MADISON (WKOW) -- An energy drink with a unique name - and lots of caffeine - is coming to Wisconsin.
The Cocaine energy drink has been around for five years, but representatives with Redux Beverages say they're in the process of working with a new distributor in Wisconsin.
Jeff Maurer, the owner of Fresh Madison Market near the UW-Madison campus says he's already been contacted about buying the drink- but refused.
Maurer says, "We had a distributor approach me about 30 days ago, and say the product might do well near a campus, in our store... I didn't like the energy level, the caffeine, or the name."
The drink gained national attention a few years back for its controversial name. The drink was pulled off shelves, but replaced with warning labels on the cans.
This summer, the company released a new "energy shot," with 280 milligrams of caffeine - something they say is safe. But the drink is marketed as having three times the amount of caffeine as a leading competitor- and doctors in Madison say that amount of caffeine concerns them.
Dr. Robert Leschke, with St. Mary's Hospital, says, "Caffeine is a drug. When you take it in excess, it can cause palpitations, extra heartbeats, it can make a person feel hyper, panicky, and in very large amounts, it can interfere with the way a heart beats."
Leschke says the recommended dosage of caffeine is 200 milligrams a day.
Redux Beverages President sent 27 News a press release Wednesday, saying:
The caffeine level of Cocaine Energy Shot is no more significant than many other caffeinated products on the market today. For example:
Starbucks 12 oz. regular brew coffee contains 240 mg of caffeine
Starbucks 16 oz. regular brew coffee contains 320 mg of caffeine
Starbucks 20 oz, regular brew coffee contains 480 mg of caffeine
'5 Hour Energy Shot' contains approximately 207 mg of caffeine.
We fall well within the parameters of other caffeinated products that are available on store shelves today. I believe that people who are offended by the name set out to make up other reasons to attack our product.
To say that 280 mg of caffeine is unsafe and well over the recommended daily limit is inaccurate and does a disservice to the public by confusing the name of the product with its contents and safety.
JAMES THOMAS KIRBY
REDUX BEVERAGES LLC
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