Caffeine Levels in Energy Drinks Not Always Accurate, Study Says
Now there's another good reason to put down the energy drinks: After a flurry of bad news surrounding Monster Energy Drinks and death reports linked back to the drinks, a new study shows that energy drinks' labels, which show the amount of caffeine, are often inaccurate.
Reuters reports that more often than not, the amount of caffeine isn't on the energy drink label. And when it is, there's usually more caffeine in the energy drink than is advertised on the label. The study by Consumer Reports examined 27 energy drinks; 11 of the 27 did not have the amount of caffeine on the label. And of the 16 that did advertise the caffeine amount, five of them contained more caffeine than listed — about 20 percent more caffeine. Those drinks: the Arizona Energy, Clif Shot Turbo Energy Gel, Sambazon Organic Amazon Energy, Venom Energy, and Nestlé Jamba.
However, the makers of energy drinks aren't required to put the amount of caffeine in the drink on the label — and many say it's not good business sense to do so. A Monster Beverage official told Consumer Reports that it did not advertise the amount of caffeine because there is no legal or commercial business requirement to put that number on the label, and "because our products are completely safe, and the actual numbers are not meaningful to most consumers."
Update: Sambazon responded in regards to the Consumer Reports study, and said: "The caffeine in our beverages is derived from organic botanical sources that include guarana, yerba mate and green tea extract. The Consumer Reports study stated that our product was found to have 81 mg of caffeine per 8 ounces, but the correct amount is 53mg of organic caffeine per 8 ounces." Sambazon also noted that is a food and beverage product and has the appropriate nutrition label; the company has reached out to Consumer Reports for a correction.