Microsoft word - energydrinks1.doc

DIRECTORATE OF NUTRITIONAL POLICY AND RESEARCH Energy drinks are a category of drinks which mainly contain caffeine. In spite of their name, they do not usually contain more energy (i.e. calories) than other refreshment drinks. The term “energy drinks” is just a commercial characterization. They are marketed as
drinks which enhance mental and physical performance due to the stimulants they
contain, such as caffeine or guarana. Energy drinks are often enriched by taurine
(an amino acid existent in foods such as meat and fish), glucuronolactone, vitamins
of the B complex, inositol, choline etc.
The amount of stimulants such as caffeine per item varies among energy drinks and depends on the drink’s composition as well as on the size of the pack. According to the EU Scientific Committee on Food, caffeine intake levels resulting from moderate consumption of energy drinks are not so high as to be harmful for an adult. Similarly, exposure to taurine and glucuronolactone though energy drink consumption is not an alarming factor, based on the current scientific opinion of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). Nevertheless, the scientific data available to this day suggest that these drinks
should be consumed with caution, especially by certain population groups.
According to the Foods and Drinks Code in Greece, energy drinks fall into the
relevant article regarding alcohol-free drinks. When a drink contains caffeine in a
greater rate than 150mg/l, then the indication “High caffeine content” should be
included in the label at the same visual field as the trade name and the caffeine
content must follow in parentheses expressed in mg/100ml.
Sale of energy drinks in school canteens is prohibited.
FOR WHOM MIGHT HIGH CAFFEINE INTAKE BE DANGEROUS?  People with caffeine sensitivity  Children  Pregnant women and breastfeeding women  People with health problems such as hypertension, heart problems, mental health issues According to studies, children and adolescents consuming drinks with high caffeine content are likely to manifest symptoms such as insomnia, anxiety, stomach discomfort. Caffeine contained in drinks has a different effect on different people that depends on their body. THE RESPONSILIBITY OF PARENTS AND GUARDIANS Parents can and must contribute to their children shaping a healthy consumer behavior. The responsibility for the buying/consumer behavior of adolescents belongs partially
to their parents, while they are equally responsible themselves.
ENERGY DRINKS AND SPORTS DRINKS ARE NOT THE SAME Energy drinks differ from the drinks consumed by athletes (sports drinks) or the drinks which are enriched with vitamins (vitamin drinks). Sports drinks have been especially designed for athletes in order to help them get
moisturized after training or competing. These drinks contain carbohydrates (mainly
simple sugars) and some electrolytes. Sports drinks can be isotonic, hypertonic or
hypotonic. Isotonic drinks contain similar quantities of sodium and sugars as those
contained in blood serum.
Energy drinks, due to their increased caffeine content may cause side-effects, such
as insomnia, when consumed in large quantities. Sufficient sleep is important for the
right development of children and adolescents.
You are advised not to consume energy drinks in order to be moisturized or simply quench your thirst before or after prolonged and intense physical activity. PAY ATTENTION WHEN CONSUMING ENERGY DRINKS ALONG WITH ALCOHOL Consuming energy drinks along with alcohol drinks at the same time can have undesired effects. Studies indicate that energy drinks can ease some typical symptoms of excess alcohol consumption (e.g. effects relevant to motion coordination). So there is a possibility that drunkenness might be camouflaged, without alcohol levels in the body actually changing or next-day hangover effects being limited. This way, energy drinks might encourage excess alcohol consumption - which has been underlined in scientific papers. You are advised not to consume energy drinks along with alcohol.


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