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energy drinks



Pepsi’s New Mountain Dew Kickstart is Not a Healthy Breakfast Choice

Just when you thought you’d seen it all, Pepsi tries to sell us on Mountain Dew for breakfast.

PepsiCo announced Monday it will be releasing a new “breakfast” drink. Mountain Dew Kickstart is a Mountain Dew-flavored fruit juice drink that will be available in two flavors: Energizing Orange Citrus and Fruit Punch, according to USA Today.

  • Mountain Dew’s vice president of marketing, Greg Lyons, explained Kickstart was born out of consumer demand. “Our consumers told us they are looking for an alternative to traditional morning beverages – one that tastes great, includes real fruit juice and has just the right amount of kick to help them start their days.”
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Energy Drinks Can’t Support Claims; FDA Investigates Deaths and Illnesses

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:

  • 5-Hour Energy Shots – 13 deaths, 92 illnesses
  • Rockstar Energy – 13 illnesses, 2 disabilities

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.”
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Monster Energy Linked to Five Deaths, Including a Teenage Girl

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.
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Jenny McCarthy Comes Clean on Dr. Oz

Tune in on October 15 as Dr. Oz sits down with Jenny McCarthy to talk about her worst health habits. She confesses about her past weight problem and drug addictions, as well as her worst current habit of smoking cigarettes. McCarthy dishes on her energy-boosting secret and how she lost her baby weight. Can Dr. Oz encourage her to come clean and kick her unhealthy habits?

McCarthy began her career as a Playboy model, later turning to roles in movies and television. She became a vocal activist for autism research after her son was diagnosed, claiming that childhood MMR vaccinations caused his disease. She has written several books on the subject of pregnancy, motherhood, and autism, with six books becoming New York Times bestsellers. Her newest book, Bad Habits, chronicles her journey from a devoutly Catholic childhood to her faith today.
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Energy Drinks Under Investigation by New York State Attorney General: Is it Worth the Fight?

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.
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