“Energy drinks with names like Monster Energy, Red Bull, Rockstar, Full Throttle, and AMP frequently target young people with claims to increase energy, attention, stamina, and physical performance. At some student sporting events energy drinks are featured on scoreboards. This targeted marketing of young people appears to be working, with estimates that 30 to 50 percent of adolescents reporting consumption of energy drinks.
“Student-athletes who consume energy drinks before, during, or after physical activity are exposed to a high dose of caffeine and other ingredients in a short window of time. Yet, according to a recent article in Pediatrics in Review, an official journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, many of the claims made by energy drink companies lack sufficient scientific evidence. In fact, the piece states that, “cardiovascular effects as a result of heavy caffeine use can be a significant source of morbidity in athletes,” and, ”given the unknown levels of caffeine and other poorly studied additives, there is significant risk associated with energy drink consumption that may outweigh the benefits in the adolescent consumer.” Other reports have pointed out that the ingredients found in these drinks can cause dehydration, irregular heartbeat, nausea, arrhythmia, and in some cases death.”
–excerpted from a February 21 letter to the NCAA President, Mark Emmert, from U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL), U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and U.S. Representative Ed Markey (D-MA)