Caffeine energy shots get eight-year-old hearts racing

The AMA has called for restrictions on energy drinks.
The AMA has called for restrictions on energy drinks. Cade Mooney

WHEN an eight-year-old downs an "energy shot", its effects may be felt instantly.

Their heart rate increases and their bowels accelerate, which can deliver a sudden bout of diahorrea.

It is just one reason the Australian Medical Association wants energy drinks restricted to adults.

However, the soft drink industry has hit back warning coffee is the greater danger.

Caffeine was jolted back on to the national agenda after the Department of Health released a paper considering changes to guidelines this week.

Sales of energy drinks increased from 34.5 million litres in 2001 to more than 155 million by 2010.

This has included the creation of new "energy shots" including the "V Pocket Rocket" with more than 20 times the caffeine of Coca Cola, about 200mg per 100ml.

Only an espresso coffee comes close with 194mg/100ml.

The soft and energy drink industry sees the worry as a storm in a tin can, with its own research suggesting those aged 15-49 consume 50% of their caffeine through cups of coffee.

Australian Beverages chief executive Geoff Parker blamed Australia's booming cafe culture for people drinking more caffeine but would now review the paper.

AMA president Dr Steve Hambleton said while the strongest coffee could match energy drinks for caffeine content, it was not comparing apples and apples

"Coffee is hot and meant to be drunk slowly," he said.

"People don't usually line up five or six cups (of coffee) in a row mixed with alcohol.

"And (the industry) might say we have the strongest regulations in the world but when an eight-year-old can walk into a supermarket and buy an energy drink no questions asked, maybe they are not enough.

Submissions on the guidelines will close on October 10, 2013.


How much buzz is in your beverage, by caffeine content (mg/100ml)

V Pocket Rocket - 200

Espresso coffee from beans - 194

Monster energy shot - 158

Red Bull energy shot - 133

Cafe cappucino, double shot - 101.9

Red Bull/Monster/Mother - 32

Black tea - 22.5

Mountain Dew - 15.2

Coca Cola - 9

Topics:  australian medical association caffeine editors picks energy drinks

Rubbish truck's load catches alight

A J.R. Richards and Sons rubbish truck container caught alight on the Pacific Highway.

Fire in skip bin causes traffic hold ups

South Grafton duxes awarded the honour 80 years apart meet

NOW AND THEN: Mary Austen and Molly Dungey who were both Dux of their years.

Two South Grafton Primary School Duxes meet, 80 years apart

UPDATE: Students, teachers held in school lockdown

Police were called to the high school after it was forced into lockdown.

School in lockdown due to altercation on premises

Local Partners

To the stranger who Photoshopped my picture

MIRANDA agreed to have her photo taken with her mum in a jewellery store. When she logged onto Instagram the next day, she couldn’t believe her eyes.

Don't delay: this test could save your life

LIFE-SAVING: Rob Patch is on a mission to convince people to have their sleep apnoea checked in order to prevent an early death.

"The doctors said I had come there to die.”

Cricket's Merv Hughes can’t stomach drink and drug-drivers

AUSTRALIA - DECEMBER 26: Merv Hughes of Australia prepares to bowl on December 26, 1990 in Australia. (Photo by Getty Images)

former Australian cricketer’s first car was an HT Holden wagon.

Russia’s seedy ‘virginity trade’

On Russian social media, young girls and women are being recruited to sell their virginity to wealthy men. Picture: The Sun

Girls as young as 17 sell their virginity

Cancer teen married two days before death

19-year-old cancer patient Lydia Dominguez married her boyfriend Joshua Ordonez just two days before she died.

Teen with cancer dies after getting married two days earlier

Dad’s shock: ‘I was told I was a paedophile’

Karl Pollard was taking his daughter Stephanie to visit her sick grandmother. Picture: SWNS/Mega

Hotel apologises after wrongly accusing innocent dad of paedophilia