3 Reasons Energy Drink Bans Fail

Energy drinks are not intended for minors. And yet, energy drink bans are not the way to go.

Many states and counties in the US have tried to pass laws to prevent minors from buying energy drinks. In this episode of the Caffeine at Midnight podcast, Caffeine Scientist GreenEyedGuide describes the 3 reasons energy drink bans fail, and what lawmakers SHOULD do instead.

Where Minors Get Their Caffeine

Few get it from energy drinks

energy drink bans don't work because that's not where teens get their caffeine

The 3 Most Important Things You Need To Know

Energy Drink Bans Don't Address Dangerous Ingredients

People have overdosed on caffeine from shots of espresso, from pure caffeine powder, and from soda [see References, below].
A ban on energy drinks won't address situations where OTHER ingredients pose a health risk. For example, yohimbe, beta-alanine, and even B-Vitamins can be harmful in the wrong dose.

Energy Drink Bans Don't Include "Energy Drinks In Disguise"

Starbucks Doubleshot has 2x the caffeine of Red Bull. Some preworkout powders have 3x the amount of caffeine a minor can have in 1 day. Energy drink bans fail to include these products, which pose just as much risk to minors as the stereotypical energy drink.

Energy Drink Bans Don't Protect 18 Year Olds

Eighteen year olds don't magically wake up immune to caffeine toxicity. And yet, college students are more likely than minors of overdosing on caffeine. This is due to their newfound independence, peer pressure, and the stress of juggling college and Adulthood responsibilities.

Bottom Line

Preventing a minor from buying Red Bull is not the best way to keep minors safe from the health risks associated with energy drinks. There are too many loopholes, and there are better methods that protect everyone, not just minors.

In the next episode of the Caffeine at Midnight podcast, GreenEyedGuide shares why Canada’s Energy Drink Restriction is the way to go.

References

  1. Documented Deaths By Caffeine – Caffeine Informer
  2. Yohimbe Side Effects – WebMD
  3. Energy Drink Hospitalizations – GreenEyedGuide.com

Are Energy Drinks Bad For You?

Are Energy Drinks Bad For You?

If you were looking for a definitive guide for all your energy drink questions, this is it. Standard energy drinks. Pre-workout drinks. Drinks with all-natural ingredients. CaffeineMan and GreenEyedGuide cover it all. With this series, you’ll get science-based, no-BS answers to the big question, “Are energy drinks bad for you?”

  • In Part One, you’ll find information about the stereotypical energy drinks and their ingredients.
  • Part Two focuses on caffeinated pre-workout drinks. These types of drinks have ingredients intended to give exercise benefits.
  • The final episode, Part Three, features healthy energy drinks that even the worst energy drink hater would enjoy.

Ready? Let’s go!

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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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How Energy Drinks Affect Children and Young People: Research Recap

Energy drinks do not belong in the diet of a five-year-old. You already knew that. But do you know what happens when children do have energy drinks? Thanks to research by Durham University in the UK, we now have a good idea how many kids and teens in different countries drink energy drinks and how those drinks affect their health.

›We’re recapping the findings of this paper: “Consumption of energy drinks by children and young people: a rapid review examining evidence of physical effects and consumer attitude

*Note – the research paper by Durham University uses the expression “children and young people” to refer to those under 18. At the age of 33, I still consider myself a “young person”, so I’m going to use the expression “kids and teens” instead. Read more

The Science Behind Turbo Tea Zero from A.B.B.

Energy drinks are a spectrum. While there are some that look exactly like the stereotypical energy drinks from the early 2000s, there are a growing number which look nothing like their forefathers. Every month I try to highlight an energy drink which doesn’t fit the stereotype. This month, we’ll review the science behind a drink which could be considered an energy drink, a pre-workout, maybe even a tea. Read more