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Stimulant Drinks Committee, Safefood. (2002) A review of the health effects of stimulant drinks. Cork: Food Safety Promotion Board.

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The task and terms of reference for the stimulant drinks group were:
• to review the potential health effects on the population of Ireland from the consumption of stimulant drinks
• to assess the knowledge gaps
• to consider the need for any action to protect public health.

In addition to this, the Committee agreed to take into account claims made in relation to the advertising and marketing of stimulant drinks, as well as the legislation and regulations pertaining to these products in other countries. The Committee reviewed the available information regarding the main ingredients of stimulant drinks and relevant research studies into the health effects. However, it was limited by the lack of information and adequate risk assessment data pertaining to stimulant drinks.

Stimulant Drink Consumption in Association with Alcohol:
The consumption survey showed that stimulant drinks were frequently consumed with alcohol, particularly vodka. There is little information on the possible interactions between alcohol and the ingredients of stimulant drinks, such as caffeine and taurine, when consumed at the relatively high levels observed with some consumers. This warrants investigation in humans, particularly under conditions of exercise and consequent dehydration through sweating.

Furthermore, the survey also provided evidence that some individuals consume stimulant drinks to ‘perk’ themselves up if they had too much to drink and with alcohol to enable them ‘to drink more in an evening’.

Such use of stimulant drinks may contribute to increased alcohol consumption. While the manufacturers of stimulant drink assert that they do not encourage the consumption of the drinks with alcohol, some of the promotional materials and information supplied by the manufacturers are ambiguous with regard to this and appear to ostensibly promote the use of stimulant drinks with alcohol.

84 p.
Food Safety Promotion Board
Corporate Creators
Stimulant Drinks Committee, Safefood
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