Minors will not be able to consume energy drinks in Galicia in 2024. This is stipulated in a bill for the prevention of addictions in minors from the Department of Health of the Xunta de Galicia that aims to equate this type of products with alcohol. In this way, both the sale and consumption of energy drinks by minors will be prohibited. The regulations also provide for a ban on advertising aimed at children and the placement of these products next to soft drinks in stores, as reported by the newspaper El Faro de Vigo.
The so-called energy drinks contain, on average, 32 mg of caffeine per 100 milliliters. Therefore, the caffeine in a 500 ml can, a common sales format, reaches 160 mg per can, the equivalent to two espresso coffees.
The Xunta has indicated that the objective of implementing this measure is the negative health effects of excessive consumption of this type of products.
The problems that can be triggered by the abuse of these drinks mainly have to do with three aspects: its high content of caffeinethe large quantities of sugars that they house and their frequent combination with alcohol. Among other problems, the abuse of these substances has been associated with sleep disturbances, irritability or cardiovascular disorders.
According to data from the Spanish Agency for Food Safety and Nutrition (AESAN), in adolescents between 11 and 17 years old, sleep disturbances can appear after consuming more than 60 mg of caffeine per day, which is equivalent to 200 ml -less than a small can of energy drink-.