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Should Energy Drinks Like Red Bull be Controlled Substances?
Transcript of Should Energy Drinks Like Red Bull be Controlled Substances?
What Chemicals go into an Energy Drink?
Many different chemicals go into energy drinks. Chemicals like ephedrine which is a stimulant that works on the central nervous system, creatine which is an acid that is taken for muscle contractions, but acts as a medicinal agent and poses a risk to your liver and kidneys. Also taurine which is meant to regulate heartbeat and muscle contractions and is unpredictable as to how your body will react, and many more.
Ephedrine, or C10H15NO, is commonly used as a stimulant, appetite suppressant, concentration aid, decongestant, and to treat hypotension associated with anesthesia. A few side effects to ephedrine are, nervousness, insomnia, vertigo, headache, tachycardia, palpitation and sweating.
Controversy Over Energy Drinks
Most energy drinks are not harmful, if you are careful with how much you drink. Almost all energy drinks advice that you are over 20 and under 50 years old before you consume their product; this advice is almost always overlooked. All energy drinks have caffeine in them; teens and adults should only have about 400 mg of caffeine (Depending on weight). This is the equivalent of three 8 oz cups of brewed coffee.The problem is their labels do not have to (and usually don’t) list the additional caffeine contained in herbs like guarana, which can double the amount.
What I Think
I think that energy drinks should be controlled substances, but not as drastic as alcohol laws. I believe energy drinks should only be sold to people of 16 years and older, and all products must list the total amount of caffeine in each bottle. This will help people know what is in the energy drink they are consuming.
Creatine, or C4H9N3O2, is naturally obtained by eating meat. Creatine helps with supplying energy to muscles and is usually in energy drinks marketed to body builders. Although creatine is a natural substance, it hasn't been well-studied. Researchers still aren't sure what effects it might have on the body, particularly in young people, or how effective it might be. There is no saying the levels of creatine in an energy drink, as it varies from product to product. The normal amount of creatine in the human body however is, 0.7 to 1.3 mg/dL for men and 0.6 to 1.1 mg/dL for women.
Taurine is one of the most common chemicals in energy drinks; about 15% of new energy drinks, as of 2013, have taurine in them. Taurine is an amino acid that bodies naturally produce. It helps regulate heartbeat, muscle contractions, and energy levels. There are no known side-effects of taurine. Some countries originally banned energy drinks because of thir taurine content; but have accepted that taurine is safe based on the evidence to date.
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The PubChem Project. (n.d.). The PubChem Project. Retrieved September 29, 2013, from http://pubchem.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/