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.
Have we met? I’m Danielle, the “GreenEyedGuide”. I started studying biochemistry in college the same year Monster Energy hit US markets. Ever since, I’ve put my education to use studying the science behind caffeine and energy drinks. I’ve always been disappointed with the black-and-white “Energy Drinks Will Kill You” messaging because the science is a lot more complex…after all, how can coffee be so good and other forms of caffeine be so bad? My goal is and always has been to answer questions about these controversial energy drinks using the latest research so people can decide what’s right for them based on facts, not fear.
March is Caffeine Awareness Month, and what better way to celebrate than to revisit some of the most popular caffeine-related GreenEyedGuide posts! Remember that rebuttal to BroBible’s energy drink article or the open letter to Time magazine? How about the three tips for parents or the two Year-In-Review lists of all the “Energy Drink of the Month” winners? Do you remember what happens when energy drinks dress up like workout supplements?
(Click the title to open the article in a new tab)
BroBible may be have expert insights on some matters, but their article on energy drinks proves biology and food science isn’t in their wheelhouse. Here’s the point-counterpoint to all the misleading statements in their article.
As a food scientist who’s studied energy drinks for over 10 years, Ms Sifferlin’s article came across as yet another “all energy drinks are lethal” story. While the article was missing many crucial facts, there were three points in particular that should be part of the conversation.
This presentation covers the effects of caffeine when it’s consumed before, during, or after a workout. We also review how the Five Levels of Fatigue helps people determine which caffeine products (if any) are right for them.
Energy drinks are in the news again, and this time the story is the reported increase in emergency room visits attributed to energy drinks. Are these stats more indicative of consumer misuse or that energy drinks are inherently more dangerous than other caffeinated beverages? Some clues to consider.
As always, my goal is to educate and inform, to provide an alternate perspective to help people look past confusing scientific jargon and learn the tools to making the best choices for their lifestyle. Caffeine is not always the answer but to find the right answers we must ask the right questions.
How concerned do parents need to be about the use of energy drinks in kids and teens? In the Green-Eyed Guide guest blog on The Scientific Parent, we review the three major details often left out of these conversations on caffeine, and how these details can dramatically boost our efforts to keep ourselves and our kids healthy and safe.
A study published in January 2014 involving over 40,000 people defines beverage caffeine intakes in the US, revealing the amounts of caffeine consumed and from what source per age group. As your Green-Eyed Guide, I’m going to explain what it all means.
What can 42,000 people tell us about the caffeine habits of the US population? Plenty, if you look at the right details. Understanding this information is critical to any conversation about caffeine safety.
With new caffeinated foods popping up, the FDA is getting more pressure to reevaluate the safety of caffeine, particularly for adolescents. We evaluate the impact of caffeinated gum and why CANADA has the best caffeine regulations.
ENERGY DRINK OF THE MONTH YEAR IN REVIEW (YEAR1 AND YEAR 2)