When the number of people who have either been injured by or died because of energy drinks continues to climb, the FDA starts getting nosey. “FDA is continuing to investigate reports of illness, injury or death of people who took products marketed as ‘energy drinks’ or ‘energy shots,'” they reported late last year, as the numbers continue to climb at an alarming rate.
To be more specific, WebMD shared the following deaths and illnesses linked to leading energy drink brands:
These reports date back to 2004, but became more prevalent in 2012 as usage continued to climb making energy drinks the fastest growing segment of the beverage industry, according to New York Times. These drinks alone sold an astonishing $10 billion. But the cost to consumers appears to be so much higher.
People are swiping these bottles of liquified energy off shelves by the armful hoping to no doubt have more energy, feel more alert, and have an overall better feeling of wellness. Experts are saying these drinks are no more than glorified caffeine, however, which you can get in a cup of coffee. Dr. Roland Griffiths with Johns Hopkins University told the New York Times, “They don’t want to say this is equivalent to a NoDoz because that is not a very sexy sales message.” (more…)
Pepsi-Cola isn’t exactly in a healthy industry. Over the past years, big soda companies like Pepsi and Coke have been scrutinized for contributing to the obesity epidemic. In light of this, Pepsi just announced a new fiber-infused flavor, “Pepsi Special,” that claims to reduce fat levels in the body. The product is only sold in Japan.
Pepsi Special contains dextrin, “a type of ‘functional fiber,'” explained our resident dietitian, Mary Hartley, RD. “This is a fiber isolated or extracted from a plant (or, in some cases, manufactured) added to a food. Dextrins are true soluble fibers that can help improve digestion. They act as ‘prebiotics,’ undigested fibers that feed the friendly bacteria in the colon.”
Benefits of dextrin include stabilizing blood glucose, regulating insulin, reducing risk of heart disease, and reducing cholesterol and fat cell levels in the body. Dextrin can be found in glue products as well, but it’s not safe to consume in that form. There are a number of foods and medications that contain dextrin and have for about half a century, notes Hartley. “Most people eat some dextrins every day without noticing a change in weight,” she said.
Will drinking the new Pepsi product make you skinnier? Probably not.
“Pepsi Special is a gimmick. It is just another product to increase market share,” calls out Hartley. (more…)
Energy drinks are taking a hit this week. Specifically, Monster Energy. The highly caffeinated drink has been cited in five deaths and other dangerous health incidents, which have lead the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to investigate.
CBS News reported this morning that many claims of adverse reactions to Monster Energy drinks have been reported. The drink is a 24-ounce carbonated beverage with 240 milligrams of caffeine. For perspective, that amount is seven times that found in a regular 12 ounce soda.
The most recent startling news about the drink involves the death of a 14-year-old girl. The teen reportedly drank two 24-ounce Monsters in a 24-hour period and later died. Her autopsy determined she died of cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity. CBS reports that the child’s parents were never properly warned by Monster about its possible risks. (more…)
It’s Friday at 4:30 p.m. and the clock couldn’t be moving any slower. It’s been a long week and you’re more than ready for the weekend to begin.
The only problem (besides the last 30 minutes feeling like an eternity) is you haven’t gotten your workout in for the day. You’re thinking to yourself, “I’m not in the mood to workout”, and it’s the last thing on your mind with the exciting weekend you have planned. In order to avoid skipping the gym, put a few of these motivational ideas of use.
Take a pre-workout supplement
A lot of avid gym-goers that are faithful to their workout routine take a pre-workout supplement before every workout. Pre-workout supplements enhance your workout with ingredients such as caffeine and creatine, which give you a boost of energy and help you maintain more mental focus. (more…)
By Rachel Berman, RD Director of Nutrition at CalorieCount.com
Just as the new school year is getting underway and students everywhere are looking for a pick-me-up to stay focused in class, the NY State Attorney General announced his investigation of energy drinks and the safety of their caffeine levels. You might remember a couple of years ago when the USDA forced removal of products from the marketplace, such as Four Loko, which added caffeine to alcohol. They deemed it unsafe since caffeine masks the depressant qualities of alcohol and people who mix the two are more likely to binge drink, according to studies.
However, it seems like there’s a new product appearing every week touting its ability to keep you awake and energized. Energy drinks are a billion-dollar industry, the fastest growing segment of the beverage market, and they generally contain caffeine, other plant based supplements, simple sugars and additives to achieve their goal. According to the CDC, about one-third of teenage Americans consume energy drinks. But the problem is that the drinks are considered dietary supplements and therefore aren’t tightly regulated by the FDA like other foods and beverages. So can energy drinks be bad for your health?
Cap the caffeine
The caffeine content listed on energy drinks doesn’t usually exceed the recommended 400 mg per day for adult. However, if you’re downing more than one or mixing with coffee, soda, and other caffeinated beverages, you might be getting more than you need. The FDA recognizes caffeine as a drug and regulates the amount found in carbonated soft drinks, but not in energy drinks. Too much caffeine can cause increased heart beat, interrupted sleep, irritability, and nervousness. In addition, some studies have found that high caffeine content in energy drinks results in irregular heart beat and increased blood pressure. (more…)