FDA Banning Alcoholic Energy Drinks
The Food and Drug Administration is apparently going to ban caffeine alcoholic drinks, given that caffeine is an unsafe substance to add to alcoholic beverages, “effectively making products such as Four Loko, Joose, and others like them, prohibited for sale in the United States,” according to Senator Charles Schumer.
Taurine, caffeine and sugar energy drinks can affect the heart rate, the blood pressure and the even mood
A study conducted by the Faculty of Medicine, at the University of Texas revealed that these drinks that promise to banish fatigue can cause dehydration and high blood pressure. “Because of the possibility of getting dehydrated and having a high blood pressure it is better to drink water or drinks for sportsmen, containing electrolytes and carbohydrates, some minerals,” recommends John Higgins, the lead researcher. According to him, an energy drink contains on average up to a quarter cup of sugar and has more caffeine than coffee. Higgins believes greater concern should bring the presence in the composition of these drinks of ingredients such as taurine, which in combination with caffeine may affect the heart rate, the blood pressure and even our mood.
“It’s like when you whip an already tired horse”
George Mencinicopschi, director of the Institute of Food Research, says that energy drinks deplete the body. “Some people believe they feel more vigorous, but these drinks actually deplete the body. When you drink such beverages, it is as if you whip a tired horse. In addition, they do not improve cognitive memory and thinking, nor do they improve reflexes,” said Mencinicopschi. He believes that people who consume these beverages are much more willing to take unnecessary risks. “They o not improve your reflexes, but make you more confident, make you think you can overpass someone on the road with no problem, when in fact you don’t have the necessary time to do so,” he cautions.
Mencinicopschi argues that the ideal time to drink energy drinks is when you are rested, and that in no circumstances should you associate such drinks with alcohol or other nervous system stimulants, like caffeine or tobacco. Scientists have concluded that energizers mixed with alcohol make you drink more, because they give you the feeling of lucidity. “Foods and beverages containing caffeine, theine, taurine and sugar, and the famous combination of energy drinks mixed with whisky may even increase the adverse effects of alcohol,” says Mencinicopschi. Here is a small table showing the contents of caffeine for 250 ml of different beverages:
Beverage (250 ml) – Caffeine content:
Coca-Cola – 48.75 mg; Elevate – 96, 6 mg; HI NRG - 60 mg; Naughty Boy - 80 mg; Pepsi – 40 mg; Pulse – 44mg; Red Bull – 80 mg; for Four Loko, the caffeine is in an undisclosed amount, but it is known that it is one of the four primary ingredients.
Effects of caffeine (purine alkaloids)
Psychoanaleptics are part of the toxic non-lethal chemical warfare substances. From the same category of psychoanaleptics are the cortical excitants: 1.the beta derivate of phenylethylamine (amphetamine) and second the purine alkaloids. Purine alkaloids like caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline show acute toxicological implications (abuse of coffee or people unaccustomed to such substances or the use of coffee as an abortifacient), therapeutic accidents (taking coffee in contraindications) and minor addictions.
The toxic result is characterized by the arousal of the central nervous system (CNS) and the cardiovascular effects. The lethal dose for adults is appreciated at aprox.10 g of caffeine. The report cites a fatal event after 32 cups of coffee. The intoxication can cause chronic neurological disorders manifested by rebel analgesics headache, impaired hearing, ringing in the ears, visual disturbances, sparks or flies in the field of vision, anxiety, facial neuralgia, sleep shaking, trembling fingers, decreased acuity in intelligence, cardiovascular disorders such as palpitations, arrhythmia and rapid pulse, polyuria, digestive disorders, heart and kidney. ” (“Toxicology”, Ed. Didactica, Bucharest, 1991, p.158.)
New study: Researchers warn on the content of energy drinks
Athletes who hope to gain from caffeinated energy drinks should be more power, according to a recent study did not rely excessively on these drinks. According to the researchers their consumption can be very harmful for health. Besides the risk of dehydration, they also warned against the consumption caused by psychological problems.
In particular, the researchers at the University of “Texas Medical School” in Houston, found at fault to be the high caffeine content of energy drinks. Moreover, excessive consumption would involve a risk of dehydration. Furthermore, the scientists warned that the drinks, in combination with alcohol could lead to an increased heart rate and a rapidly rising blood pressure as well as psychological problems.
The study released in the journal “Mayo Clinic Proceedings “, shows the recent research on the subject of new food. This had found, according to the Daily Telegraph, that the consumption of energy drinks with high caffeine content can lead to heart attacks and under some circumstances can even cause death.
Countries such as Norway, Denmark and France have already taken off the market the well-known energy drink “Red Bull”. The reason: An experiment with rats, in which the animals were fed with the taurine contained in the beverage, showed that the rats had a “bizarre behavior, including anxiety and self-mutilation”.
“What we know is that a typical energy drink can contain a quarter cup of sugar and more caffeine than a strong cup of coffee,” said the study leader John Higgins, according to the Daily Telegraph. Although humans are not rats, says Higgins, nevertheless, there is a connection between the consumption of such beverages and the subsequent “risk behavior”.
In addition, some cause not specified on the package ingredients, such as the caffeinated guarana or the amino acid taurine, negative interactions associated with caffeine. Higgins recommends recreational athletes not to consume such drink more than once per day. In addition, one should avoid the combination with alcohol and drink plenty of water after exercise. People with hypertension should avoid the special “sport drinks” all throughout. People with health problems should consult their doctor before consuming energy drinks.
Through precise rules it could also possible to avoid such problems, says Higgins. “Manufacturers can use any ingredient and promote in any way [the product].” This freedom of producers would cause problems. Also for the consumer there is no regulation.
The American Beverage Association said, according to the Daily Telegraph, such products should be consumed with moderation and precaution. A spokesperson with knowledge of the contents said: “there is nothing special to the ingredients in energy drinks.”11