Sen. Blumenthal, along with Sen. Dick Durbin (IL) and Rep. Ed Markey (MA), wrote a letter to the Mark Emmert, President of the NCAA, to ask him what his organization was doing about energy drinks and student athletes’ use thereof.
The members of Congress asked Emmert what actions the NCAA was “taking or contemplating to educate student-athletes and school athletic departments about the potential health risks…and to limit the presence of energy drinks at NCAA sponsored events.”
Listing a wide range of brands including Monster, Red Bull, Rockstar, Full Throttle, and AMP, the members of Congress commented on “targeted marketing” at young people. Some student athletes use energy drinks prior to competition because the high caffeine content provides a fast-acting, powerful burst of energy which can help performance. But the letter cited studies showing possible health risks and suggesting effects detrimental to performance, raising concerns about caffeine and other additives in the products. The NCAA restricts caffeine consumption but does not ban it–it takes 15 micrograms/mL in a urine sample to fail a drug test and for the majority of people, the caffeine content in one energy drink would not be enough to reach that level.
A similar letter went to the Executive Director of the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) as well.