WI Poison Center 1-800-222-1222
 

1-800-222-1222

Energy Drinks

Poison centers are urging the public to use caution and common sense when using energy drink products – for themselves and especially for their children.

Energy drinks contain highly concentrated amounts of sugar, caffeine and other ingredients. The American Academy of Pediatrics maintains "caffeine and other stimulant substances contained in energy drinks have no place in the diets of children and adolescents." Caffeine in moderate doses generally is considered safe for adults. If adolescents consume caffeine, they should not drink more than 100 milligrams of caffeine per day, about the amount in a cup of coffee, according to experts who published in the journal Pediatrics.

Unfortunately, because of the way energy drinks are labeled, it can be difficult to know how much caffeine is in a drink. The drinks can contain natural caffeine-containing ingredients that are not listed separately such as yerba mate, taurine, cacao or guarana. Because these drinks are marketed as "dietary supplements," they are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, and there is no limit to the amount of caffeine that can go into them.

Drinking too many energy drinks at one time or drinking one too fast can cause any of the following symptoms:

  • Stomachache
  • Vomiting
  • Nervousness
  • Tremors
  • Restlessness 
  • Mood swings
  • Seizures 
  • Sweating
  • Changes in heart rhythm
  • Diarrhea
  • Chest pains
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Dehydration
  • Kidney problems

From Jan. 1 through April 30 this year, poison centers across the country received reports of 1,060 individual cases of energy drink exposures; of those, 664 were by children aged 18 and younger. In Wisconsin, we responded to 18 cases; 11 were children age 18 and younger and six kids needed medical attention.

If you are concerned about a reaction you are having to an energy drink or if you have questions about whether you should drink one, call Wisconsin Poison Center at 1-800-222-1222. Experts are here all day, every day, to answer your questions and to help you in a poisoning emergency. Calls are free, fast and confidential.

If you or someone you know can't breathe, collapses or has a seizure, call 9-1-1 right away.