How safe is your blast of caffeine?

Energy drinks are a £1billion-a-year industry in the UK and hugely popular among the young. But some experts caution that the caffeine content is a potential health risk and can bring on symptoms of a heart attack.

Energy drinks have become the elixir of a generation that considers itself in need of more of a jolt than can be obtained from a mere cup of coffee. Around 330 million litres of products such as Red Bull, the UK's bestseller, are consumed every year in Britain and the super-caffeinated drinks market is worth £1billion annually.

As they flood our shelves, though, some experts are concerned that they are potentially so harmful that they should carry health warnings. With some containing seven times as much caffeine as a strong cup of black coffee and 14 times that in a can of cola, there is a risk of harmful addiction, it has been claimed.

Professor Roland Griffiths, of The Johns Hopkins University, Maryland, said in a study last week that there was a danger of some people becoming physically dependent on energy drinks and experiencing side-effects ranging from panic attacks and nausea to chest pains and racing pulses.

Source - Times

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