Date: July 17, 2019

Showers or thunderstorms ending near noon then mainly cloudy with 40 percent chance of showers. Risk of a thunderstorm late this afternoon. Local amount 15 to 25 mm. High 28. Humidex 37. UV index 7 or high.

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Feels like 34C

Environment Canada
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Energy Drinks: Look What's In the Can

This page was reviewed or revised on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 11:07 AM

Energy drinks are beverages with caffeine added. They also contain other ingredients like sugar or artificial sweeteners, amino acids, vitamins and herbs. Energy drinks come in a variety of brands, flavours and sizes and sold in many stores beside soft drinks, juices and sports drinks.

Energy drinks are not sports drinks, and energy shots are not the same as energy drinks. They are smaller (60mL to 90mL), have a higher concentration of caffeine and, like energy drinks, do not offer health benefits.

According to ads, energy drinks "boost energy" and "make you feel more alert." Added caffeine provides a stimulating effect, but does not offer any health benefit. In 2013, energy drinks were classified as a food and must have a nutrition facts table.

Energy drinks, and mixing energy drinks with alcohol, have become very popular among youth and young adults, and pose potential risks. Caffeine in energy drinks mixed with alcohol may mask the drowsiness associated with alcohol intake and consumers may not feel the symptoms of alcohol intoxication. This may increase the potential for dehydration, overconsumption of alcohol and could lead to alcohol poisoning or alcohol-related injury.

Healthy adults can safely consume up to 400 mg of caffeine per day. Women of childbearing age should only consume up to 300 mg of caffeine per day. This includes caffeine from all sources such as energy drinks, coffee, tea and soft drinks. Too much caffeine can make you irritable and nervous, and may cause headaches and sleeplessness.

The amount of caffeine in an energy drink is listed on its label. A single-serve energy drink can have up to 180 mg of caffeine. In comparison, 1 cup of coffee (250 mL) has 135 mg of caffeine. Multi-serving containers cannot have more than 180 mg of caffeine in 500 mL. (HealthLink BC). A cup of tea has 43-60 mg of caffeine; a can of cola has 30 mg of caffeine.

Energy drinks should not be used by children, pregnant or breastfeeding women. A healthy diet for children and teens does not include caffeine. Energy drinks should never be mixed with alcohol and should not be used during exercise. Like a black coffee, energy drinks have no nutritional value.

For more information on energy drinks, visit EatRight Ontario.

Sources: HealthLinkBC: Number 109, January 2013 and EatRight Ontario.

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