Energy drinks have become ubiquitous in today’s culture. With people constantly in a hurry and sleeping less—especially college students—the need for more energy has become a giant industry. One of the most popular styles of energy beverage besides coffee is in the form of canned soft drinks such as Monster, Rockstar and the like.
It is not uncommon to see people pick up these caffeinated beverages on the way to work or school. After all, these drinks aim to provide a boost of energy to those who need it.
In recent news, however, energy drinks have become somewhat of a hot topic because of the dangers they might pose. As opposed to pointing out the benefits they might provide some have chosen to look to demonize these products, making energy drinks the latest victims of what I like to call the “sue-happy” trend.
It seems to be that every couple of years a case surfaces where some individuals pin the blame on businesses.
The New York Times reported just last week that the mother of a now deceased 14-year-old girl is blaming the death of her daughter on the Monster Beverage company and filing a lawsuit against them.
According to the article, “The lawsuit charges that Monster failed to warn about the risks of its energy drinks.”
Although I am sympathetic towards the mother for the loss of her child, I cannot agree that energy drink companies such as Monster do not provide information on the risk of their products.
Energy drink companies label their products with information that show its levels of caffeine, sugar and calories. Monster cans, in particular, even include a warning label that state more than three should not be consumed daily and that they are not recommended for children, pregnant women or those sensitive to caffeine.
Therefore, the regulation of such products should not be necessary since companies are providing more than enough information about the beverage and make evident the fact that these products should be consumed in moderation.
In fact, when consumed in moderation, energy drinks can actually help an individual in many ways.
Apart from boosting energy and moods, the caffeine in the beverages can “stimulate the central nervous system, alleviating fatigue, increasing wakefulness, and improving concentration and focus,” according to MayoClinic.com.
The health website also states that adults can intake approximately 200 to 300 milligrams of caffeine per day. A 16 ounce can of Monster falls under this recommendation, having 160 milligrams of caffeine.
Also, energy drinks contain anti-oxidants like acai berries and ginseng, which can prevent the body from damaging effects. Other ingredients like ginkgo extracts, taurine and guarana provide supplements to enhance healthy living, which makes the argument that energy drinks contain no nutritional value invalid.
Energy drink companies even take into consideration those looking to watch their weight by sugar-free and low-calorie versions available to their customers.
The fact that some are blaming energy drink companies for health complications, and now death, reminds me of when lawsuits blaming McDonald’s for making people overweight were highly covered in the media a couple years back.
It also brought back to mind a case from 2009 where a man sued the cereal-maker Kellogg’s because he claimed he did not know Froot Loops were not made with real fruit and that he would not have purchased it if he did.
Cases like these make me wonder when people will stop suing companies for things they should already know. Regulations for edible and drinkable products like energy beverages should not be put in place just because some individuals cannot consume them in moderation.
The ugly truth is that if people do not know what products like energy drinks have in them, then they simply should not buy them.
For those who say they don’t know the the information on something the solution is very simple; Google it! It is not hard to find information nowadays since everything can be found online.