minor details hurts consumers, as well as the scientists who study energy drinks.

If you read a news story about someone being hospitalized because of a vegetable, you’d have some questions.

On the surface, the mere idea sounds ridiculous.

“Hospitalized…because of a VEGETABLE? People eat veggies all the time without dying, why would someone go to the hospital?”

In fact, leafy green vegetables were the number one source of foodborne illnesses from 1998-2008. Moreover, this hypothetical news story is a perfect example of how asking the right questions can save lives.

When someone is hospitalized because of a vegetable, scientists and doctors are able to piece together the clues and figure out whether or not to issue a recall, if so, what food and even what brand and lot numbers. The end result is information which saves people from eating something that could hurt them. If only we could do the same thing for energy drinks.
(Hint: we are not)

When it comes to energy drink-related hospitalizations, we are not asking the right questions. There are several examples of real energy drink news stories where small but critical details were omitted. Not only does this hurt consumers, but it also hurts scientists who desperately need this data to study the health effects of energy drinks.

The good news is these missing critical details can be summed up in just five questions.
Yes, just FIVE QUESTIONS!
Let me walk you through these five questions and why they matter so much, using real news stories about energy drink-related hospitalizations.

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Should you be afraid of this Monster Energy Drink? Science and Safety Behind Caffe Monster Energy Coffee

Updated 3/26/2020 by Danielle Robertson Rath (the “GreenEyedGuide”)

When Energy Drinks Look Like Coffee Drinks

Monster Energy hit US markets in 2002 and helped establish the energy drink stereotype. Over 10 years later, there are still plenty of energy drinks that still fit this stereotype, but is Caffe Monster one of them?

Monster Energy is undeniably an energy drink company. In fact, they’re one of the Big Three responsible for the “Energy Drink Boom”. In this post, we’ll discuss whether Monster Energy’s wannabe-coffee warrants the same level of concern as their standard energy drinks.

GreenEyedGuide smiling

Hi there, I research energy drinks.

I declared myself a biochemistry major in 2003 – right at the beginning of the Energy Drink Boom. I’ve always been fascinated by caffeinated drinks and all the fears surrounding their use. That’s why I’ve put my education toward understanding the science behind energy drinks and their ingredients.

After 10+ years in this field, I believe parents have a right to be concerned about energy drinks, but that concern needs the right context to do anybody any good.

How concerned should we be about the safety of Caffe Monster Energy Coffee?

An In-Depth Review of Caffe Monster

For this month’s in-depth review, we’ll assess:

  • Caffe Monster Energy Coffee ingredients 
  • A comparison between Caffe Monster and a Stereotypical Energy Drink
  • A comparison between Caffe Monster and Starbucks Frappuccino
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8 Facts for Caffeine Awareness Month [infographic]

March is Caffeine Awareness Month! To commemorate this occasion, I’ve assembled the information (all of it with reference citations) every caffeine consumer should know.

March is caffeine awareness month

This infographic was prepared by food scientist and biochemist Danielle Robertson Rath, founder of GreenEyedGuide.com and author of “Are You a Monster or a Rock Star: A Guide to Energy Drinks”. This infographic is possible thanks to the generous support of CaffeineInformer.com. Thanks also goes to Dr. Clay Jones.

REFERENCES:

 

When Does Coffee Become an Energy Drink? Science Behind Starbucks Doubleshot

Updated 3/26/2020 by Danielle Robertson Rath (the “GreenEyedGuide”)

Is Starbucks Doubleshot an energy drink?

Most people love coffee. Many people think energy drinks are dangerous and unhealthy. So what happens when a beloved coffee company makes a drink with energy drink ingredients? Starbucks Doubleshot Energy may not be as pure and healthy as a black cup of coffee, but is it as dangerous and unhealthy as a stereotypical energy drink?

GreenEyedGuide speaking event

Hi there, I research energy drinks.

I’ve been passionate about the science behind energy drinks since 2003. After getting my degrees in biochemistry and food science, I wrote a book all about energy drink ingredients and safety concerns.

I’ve always been fascinated by caffeinated beverages, especially the ones that seem to blur the lines of different categories. Starbucks Doubleshot is one of those drinks.

An In-Depth Review of Starbucks Doubleshot Energy

For this month’s in-depth review, we’ll assess:

  • Starbucks Doubleshot Ingredients
  • A comparison between Starbucks Doubleshot and the stereotypical energy drink
  • A comparison between Starbucks Doubleshot and coffee-energy drink hybrids from Monster Energy and Rockstar
  • Whether Starbucks Doubleshot is safe
Continue reading

GreenEyedGuide Caffeine Challenge Day 7/10 – Coffee vs Energy Drinks

Coffee VS Energy Drinks! For Day 7 of the GreenEyedGuide Caffeine Challenge we compare the health benefits of caffeine from ALL sources and the benefits of caffeine from COFFEE.

***PLAY ALONG – tell me what side you’re on, or share your favorite coffee-energy drink HYBRID on Instagram/ Facebook/Twitter and tag @GreenEyedGuide, or add your pictures to the Caffeine Challenge Event page at Facebook.com/GreenEyedGuide/events

Through this challenge, you’ll learn how to use the 5 Levels of Fatigue to reap the benefits of caffeine while avoiding addiction, dependence, tolerance, and toxicity. 

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Love energy drinks/coffee/caffeine? Visit Facebook.com/energydrinkguide
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References: Caffeine and Coffee Health Benefits – Caffeine Informer