Thursday, July 9, 2009

Overuse of energy drinks worries health pros

Posted by Neill Abayon

NEW YORK — Health experts are sounding the alarm over the possible effects on young athletes of popular energy drinks such as Red Bull, the leading brand in a growing market.

High school and college athletes are increasingly consuming large quantities of these caffeine-loaded drinks to boost athletic performance or lose weight, said a dozen health experts at the SUNY Youth Sports Institute's first national symposium on energy drinks here this week.

But athletes who consume too many energy drinks could suffer from dehydration, tremors, heat stroke and heart attacks, the experts warned. Instead, they say, teen and adolescent athletes should drink water while training and playing — especially during hot and humid summer months.

Some experts called for the U.S. Food and Drug Administration — which treats energy drinks as dietary supplements — to require warning labels on the hundreds of energy drinks now on the market.

FDA spokeswoman Susan Cruzan said Wednesday the agency does not have the authority to do that.

Read the full article here.

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