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[Wellness] Beware of the Food Energy Market

The popularity of energy drinks have given rise to a market of energy chocolate and gum products, that contain caffeine. 

In Canada, caffeinated gum and chocolate were recently given temporary approval from Health Canada, despite government monitoring and medical warnings about over-consumption of caffeine. 

Products such as Rockstar Energy Gum which contains 80 mg of caffeine per serving, some B-Vitamins and Taurine, an amino acid, cleverly disguised to make you believe that you will have more energy and increased performance, which is what we all desire in this fast paced world. 

Believe me when I say that all you will end up with is an overactive nervous system and long-term effects on neurological and cardiovascular development. 

With 80 mg of caffeine per serving, being 1 stick of gum, you will see how quickly the caffeine can add up in a day, without giving much thought to the value.  These products generally appeal to the younger generation who already drink coffee or tea, energy drinks, soda daily, and now chocolate bars and gum that all contain caffeine.  

Adolescents should only be consuming 100 mg daily and no caffeine should be consumed by children. 

For adults, Health Canada states that 500 mg is safe.  However, as a nutritionist I would caution you that this is still too much as some people should not consume caffeine at all. 

As for the added supplements  of Taurine and B-Vitamins, don’t be fooled that you will be benefiting your health, as this is all part of marketing.  These should only be consumed for very specific reasons in supplement form as directed by your health care practitioner, as other problems can develop in the long run.  Consuming these nutrients daily in your food is the way to well-being and more economical, as bars are sold for $2.49 each.

The key to more sustained energy and vitality is to eat a balance diet, drink plenty of quality water, exercise appropriately, sleep 7-9 hours daily, manage stress and have gratitude daily.

 

By Evelyne Mitskopoulos, CNP