Students turn to energy drinks as FDA investigates safety

By on November 16th, 2012

Heather Jenschke, a University of Florida nursing student, juggles two jobs, school and a social life. She often finds herself without energy.

“With coffee, you can only drink so much before it just doesn’t cut it anymore, so I’ve turned to energy drinks,” she said. “I don’t drink them all the time, but for those extra 36 to 48 hours that I’m going to be up, I’m definitely going to need the kick.”

The energy drink craze includes Monster, Red Bull and Five Hour Energy, and the pick-me-ups are available almost everywhere.

The products don’t disclose the amount of caffeine included, but companies say it’s the same as one cup of coffee.

Manoj Bhargava, inventor of Five Hour Energy, said caffeine can be helpful unless taken in large quantities.

The Food and Drug Administration, or FDA, is looking into 13 deaths that could possibly be connected to Five Hour Energy.

Bruce Goldberger, a University of Florida researcher, said caffeine can have an ill effect on some people.

“There is a small group of people who, for one reason or another, have an ill effect. It could be a sudden cardiac arrhythmia, it could be hyper tension, it could be convulsion or seizures, but something happens that is triggered by the caffeine,” Goldberger said.

Until companies label products containing caffeine, people will be at risk of taking too much, he said.

Jenschke thinks caffeine consumers should be cautious of their actions.

“You have to be smart about it,” she said. “I’m not saying that it can’t happen to me because that’s not the way to go about it. But if you have a heart condition, it’s not a good idea.”

Mina Radman wrote this story for online.

This entry was posted in National, University of Florida and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

More Stories in National

Boy Scout Flag Saluteat Gerald R. Ford MuseumBoy Scout Flag Salute at Gerald R. Ford Museum.

Boy Scouts Open Doors For Gay Leadership

Boy Scouts of America have lifted the ban on gay leadership, creating opportunities for increased membership and unit formation.

Crowd reactions - In a landmark opinion, the Supreme Court ruled Friday that states cannot ban same-sex marriage, establishing a new civil right and handing gay rights advocates a victory that until very recently would have seemed unthinkable.

Here’s What Local Folks Are Saying About Today’s Supreme Court Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court handed down a 5-4 decision today that states must recognize same-sex unions citing 14th Amendment protections. Here are some reactions from Florida:

12 Missing After Flooding In Texas Sweeps Away Vacation Home

Severe weather continued to impact towns in Oklahoma and Texas over the holiday weekend. The tornadoes and floods have taken a toll on the surrounding communities, leaving residents to salvage their belongings left in the aftermath. The recent flood in Central Texas has left 12 missing along the Blanco River.

Death Toll From Defective GM Ignition Switches Rises To 104

Faulty ignition switches in small GM cars has caused at least 104 deaths. Kenneth Feinberg, GM’s attorney, is offering victims’ families compensation for their loses.

Brian Williams arrives on the red carpet of the White House Correspondents Dinner on May 9, 2009.

Poynter Ethicist Says Brian William’s Story Undermines Journalism Credibility

NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams’ credibility is questioned after claiming he was in a helicopter hit by an RPG. Williams says that he was actually in the following aircraft that was not hit.

Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Underwriting Payments