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Active Voice: Energy drinks —What you need to know!

from By Amy Eichner, Ph.D. and Erin Hannan

Viewpoints presented in SMB commentaries reflect opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM.

Amy Eichner, Ph.D., is Special Advisor on Drugs and Supplements at the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency, where her responsibilities include their dietary supplement policy and providing related education to their stakeholders. Dr. Eichner previously led USADA’s Drug Reference Department. Prior to joining USADA, she conducted medical research at Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital. During the period immediately before coming to USADA, she directed an accredited calibration and testing laboratory dedicated to biocompatibility testing of medical devices for the Therapeutic Goods Administration in Australia.

Erin Hannan is Communications and Outreach Director for the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency. Her work focuses on ensuring that competing athletes and our nation’s youth are equipped with tools and skills for making healthy, informed and ethical choices for their lives. With a background in enterprise marketing, branding, communications and outreach initiatives, her responsibilities at USADA include facilitating communications with competing athletes to foster ethical, healthy and informed behaviors, as well as developing comprehensive educational resources to promote these aims.

This article first appeared in the April 2012 e-newsletter of the Professionals Against Doping in Sports. The PADS initiative is jointly led by ACSM and USADA. This topic has broad relevance to many exercise and sports settings, so it is also being presented here for our SMB readers. For more about PADS and to become a subscriber to the PADS newsletter, see the website at:

You may already know this, but there are significant differences between sports/electrolyte drinks (those that contain carbohydrates and electrolytes) and the "Energy” drinks that are now all the rage. But what you may not know is just how significant, and potentially serious, these differences can be. All of these names for drinks can be confusing – don’t be fooled. The ingredients can be deceiving. If your patients are drinking something that advertises itself as an “Energy Drink,” they are probably helping themselves to a healthy (or more likely unhealthy) dose of stimulants. A more proper name for this class of drinks could be “Stimulant Drinks.” more

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