A huge debate has sprung up around the energy drink industry, with some health and safety officials calling for further regulation of these highly caffeinated beverages while at the same time certain entities proclaim that the drinks aren’t dangerous when consumed in moderation by healthy adults. Adverse events allegedly tied to the consumption of Monster Energy and 5-Hour Energy have recently been the subject of a Food and Drug Administration investigation, and now comes word that another product is being scrutinized as well.
That product is Red Bull, which has reportedly been connected with 21 instances of adversity. The FDA was notified of these incidents, which go all the way back to 2004. No fatalities have been reported, but pain in the abdomen and a raised heart rate were. On four reported occasions, the person who drank the Red Bull apparently had to be checked in to a hospital.
Although the level of caffeine in sodas is subject to the regulatory power of the FDA, energy drinks like Red Bull and the other above mentioned companies are typically marketed as dietary supplements. Therefore, the products aren’t necessarily required to conform to the same 71 milligram per 12 ounces cap that sodas are. A can of Red Bull purports to contain the equivalent of a cup of coffee, roughly 80 milligrams.
The debate shows no signs of slowing down. If you plan to consume an energy drink, make sure that you’re not in an at-risk category of customer. Until the matter can be settled, teens and those with heart conditions might want to consider refraining from consumption.