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New restrictions set for energy drinks

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New restrictions set for energy drinks

Last week the Canadian government announced new restrictions for energy drinks to help families and parents make informed choices about the drinks.

Energy drinks, beloved by students completing last-minute papers everywhere, have long been criticized by parents and medical professionals. Unfortunately, it has been difficult for the public to learn exactly what was in the drinks, because they were not legally obligated to contain a nutrition facts table. 

Last week the Canadian government announced new restrictions for energy drinks to help families and parents make informed choices about the drinks.

With the new measures, a nutrition facts table will be required, as will their caffeine content, and a warning not to mix energy drinks and alcohol. Caffeine content will also be legally restricted to 180 mg per serving. Products will likely be following the new rules in 18 to 24 months.

The government also wishes to avoid confusion that energy drinks are similar to sports drinks. This is not the case, as caffeine can mask dehydration. Athletes need to replenish their electrolytes with healthy foods and drinks.

Critics claim that the new measures won’t deter young people from consuming energy drinks, which, although intended for adults, have no age restrictions. The Expert Panel on Caffeinated Beverages recommends that no one under the age of 18 should consume energy drinks, and that the maximum dose of caffeine should be 80 mg rather than the new regulations of 180 mg.

At moderate doses, caffeine can cause restlessness and irritability. At higher doses, it has been known to cause delirium and convulsions. It should be avoided by those with anxiety disorders. Energy drinks have also been criticized for their high sugar content.

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