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Although energy drink consumption is not currently regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the high concentrations of caffeine in energy drinks—especially in comparison to drinks such as sodas and coffee—pose a potential threat to cardiovascular, muscular and immune system health. Caffeine in these energy drinks, especially when consumed in quantities over 70 mg, can lead to problems such as atrial fibrillation, muscle contractions and tension, and myocardial infarction. The objective of this research is to examine caffeine and its amplified role due to the different synergistic ingredients contained in energy drinks (including taurine, vitamin B6, carbohydrates, amino acids, and herbal supplements) to determine if there is a significant relationship between consumption and degradation of cardiovascular, muscular, or immune system health in high school and college-aged adolescents. Though additives found in energy drinks may not be as harmful alone, they serve to enhance caffeine and increase health risks. This study suggests that physical health risks can be attributed to specific ingredients found in these energy drinks, namely caffeine. This research further suggests that the FDA should enact regulations that prohibit the sale of highly caffeinated energy drinks to individuals under the age of 18 and that the FDA should require explicit labeling of these products as is currently mandated for alcoholic beverages.
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Virginia Commonwealth University. Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program
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VCU Undergraduate Research Posters
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