What would we expect from an energy drink? An instant blast of energy, of course. But do we even know where that energy comes from? Are our energy drinks safe?
Research into the contents of eight energy drink brands by New Delhi-based Centre for Science and Enviroment has now found ‘dangerous’ levels of caffeine in these beverages — way higher than permissible limits. These levels were obviously either not mentioned or fudged on the packaging.
Close to half of the samples of popular energy drinks tested by the centre’s lab were found breaching the safe limit of 145 parts per million (ppm) of caffeine prescribed by the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act of 1954.
Regular intake of high levels of caffeine is known to result in hypokalemia (low potassium levels), hallucinations, increased intracranial pressure, cerebral edema, stroke, paralysis, rhabdomyolysis (muscle fibers in blood), altered consciousness, rigidity, seizures, arrhythmias, and even death.
These energy drinks — targetted at the youth — are also marketed as sports drinks and bought in bulk by gyms, bars and clubs. However, consumed during intense physical activity, they can actually lead to dehydration.
It’s alarming how easily dubious foods and beverages can be marketed in this country!