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Inaccurate Labeling on Energy Drinks

The makers of energy drinks, especially Monster Energy Drinks and 5-Hour Energy Drinks, have been under fire for quite a few months now. Back in July, the New York State attorney general issued subpoenas for PepsiCo (the manufacturer behind Monster Beverages and Living Essentials) to further investigate the company’s marketing and advertising claims, including inaccurate labeling. The FDA followed suit with its own investigation in November.

The results should come as no surprise; one study found that the amount of caffeine in an energy drink is often very different from what the label says. One Consumer Reports study found that of 27 brands tested, 11 didn’t specify the amount of caffeine in the drink; the reason may be that energy drinks may not want to publicize their proprietary blends, which could include ingredients like amino acids, carbohydrates, guarana, and one particularly troublesome ingredient: dimethylamylamine (DMAA). In the latest energy drink news, the FDA has come out with a staunch warning against energy drinks and supplements with DMAA. Reports, "The FDA said it had received 60 reports of serious conditions such as heart attacks, seizures, psychiatric problems, and deaths that were associated with DMAA use." Lovely. The manufacturer of one energy supplement, USPlabs, commented that DMAA is a natural dietary ingredient, but others have said that the plant-based argument is a guise for new pharmaceuticals. The take-away: you can’t really trust what’s in your energy drink.

(Credit: Flickr/ Simon le Nippon)
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The opinions expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Comcast.

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