Health experts concerned about Reddie Energy's caffeine-laced energy strips

Published 21 January 2014, 8:39 AEST
Sophie Scott and Alison Branley

Health experts are concerned about new caffeine-laced energy strips that have recently hit Australian shelves.

caffeine strips Health experts concerned about Reddie Energy's caffeine-laced energy strips (Credit: ABC)

Australian company Reddies has entered the lucrative energy-product market with a wafer-thin strip that dissolves in a person's mouth, allowing the caffeine to be absorbed quickly.

The strips are being marketed to students and athletes and has already appeared on the shelves of 170 stores around the country.

Reddie Energy says the product means customers can get a hit of caffeine without consuming the sugar associated with energy drinks.

However, the product has concerned health and poisons experts because of its potential for overdose, particularly among children.

Cardiologist Chris Semsarian says he is worried about the growing availability of caffeine in the community in general.

"Caffeine can increase your heart rate, it can increase your blood pressure, it can also increase the thickness of the blood in your blood vessels and that can lead to stroke," Professor Semsarian said.

"It can also lead to dependence on caffeine in all different forms, but particularly the fast-acting forms like these strips."

On average, analysts expect the Bureau of Statistics figures will show inflation rose by around 0.5 per cent in the December quarter.