Solution Paper

The amount of energy drinks are growing day by day as well as the number of deaths and injuries attributed to energy drinks. 5-Hour Energy alone has led to 33 hospitalizations and 13 deaths within the last four years. Deaths and other severe, hospitalization have happened due to the consumption of other well-known energy drinks such as Monster, Rockstar, and Redbull. Energy drinks can cause major heart issues, Palpitations of the heart and serve dehydration. The FDA does not regulate energy drinks because they are called Dietary supplements. The solution to energy drinks is to make the Food and Drug Administration regulated all energy drinks and make sure all ingredients are labeled somewhere on the can.
Energy drinks are soft drinks that contain a large amount of caffeine and also contain Guarana and Ginseng, which are stimulants. Rock Star and Monster are examples of energy drinks; some contain as much as 200 milligrams per serving. Energy drinks market saying they provide simulation, which can be both mental and physical. Energy drinks have been an alternative for energy bars. Some energy drinks are said to be dietary supplements, which are not regulated, by the Food and Drug Administration.
Caffeine is found in energy drinks as well as tea, coffee, soft drinks, and chocolate. We consume caffeine every day and many of us don’t see it as a drug, however it is. Caffeine is known to be addictive, toxic and can alter performance in some people. Energy drinks can have almost three times as much caffeine as a regular soft drink (Micromedex). Caffeine is okay if consumers watch how much they consume on a daily basis. When you start to consume more than you are supposed to that’s when you run into problems.
Energy drinks can have a long or short-term effect of someone, or even both. Energy drinks can cause an increased blood pressure and heart rate. Some consumers of energy drinks have even reached the point of heart palpitations. Another short team effect of energy drinks is dehydration and loss of sleep. A long-term effect of energy drinks is withdrawals since caffeine is an addictive stimulant.
Effects of energy drinks as not very well known as they can because they have not been around long enough to know everything about them (Medical News Today). Heart palpitations are a symptom of too much caffeine. One study shows that 19 percent of college students have had heart palpitations from energy drinks. Also a high heart rate and blood pressure have been linked to energy drinks and the caffeine in them. Not only does the caffeine cause the heart problems it is also other ingredients in energy drinks such as taurine, which is an amino acid (“For Consumers”).

German researchers have found that energy drinks may give hearts too much, have a boost and causing strain on the important organ which then causes it to pump faster than usual. Even healthy people who consumed energy drinks found that within the hour their heart rate increased rapidly. However scientists are more worried about the people who already have an underlying heart condition. Professor Williams a professor at Wayne State University of Medicine, said, "We know there are drugs that can improve the function of the heart, but in the long term they have a detrimental effect on the heart.” He also said “For example, adrenaline can make the heart race, but such overexertion can wear the heart muscle down.” The number of emergency room visited that had ties to energy drinks nearly doubled from 2007 to 2011 in the United State (Thompson.) Scientists conducted a study of 18 healthy people who were tested by an MRI before and after consuming an energy drink. Results found that participates had a 6 percent increase in their heart rate.

"Usually energy drinks contain taurine and caffeine as their main pharmacological ingredients. The amount of caffeine is up to three times higher than other caffeinated beverages like coffee or cola." stated Dr. Dorner who is part of the Radiological Society of North America. Consumers have a hard time knowing how much caffeine is actually in what they consume. Which makes it harder to watch and regulate how much someone consumes (Chan, Amanda L.) People who have underlining medical conditions should watch what they consume more than ever before. People who have cardiac arrhythmia should not consume any energy drinks because they have been known to cause changes in the heart rate. Energy drinks have been linked to recent deaths in the past years. Anais Fournier had died after consuming two Monster energy drinks within a day. The young girl had mitral valve prolapse, which is a serious heart condition. She consumed 480 milligrams of caffeine, which lead to cardiac arrest and her death. She died from cardiac arrhythmia, which was due to caffeine toxicity (Chan, Amanda L.)
The consumption of energy drinks is known to have issues and people just seem to ignore them. Deaths from energy drinks have been in the news and all over magazines. Energy drinks affect people think that they wont in a negative way. Consumers think that the benefits out way the risks. “The US energy drink business is a yearly $5.4 billion industry. Energy drinks market to many students who may need “wings” to help stay awake during class or study. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not approve or review energy drinks since they are marketed as dietary supplements. Therefore, many drink claims have not been proven, the amount of added ingredients is neither standardized nor identified on the label and their safety is not known. The best way to feel energetic remains eating healthy foods, regular physical activity, and getting enough sleep.”(Villanova University)

“Manufacturers can add it to products if they decide it meets the relevant safety standards, and if they include it on the ingredient list. While various uses may meet federal food safety standards, the only time FDA explicitly approved adding caffeine was for colas in the 1950s. Existing rules never anticipated the current proliferation of caffeinated products.” According to the FDA. However the FDA has said that they have not set off a safe amount of Caffeine for children. Children should not consume energy drinks or more than the doctor’s recommendation for caffeine. While adults and children may experience the same effects of energy drinks in the long run it could hurt children more. Children are much less developed than adults and consuming energy drinks could stunt the growth of the mind and body. Caffeine can cause the heart to become aggravated causing more heart problems and can cause nervous disorders with some children. Children should stay away from energy drinks and really watch the amount of consumed caffeine ("Caffeine and Your Child.”).

