Study finds popular energy drinks trigger caffeine jitters

February 6, 2013

The growing popularity of energy drinks—and deaths linked to those products—are fostering new concerns about how much caffeine people can safely consume, according to the cover story in the current edition of Chemical & Engineering News. C&EN is the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society.

Lauren K. Wolf, C&EN associate editor, points out that stories have surfaced with increasing frequency in recent years about deaths and emergency room visits linked to caffeinated energy drinks. Sales of Red Bull Energy Drinks, Monster Energy and other products have grown from virtually nothing a decade ago to almost $10 billion in 2012. Increased health concerns have accompanied that growth, the story points out. Emergency room visits linked to , for instance, increased to 20,000 in 2011, up 36 percent from the previous year. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is investigating, but manufacturers insist their products are safe.

The article focuses on the difficulty in determining safe consumption levels for . Scientists have found that the toxic dose of caffeine is approximately 10 grams—equivalent to about 130 cups of coffee. But it can vary greatly from person to person. Wolf notes that the variation results from differences in how each person's body processes caffeine. The human body removes caffeine at different rates because of age, weight, gender and other factors, such as use of cigarettes. Thus, it is very difficult to set a definitive value for safe consumption of caffeine, the article states.

Explore further: Australia experts call for energy drink warnings

More information: Article: "Caffeine Jitters"

Related Stories

Australia experts call for energy drink warnings

January 16, 2012

Researchers in Australia on Monday called for health warnings on caffeine-loaded energy drinks following a spike in the number of people reporting medical problems after drinking them.

Can consuming caffeine while breastfeeding harm your baby?

February 21, 2012

Babies are not able to metabolize or excrete caffeine very well, so a breastfeeding mother's consumption of caffeine may lead to caffeine accumulation and symptoms such as wakefulness and irritability, according to an interview ...

How much caffeine in that supplement? Hard to tell

January 8, 2013

(HealthDay)—A new study finds that popular supplement pills and powders found for sale at many military bases, including those that claim to boost energy and control weight, often fail to properly describe their caffeine ...

Emergency room visits after energy drinks on rise (Update)

January 16, 2013

A new U.S. government survey suggests the number of people seeking emergency treatment after consuming energy drinks has doubled nationwide during the past four years, the same period in which the supercharged drink industry ...

Recommended for you


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.