Is Caffeine Safe for Kids? Ask Canada, U.S. Has No Guidelines

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  Kids and Caffeine? Turn to Canada's Guidelines Remarkably, the U.S. government has no official guidelines for children's caffeine consumption, but Canadian guidelines say: Preschoolers should be limited to 45 mg of caffeine per day – about the amount of caffeine found in a 12-ounce (355-milliliter) can of Diet Coke or four small (1.5-ounce/43-gram) milk chocolate bars. Health Canada also recommends: For ages 12 and younger: no more than 2.5 milligrams per kilogram of body … [Read more...]

Why We Love Caffeine

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People Love Caffeine, But Why? Japanese pachinko machines work like regular pinball machines, except instead of playing one large steel ball at a time, they shoot off dozens of smaller balls, clattering loudly through the playing field, bouncing, racing and ricocheting into obstacles, bumpers and rabbit holes. Lights flash, whistles blow, bells ding, all the while the balls are in play. Until they gradually exit the playing space and everything stops. Kind of like your body on … [Read more...]

Profile: Energy Drinks and Shots

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We tend to think that more is better, but that's not the case with caffeine. Caffeine is a biphasic drug; low to moderate doses are considered safe, while high doses can create adverse effects. Energy drinks range from moderate to extremely high levels of caffeine. What are energy drinks? The term "energy drink" is a beverage-marketing category. The FDA classifies energy drinks (and energy shots) as "dietary supplements." They contain caffeine and other ingredients intended to boost … [Read more...]

Supplements in Energy Drinks

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The "energy" in energy drinks and energy shots comes from two sources: caffeine (including the caffeine in guarana, yerba mate, and kola nut) and glucose, or sugar. The following ingredients are also common in energy drinks and "dietary supplement" products. Taurine Taurine is an amino acid, obtained in meats and fish, and helps regulate water and mineral salt levels in the blood. Studies on rats suggest caffeine and taurine have a synergy, enhancing caffeine's stimulant properties, but not … [Read more...]

5-Hour ENERGY Shot: More amps than advertised?

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  "It contains about as much caffeine as a cup of the leading premium coffee," say the ads for 5-Hour ENERGY shot. But how much caffeine is that? The company won't reveal how many milligrams of caffeine each 2-ounce shot contains, but CBS News had a bottle analyzed by ConsumerLab.com. The result: 207 mg – far more caffeine than in a cup of coffee. For comparison: 207 mg caffeine: = 5-hour ENERGY Shot = 2 cups average brewed coffee = more than a Starbucks "short" (180 mg/8 … [Read more...]

Taking Risks: Energy Drinks and Alcohol

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Got a thirst? Need a boost? Slurp down a can, or two – or more – of a refreshing, cold energy drink. Within minutes, moderate to high amounts of caffeine are churning through your brain and body. A moderate dose can be safe, even desirable. Too much caffeine, though, and you get the shakes, hands tremble, heartbeat races, and caffeine intoxication takes over. Like alcohol, the effects are intense, and they diminish over time. Then there's the problem of mixing caffeine with alcohol. … [Read more...]