My USA Today column: Should energy drinks be treated like drugs?

My USA Today column: Should energy drinks be treated like drugs?

My USA Today column: Should energy drinks be treated like drugs?Energy drinks are a booming industry, and safety concerns are starting to come to light.

I write about these caffeine-fueled beverages in my latest USA Today column: Treat energy drinks like drugs.

Safety concerns require energy drinks to be more closely scrutinized. Beverage manufacturers should clearly label the caffeine content. Adults should limit their caffeine intake to about 500 mg per day (or about two tall cups of Starbucks brewed coffee), less for teens and older patients and those with heart or liver problems. Doctors need to do a better job screening for and counseling those who consume high amounts of energy drinks. Finally, we should consider the approach taken by our neighboring countries.

Canada will soon cap energy drink caffeine content to 180 mg per can or bottle, which, if instituted in the U.S., would require reformulation of a substantial number of drinks. Mexico is seeking to ban the sales of energy drinks to those younger than 18.

Enjoy the piece, and feel free to discuss in the comments below.

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  • NormRx

    So Mexico is going to ban energy drinks to those under 18. This in a country where all drugs that are prescription in the U.S. can be purchased without a prescription. You can walk down any street in Mexico and pick up a bag of pot, cocaine etc. They have one gun shop in the whole country and it is located in Mexico City and yet they have one of the highest murder rates in the world.

    So doctors should start screening people who abuse energy drinks? And of course the doctor should ask his patients about guns in the house, swimming pools, drug use, sexual habits etc. Kevin I really enjoy your blog, but just where is the doctor going to find the time? The average appointment time is about 15 minutes and during this time the doctor has to review the chart, talk to the patient on why they came in and dictate the chart.

    Kevin, YOU CAN’T FIX STUPID. Darwin can.

    • drgg

      If you think this is stupid, you should see the article below… The successful physician of 2015: 5 essential traits. Pour yourself a double before reading. It’s even worse. seems like the articles here are getting dumbed down…kind of like healthcare itself…..

  • doc99

    Wait … That should include all Coffee, Tea, Soda, etc, Right?
    Kevin – your heart is in the right place but this would be not only impractical but costly as well. It’s a non-starter

  • querywoman

    I agree that heavily caffeinated energy drinks may be harmful; however, the medical profession seems to love to bash any flavored drink. Is drinking just water really what humans prefer?

    Clear, clean water is a modern luxury. Our ancestors drank fermented beverages, similar to modern beer and wine, because it was safer than the water. Perhaps we should start drinking mildly fermented beverages, or did industrialization along with the advent of cars kill that luxury>