Over the last few years, the concerns over the safety of energy drinks have been growing at an alarming pace. This involves any and all sports drinks that are clearly being marketed to teenage athletes to give them a competitive edge. These products are slickly packaged, appear in GNC and other health stores, and give the appearance to any consumer that they are totally safe to consume.
After all, if they weren’t safe, how come they can be sold? Or at least that’s the general impression.
Problem is, these drinks are not scrutinized closely by the Food and Drug Administration, and as a result, it’s pretty much a case of caveat emptor – let the buyer beware – when you or your youngster buy these products. Yet these products contain impurities, dangerous additives, and often too much caffeine.
More specifically, and this has been documented by numerous articles in recent months in the New York Times by such esteemed journalists as Peter Lattman and Barry Meier, is that the number of visits to emergency rooms has grown dramatically. Complaints about headaches, heart palpitations, even heart attacks, have alarmed medical professionals everywhere. These products, including Monster Energy, Jack3D, 5-hour Energy, and so on, form a multi-billion dollar business, and clearly they aren’t going to give up their turf without a good fight. The manufacturers, of course, deny any blame for these medical concerns, but the numbers of complaints are growing daily.
But as Peter Lattman of the Times pointed out on my show this AM, there are all sorts of worries about these products, and the time has come for the FDA to step up and set the record straight. In a recent article, Lattman detailed the death of an otherwise healthy 22-year Army private, Michael Sparling, who died two years from a heart attack after consuming a container of Jack3D. That product contains something known as DMAA, which is banned by most sports organizations as well as several countries. But here in the US, it is sold as an ingredient in Jack3D (or at least was), and according to the coroner’s report, most likely resulted in this young man’s death.
But this is just one example. Steve Bechler, a top pitching prospect in the Orioles’ organization, popped some Ephedra pills into his mouth to try and lose weight. A few hours later, he was dead from a heart attack. And there have been many tragedies from young athletes drinking these products.
Even Collegiate Baseball, a fairly conservative publication, reported a couple of years that that popular protein drinks like Muscle Milk contain impurities such as lead, titanium, and arsenic. Obviously, you don’t want your youngster drinking something that contains this kind of dangerous ingredients.
So what’s the bottom line? Pay attention to what your kid is drinking. Bear in mind that the ingredients on the label may not tell you everything you need to see. Above all, be careful. Do your homework on these products. And above all, educate your child.
Everybody wants to get an edge, but who wants to do that at the expense of one’s health?: