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Caffeine Energy Drinks – Safety Concerns

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When a former associate would bring in strange looking cans to the ABRAMS LANDAU Herndon Virginia office, I would be amazed at the sizes, the exotic sounding ingredients and the large amounts of caffeine. More and more young people are turning to caffeine in large amounts. With cigarettes more difficult and expensive to get, and Starbucks an other Coffee bistros becoming "cool" hangouts, the use of caffeine as a stimulant is widely accepted an promoted. In order to capitalize on this trend, the major beverage sellers and supplement companies are coming out with new and exotic caffeine delivery systems. And caffeine is addictive, and can require greater "dosages" as the drinker builds up a tolerance. And in tomorrow’s post we will discuss what happens when these "buzzed" beverage buyers add alcohol into the mix.

“There was a time when we would get our caffeine intake from coffee and cola, but now there are a number of caffeine-containing beverages, and we need to be careful because over a period of 24 hours, that caffeine intake is cumulative,” says Dee Rollins, R.D., PhD, a dietitian with Baylor Regional Medical Center at Grapevine in Grapevine, Texas. Experts say energy-drink consumers should keep careful track of the amount of caffeine they get in a day. “If you know that 400 milligrams a day is the upper limit, you can check the back of the labels and make sure that you don’t get more than that,” explains Rollins.

It may sound like a lot, but 400 milligrams is roughly the equivalent of just one energy drink and two cups of coffee. Getting more than that can lead to jitteriness, nausea, heart palpitations — and in extreme cases, more severe symptoms according to ParentTalk “It can be so bad that if you take too much caffeine you can end up in the hospital thinking you have flu-like symptoms and really it’s caffeine overdose,” says Rollins.

For most people — if they’re not getting more than around 400 milligrams of caffeine a day — these energy drinks are safe, says Rollins. But here are some important things to remember:

° Don’t drink energy beverages while exercising. It can lead to severe dehydration.

° Don’t ever mix these drinks with alcohol. Doing so can not only mask how intoxicated you really are, it can be extremely dehydrating.

° Remember that, in addition to caffeine, most energy drinks contain very high amounts of sugar and sodium, which can be dangerous for diabetics or those with high blood pressure.