A recent media report about a 14-year-old girl from the United States died of cardiac dysrhythmia after consuming two cans of caffeinated energy drinks has aroused public concern on the safety of caffeinated energy drinks. The cause of death with a possible link to the consumption of drinks is still under investigation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
What are caffeinated energy drinks?
Caffeinated energy drinks are a kind of non-alcoholic beverages which contain ingredients such as caffeine, sugar and B vitamins, etc. They enhance mental alertness by stimulating the nervous system. Caffeinated energy drinks should not be confused with sports drinks which are caffeine-free, rehydrate the body and provide sugar and minerals to the body.
Impacts on health
1. Caffeine affects the central nervous system, kidneys and cardiovascular system. It will lead to excitement, nervousness, anxiety and diuretic symptoms, which cause water and sodium loss from the body and alter heart rate and blood pressure in the short term;
2. Following the principle of a balanced diet with moderate consumption of caffeinated beverages does not generally pose any serious health effects. However, pregnant women, children and people who are sensitive to caffeine should limit the intake of caffeine as they are more prone to health problems.
Safety tips to the public
1. Maintain a balanced diet and do not drink excessive amounts of caffeinated energy drinks. Read the recommended intake level on the label carefully;
2. It is not recommended to consume caffeinated energy drinks along with alcohol or with mediation that affects the central nervous system;
3. Pregnant women, children and people who are sensitive to caffeine should refrain from drinking caffeinated energy drinks;
4. Caffeinated energy drinks are not suitable as rehydrants after exercise. Rather than rehydrating the body, these drinks may actually lead to dehydration;
5. In case of feeling unwell after drinking, seek medical attention immediately.
Safety tips to the trade
1. Retain purchasing invoices for source tracing;
2. The trade should clearly label the recommended intake level and warnings for the high-risk individuals, and the label should not carry any misleading claims.