Friday, October 7, 2011

Canada limits caffeine in energy drinks

Our next government interference story takes us to Canada.
Canada has new rules to limit the amount of caffeine allowed in energy drinks like Red Bull and Monster Energy.
While they won't classify them as stimulative drugs, these products can only be sold in pharmacies.

Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq said they will cap caffeine at 180 milligrams per drink, about as much as a medium cup of coffee.
The drinks will also have to clear labels that list the amounts of caffeine, vitamins and other ingredients.
These drinks will also have a warning that they are not recommended for children or pregnant women and should not be mixed with alcohol.

While these rules aren't as tough as the recommendations proposed by an "expert" panel. The panel wanted these drinks labeled as medication, and as "stimulant drug-containing drinks" and allow sales only from behind the pharmacist's counter.
"I believe it's up to individuals and parents to make their own decisions when it comes to what they eat and drink," Aglukkaq said in a statement.
Energy drinks had been classified as "natural health products" but the government has now reclassified them as foods, with full labeling requirements.

The limit will not make a big difference for many energy drinks. A 250 ml (8.4 oz) can of Red Bull Energy Drink, for example, has 80 mg of caffeine. That's less than a typical cup of coffee but about twice as much as a cola.
Seven million energy drinks are sold in Canada every month, according to the government.

Now watch everyone drink twice as much and it will be fourteen million drinks sold every month.

Interestingly enough is the 5-Hour Energy Shot and the Worx Energy Shot, the ones you see at the checkout at convenience stores and gas stations, can continue to be boosted with 200 milligrams of caffeine. This exceeds Health Canada's new caffeine cap for energy drinks, set at 180 mg per can.

The caffeine in a single energy shot is also far higher than the level found in a can of Red Bull (80 mg), even though the container size of a typical energy shot is much smaller — 60 millilitres compared to Red Bull's 250 ml can.

Go figure...

Cola (355 ml can): 35 mg of caffeine

Red Bull (250 ml can): 80 mg of caffeine

No-Doz or Wake-Up pill (one tablet): 100 mg of caffeine

AMP Alert energy drink (473 ml can): 158 mg of caffeine

Medium roasted coffee (237 ml cup): 180 mg of caffeine

Jones Whoopass energy drink (473 ml can): 195 mg of caffeine

5-Hour Energy Shot (60 ml mini-can): 200 mg of caffeine

Monster X-Presso Hammer energy drink (285 ml can): 226 mg of caffeine