Should Energy Drinks Be Regulated?

ESPN’s E:60 produced a piece on Energy Drinks being marketed to young athletes. The energy drink industry is a huge, booming business (7 BILLION, yes with a “b” according to Beverage Digest). that is mainly targeted towards young men. Are energy drink companies to blame when kids consume too many? What about the parents responsibility or will kids do drink them anyway? It’s an interesting video worth watching.

Jack Owoc of VPC on E:60

ESPN interviewed Jack Owoc, CEO of VPX Sports Nutrition for the segment. VPX makes the popular energy drink, REDLINE, for the piece.  I agree with Jack when he shares, “If one is good five is better” when it comes to kids and energy drinks. The same could be said for many adults as well.

Jack goes on to say, “They should disallow energy drinks to be marketed to kids. Regulated also in the sense that you can’t sell to minors just like you can’t sell cigarettes. So let’s just lump energy drinks in with that and say you can’t sell energy drinks either to minors.” That’s an interesting comment and one I didn’t expect to hear from him. I’m not sure I agree with regulating energy drinks. In my opinion, it would only make kids want them more. You always want what you can’t have and kids would then turn to their older buddies to hook them up with energy drinks.

Where would the cut off age be… 18? 21? When is one deemed responsible enough to consume energy drinks?

I think the responsibility goes back to the makers of the energy drinks. They should be regulated from the amount of caffeine they put in each container. There have been several occasions where I’ve consumed an energy drink and felt cracked out. Did I read the label? No. More often than not there are more than one serving in each can/bottle. Is it the consumer’s responsibility to read the label and see the number of servings before drinking? Ya, sure but companies also know that most people won’t crack open a can and only drink 1/2 of it.

One look on’s Energy drink listing you can see a number of examples of this. Note the serving size and amount of servings per container. Some have 2 servings for a 2.5 ounce bottle!

The ESPN E:60 segment:

They are marketed as performance enhancers and used by young athletes before games and workouts, but just how safe are energy drinks? In a 7-month investigation, E:60 spoke to teenagers who have suffered everything from headaches to seizures and heart issues that require surgery.

What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.


** Update – ESPN’s Tom Ferrey goes more in-depth with the story and gets more input from Jack Owoc.

Disclaimer: Reader discretion advised, please consult your physician before beginning any exercise or diet program.