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Sales of energy drinks surge, along with controversy over health effects
Caffeine » More adolescents are chugging them, but doctor says water is the way to go.

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She also points to Monster’s sponsorships of peewee motocross tournaments and Rockstar-sponsored high school ski trips and product sampling in high school parking lots during football games as examples that break the ABA rules.

"The denials around marketing to children [at the congressional hearing] I found ineffective and a bit surprising," Wilking said. "They need to take more responsibility for what they’re doing."

At a glance

Comparing caffeine content

Here‘s how some top-selling energy drinks stack up with other caffeinated favorites. Unless otherwise noted, numbers are for 16 ounces. According to the Mayo Clinic, adults who consume more than 500 milligrams a day can experience negative side effects.

Red Bull Energy Drink » 154 milligrams

Rockstar Energy Drink » 160 milligrams

Monster Energy » 160 milligrams

Amp Energy » 142 milligrams

5-Hour Energy Extra Strength (1.9 ounces) » 215 milligrams

Starbucks Caffe Latte » 150 milligrams

Folgers Classic Roast Instant Coffee (12 ounces) » 148 milligrams

McDonald’s Coffee » 133 milligrams

NoDoz (1 caplet) » 200 milligrams

Sources » Consumer Reports, Center for Science in the Public Interest, nodoz.com

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Whether teenagers are a target market remains hotly debated, but that hasn’t affected the bottom line.

Sales of power punches such as Red Bull, Monster and 5-Hour Energy grew 60 percent between 2008 and 2012, with energy drinks emerging as a $12.5 billion market in the U.S., according to market research firm Packaged Facts.


Twitter: @jnpearce

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