The Pollution Monitoring Laboratory of Delhi non-profit Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) tested samples of eight brands of energy drinks. The aim was to check the standards energy drinks were following. The results showed that the caffeine levels in most brands exceeded 145 ppm. Only two brands—XXX Rejuve and XXX Nicofix— stuck to the 145 ppm limit (See ‘Energy drinks report card’).
XXX Minus and Cloud 9 flouted labelling rules. The former did not mention the caffeine levels and the latter did not mention that it had caffeine. The tests showed they had 153.30 ppm and 142.25 ppm caffeine, respectively. The warning that lactating mothers should not consume energy drinks is missing from Cloud 9, Burn and XXX Minus labels. The label on XXX Minus was not legible.
Though caffeine levels in Tzinga and Red Bull vary, both claim to have caffeine content equivalent to that in an average cup of coffee—80 mg (320 ppm) in a 250 ml can. This is misleading because hot coffee is sipped slowly unlike energy drinks, which are taken cold and in larger quantities. “High levels of caffeine taken in a short period will have greater effect than drinking the same volume over a longer period. The body has more time to metabolise caffeine if it is consumed slowly,” says Amelia Arria, professor at the School of Public Health at Maryland University, US. Her study on the risks of energy drinks was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association in January.