The Canadian Medical Association Journal is urging strict rules for energy drinks, as some contain enough caffeine to potentially cause intoxication. “Caffeine-loaded energy drinks have now crossed the line from beverages to drugs delivered as tasty syrups,” the CMAJ says in an editorial to be published today. The editorial calls for an end to targeting children in advertising campaigns and more transparency around caffeine content so that labels list the total amount of caffeine in each serving. Many drinks are loaded with syrups and typically contain 80 to 140 mg of caffeine per 250 ml, which is the equivalent amount of caffeine in one cup of coffee or two cans of cola. Some drinks, though, contain the caffeine equivalent of 10 cans of cola. Of the health concerns surrounding caffeine, CMAJ editor Dr. Paul Hebert said, “With acute intoxication you can get nausea, vomiting, heart palpitations… GI [gastrointestinal] upset, potentially heart arrhythmia, feelings of anxiety and nervousness.”
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