Energy drinks can have advantages along with the disadvantages. The Mayo Clinic stated “caffeine can stimulate the central nervous system, relieving fatigue, improving concentration and increasing alertness. Caffeine also can boost energy levels and enhance mood.” That is the main reason that people consume energy drinks and it has been shown to help. Energy drinks usually contain ginkgo extracts, which have been known to improve a person’s memory, and also simulate the thinking process. Finally energy drinks can contain healthy fruits and healthy herbs ("The Advantages of Drinking Energy Drinks."). While energy drinks have their advantages how much are people willing to risk in order feeling the advantage?
The solution to all the problems around energy drinks and other related dietary supplements would be FDA regulation. The Food and Drug Administration is “a division of the Department of Health and Human Services that protects the public against impure and unsafe foods, drugs, and cosmetics” according to Dictionary.com. Energy drinks are listed as dietary supplements and because of that The Food and Drug Administration do not regulate them. Since they are not regulated, there is not a limit of how much caffeine can go into each energy drinks.
Energy drinks need to be regulated by the FDA because the consumers need to know if the energy drinks marketed is safe and effective. The FDA limits the amount of caffeine in regular soft drinks, so energy drinks should be no different. Sooner or later the FDA will find a way to regulate energy drinks, which in the long run will help all of the consumers. Since energy drinks are labeled as either dietary supplement or Conventional foods they face different requirements. Conventional foods are “articles used for food or drink for man or other animals, chewing gum, and articles used for components of any such article” according to the FDA.
The FDA states that Dietary Supplements must “Manufacturers and distributors of dietary supplements and dietary ingredients are prohibited from marketing products that are adulterated or misbranded. That means that these firms are responsible for evaluating the safety and labeling of their products before marketing to ensure that they meet all the requirements of DSHEA and FDA regulations.” The factories that they manufacture dietary supplements at must be registered with the FDA. However, they do not need approval on a specific product before selling it on the market. The FDA requires all serious injuries associated with the dietary supplements be reported. If there is any misbranded or adulterated supplement, the FDA will take action and is responsible for it after it reaches the market.
The ingredients that go into dietary supplements and energy drinks do not require any approval. The only way a product will be taken off the selves is if the FDA can prove that it causes problems in the consumers. The only way we can make the consumers of energy drinks safer is if we regulate these products. Monster energy drink is now charging its marketing label from dietary supplements to conventional beverages. Monster will now have to label the nutrition facts instead of all the supplement facts. They will now have to disclose on the label how much caffeine is in each can. Monsters move followed a similar move that Rockstar made earlier in the year. Energy drinks companies are starting to realize that the effects of energy have on the consumers. It is a small step into the regulation of energy drinks, but every bit helps. The switch for these companies was made because they found from research that the nutrient labels were easier to read for the consumers. Since some of the energy drink brands are charging its ways so should the FDA.
While Food and Drug Administration regulation is the best way the solve the energy drink crisis, they are other ways the first being banning energy drinks with alcohol in them. Alcohol is a depressant and energy drinks is a stimulant which mixing them together makes a very bad combination. “Wide awake drunk” is a new term that expects has started due to the combination of alcohol and energy drinks. “Wide awake drunk” means they have the same BAC level as they would without having any energy drinks. However, the stimulants from the energy drinks give off a more sobering feeling because of that people believe they are more sober than they actually are. While banning energy drinks with alcohol would help many people it wouldn’t do the most good for the overall population.
Another possible solution for the energy drink crisis would be to ban all energy drinks for minor. This idea has started in Maryland government. It would ban and prohibit any minors from possessing energy drinks and they would ban them from vending machines all together. This bill as been put in place as a response to a young girl, 14 years old dying from the consumption of energy drinks. While this is a good choice by putting minors first it still wont solve problems. Just like the consumption of alcohol minors will find a way to get energy drinks. Also if energy drinks were just banned all together, it would cause a huge uproar. People would find ways of getting energy drinks or forms of energy drinks on their own.
As peoples lives get busier and more chaotic adults as well as teenagers turn to energy drinks to get the “boost. Most people know the risks about energy drinks, but just ignore them. Energy drinks can cause major heart problems as well as severe dehydration. The solution the Energy drink problem is to make the Food and Drug Administration regulate energy drinks for thoroughly.

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