What does the much talked-about Four Loko contain? Why was this energy drink banned and eventually shut down? Buzzle comes up with the answers.
Did You Know?
1 can of Four Loko (24 oz.) = 4 beers or 4 shots of vodka or 4 glasses of red wine or a strong cup of coffee.
Four Loko, the energy drink, has been in the public eye ever since its launch. This beverage has gained a lot of criticism due to the unhealthy combination of alcohol and caffeine. Recently, this energy drink had to sign an agreement stating that it would stop the shipping of the product to New York. Apart from this, Four Loko has also been banned in many other states. These bans forced the beverage producers to exclude ingredients like caffeine, guarana, and taurine from the drink. The ingredients that initially formed the base of this malt beverage were alcohol, caffeine, taurine, wormwood, and guarana.
Some of the flavors that Four Loko is available in are watermelon, fruit punch, grape, orange, cranberry, pineapple, mango, peach and margarita. The flavor in the drink is so strong that it masks the taste of alcohol.
Due to the high quantities of alcohol and caffeine in the drink, many consumers have reported to have experienced heart palpitations, extreme mood swings, alcohol poisoning, blackouts, anxiety, and insomnia.
According to reports, alcohol injuries are exceptionally high in people who consume cocktail drinks containing alcohol along with caffeine. The reason this drink is famous with teens and youngsters is that, Four Loko when gulped down quickly makes the person drunk and keeps him awake with a desire to drink more. So, it is believed that the drink will keep a person awake for long hours when he wants to study for longer hours, or when in an overnight party.
There have been many cases reported which mention that overdoing on Four Loko results in hospitalization and even death. It is really shocking to know that people who have had more than one drink of Four Loko have been hospitalized due to its side effects.
Four Loko Ingredients
It is a famous psychoactive substance with a consumption of 120,000 tons per year, all over the world. Caffeine, a xanthine alkaloid, helps a person to stay awake and alert by stimulating the CNS. It leads to insomnia if had in large quantities during the late hours. A person with regular intake of high doses of caffeine becomes more tolerant to increased blood pressure. Too much of caffeine can lead to anxiousness, restlessness, psychomotor agitation, and heart palpitations.
Derived from cysteine, taurine is a naturally occurring sulfonic acid. Nutritionally, it is required for the efficient operation of the skeletal muscles and is known for curing liver ailments and hypertension. Taurine is an ingredient that’s widely used in energy drinks, all around the world. Excess dosage of taurine can enhance the plasma concentration of growth hormone. Reportedly, excessive taurine can trigger psoriasis or can make it persistent.
It is a plant from the maple family. Guarana contains guaranine, which is a synonym for caffeine. It is widely used in energy drinks and soft drinks. Athletics use it to get relief from body ache and hamstring pulls. Due to the caffeine content in guarana, high doses may lead to insomnia, diuresis, vomiting, and restlessness. It can also reduce the calcium content in the bones, leading to osteoporosis.
Wormwood is a herb that is medically used to cure intestinal spasms, poor sexual desire, liver ailment, and stomach upset. Other than this, it is used as an insecticide and in alcoholic beverages. Inappropriate dosage of this element can lead to many problems. Thujone, a component of wormwood, can lead to urine retention, tremors, seizures, and paralysis.
Due to its psychoactive effects, alcohol is widely consumed by people all over the world. When drunk in excess over a short period of time, the person might suffer with alcohol poisoning, dizziness, and restlessness.
~ November 5, 2010
When 9 students from Central Washington University in Ellensburg were hospitalized after consuming Four Loko, Washington banned this drink in its state.
~ November 17, 2010
The USFDA declared that energy drinks that had a formulation of alcohol and caffeine would be seized from the market due to the health concerns posed by them. The FDA also asked the firms manufacturing such drinks to provide a written statement within 15 days, about what would be the steps that will be adopted by them in order to get away from the ban.
This ban resulted in people buying Four Loko and hoarding the product in large quantities. During this crisis, shopkeepers hiked the prices of this drink.
Due to the ban imposed over Four Loko, the producers decided to relaunch the product in late December 2010. This is when ingredients like caffeine, guarana, and taurine were withdrawn from the drink.
~ In March 2014, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan jeopardized the makers of Four Loko, stating that the manufacturers were “promoting the drink to underage youth”, “promoting dangerous and excessive consumption” and accused the malt drink makers of “failing to disclose to consumers the effects and consequences of drinking alcoholic beverages combined with caffeine.” To which the producers of Four Loko replied that “the combination of caffeine and alcohol can be consumed safely and responsibly” and that “company did not violate any laws”.
~ On March 26, 2014, Four Loko manufacturers signed an agreement with 20 attorney generals that the production and sale of the energy drink will be halted nationwide.
Four Loko Nutrition Facts
|Value per 24 oz.|
|Total Carbohydrates||65 g|
In the end, we would say that choose your drinks wisely. Be smart enough to understand that a combination of caffeine and alcohol can have adverse effects on your health. So the next time you see this combination in the list of ingredients of any product, we are sure that you will avoid using that product.