Government Takes Action as Caffeinated Energy Drink Consumption Surges in India

The government has expressed apprehension over the escalating consumption of caffeinated energy drinks, particularly among teenagers, athletes, and fitness enthusiasts, prompting a reevaluation of regulations by the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI). The surge in popularity is attributed to the enhanced affordability and accessibility of high-caffeine energy drinks in comparison to previous years.

Anonymous sources within the FSSAI revealed that the national food regulator is revisiting existing regulations governing energy and caffeinated drinks with the intention of making them more stringent. This move comes in response to the substantial increase in consumption, driven in part by major beverage industry players such as PepsiCo, Coca-Cola, and Hell, offering energy drinks at lower prices than global leaders like Red Bull and Monster. Grocery store availability has further contributed to an annual growth rate of 50–55% in energy drink sales, according to data from NielsenIQ.

While these energy drinks have gained immense popularity, concerns about their potential health implications, especially among the youth, have prompted scrutiny. Studies have indicated potential adverse effects, including disrupted sleep patterns and insomnia, with global news reports emphasizing risks such as anxiety and dehydration associated with energy drink consumption, as reported by health portal Medical News Today.

In response to these growing concerns, the FSSAI is contemplating measures to enhance transparency and awareness among consumers. Proposed plans include directing companies to prominently display caffeine content on packaging and labeling products as “high in caffeine.” The official from FSSAI emphasized that, although disclosing caffeine content is already mandatory, the aim is to make it more prominent to better inform consumers about the potential health risks associated with excessive energy drink consumption.