As well they should be, I say.
Seeing them lined up at convenience marts in the cooler section, I cringe. They go by names like Monster, AMP, Rockstar and Red Bull. I have only tried the latter–I drank a can of it on a 10-hour drive home a couple of years ago to stay awake and almost lost it because the flavor was repulsive to me. The effects of caffeine were palpable, as I am sensitive to the chemical. My hands were shaking and my teeth had that nervous clicking as if I were chilled. I felt as if I had downed five cups of coffee and then some. It took a few hours after I arrived to my destination for my mind to slow down enough to fall asleep.
What upsets me is that so many kids drink these things, probably knowing full well that caffeine is the most potent of its ingredients, despite what the manufacturers’ marketing departments claims that they supply only ingredients to create more “energy,” whatever that’s supposed to be.
So when I read a Reuter’s report in the Chicago Tribune that New York state’s attorney general had subpoenaed the three manufacturers of energy drinks, I applauded to myself. His concern is ”whether the companies overstated the benefits of ingredients in the drinks while understating the role of caffeine.”
The initiative stems from NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s ongoing campaign against sugary drinks, proposing a ban on sales of large-size beverages by restaurants and other retail establishments. While I am not convinced that’s a good idea at all, I do think forcing manufacturers to label energy drinks for what they really are is only truth in advertising.