Alcohol and additives make caffeine drinks like "monsters" dangerous
Since the scandal surrounding the energy drink "Monster" at the latest, the popular stimulants have been the subject of strong criticism. However, the high-caffeinated drinks are still popular, especially for young people. If you believe the advertising, the energy drinks are a harmless caffeine kick from a can. However, experts warn above all not to drink the drinks in combination with alcohol and drugs, because then they become a frequently underestimated health risk to the cardiovascular system. Excessive consumption of the stimulants can cause symptoms such as a rapid heartbeat and sweating and can even lead to circulatory collapse. The greatly increased caffeine content and additives such as taurine, inositol and glucuronolactone are said to be responsible for this.
Five killed because of energy drink in the United States
After five people died after consuming the high-caffeinated drink "Monster", the US food regulator is now investigating the manufacturer. Shelly Burgess, spokeswoman for the agency, stressed that a possible connection between the consumption of energy drinks and the deaths was taken very seriously. So far, however, there is no proof.
After a 14-year-old died of cardiac arrhythmia in December 2011 after consuming two doses of "Monster", the parents filed a lawsuit against the manufacturer Monster Beverage Corporation last week. The lawyer told the family that the amount the girl had drunk contained 480 milligrams of caffeine. In the autopsy report, the doctors noted "cardiac arrhythmia due to poisoning with caffeine" as the cause of death. Soft drinks such as lemonades in the United States must not exceed 71.5 milligrams of caffeine per 0.35 liters. However, since energy drinks are considered a nutritional supplement, this limit does not apply to the wake-ups.
Energy drinks can feign a “fitness feeling” for drivers. For some time now, the drinks, which are particularly popular among young people, have been suspected of being harmful to health. The drinks have a strong stimulating effect and can trigger symptoms such as rapid heartbeat, sweating, inner restlessness and nervousness. The high caffeine and sugar content, and above all additives such as taurine, inositol and glucuronolactone, could further increase the toxicological effects of the drink, according to experts. So far, however, there is no definitive scientific evidence for the connection between the awakeners and health problems such as cardiac arrhythmias or kidney failure, as reported by the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR).
The Hessen Consumer Center (VZH) also warns of energy drinks. VZH nutritionist Schaff points out that the drinks contain on average as much caffeine as one or two cups of coffee. Dr. Wolfgang Wesiack, President of the Professional Association of German Internists (BDI), particularly advises motorists against drinking beverages. Instead, he recommends sufficient fluids, especially water, adequate exercise and enough breaks in everyday life. This is usually sufficient as a "fitness maker" and is not only healthier, but also more effective for everyday working life. It is particularly important for drivers to exercise caution and not to be deceived by the deceptive “fitness feeling” after consuming energy drinks. Drivers would then no longer be fit to drive, just like people who had drunk alcohol.
Energy drinks could trigger cardiovascular diseases. Especially people who regularly use energy drinks put a heavy load on their cardiovascular system. Wesiack warns that people who already have pre-existing conditions such as high blood pressure or irregular heartbeat could get worse. The internist generally advises children, pregnant women and breastfeeding women not to drink them because they are more sensitive to caffeine. According to the BfR, so-called “energy shots”, which have a significantly higher caffeine content, are the most dangerous and should be avoided by people with cardiovascular problems.
In combination with alcohol “the energy drinks can also become an incalculable health risk”. As part of a study, subjects showed that they “could no longer realistically assess their responsiveness after consuming alcohol and energy drinks”. In the worst case, your own performance may be significantly overestimated, which can have serious consequences in a critical situation.
Since May 2012, legally stipulated maximum quantities for certain ingredients have been in force in Germany. In addition, energy drinks must be specially labeled. For example, the note "increased caffeine content" and a quantity of the caffeine content in milligrams per 100 milliliters must be stated on each package and beverage menu. (ag)
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