Are energy drinks a casual boost of energy or a deadly dose of caffeine?
Energy drinks are consumed all over the world; almost everyone has access to these high-powered energy boosters. There is a staggering number of energy drinks sold in the United States, like “Monster,” “Full Throttle,” “Amp” and “Rockstar,” that invoke images of high intensity performance and power.
Energy drinks contain highly concentrated amounts of sugar, caffeine and other ingredients.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has concluded that, “caffeine and other stimulant substances contained in energy drinks have no place in the diets of children and adolescents.”
Being that these drinks are considered dietary supplements, they are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, which means the amount of caffeine that can go into them is not regulated. So what about people consuming these addictive energy drinks day in and day out? Should these energy drinks be allowed and/or offered to students on campus?
“I think they’re extremely unhealthy and shouldn’t be consumed daily,” said sophomore Dawn Mazurkiewicz. “I am shocked they sell them on campus; it’s just unnecessary.”
Not only are there energy drinks with sugar and caffeine, but alcohol as well. The alcoholic energy drink known as Four Loko was banned from Ramapo College after alarming rates of student alcohol poisoning cases. This drink is also called “liquid cocaine,” but regular energy drinks are silent killers as well. They are just as dangerous.
“People who consume energy supplements on a daily basis probably is not healthy due to all the sugar and other ingredients that can cause problems like high heart rates and dehydration,” said senior Cassandra Shiller. “I have read in articles that certain drinks like Four Loko, which is alcohol combined with energy drinks, have put people in the hospital. It’s a deadly combination.”
The problem is a lot of people rely on these sources of artificial energy, and they can become quite addicting.
“I’d rather have a Red Bull before doing something fun.” Junior Devan Tierney stated. “Coffee is too dry.”
These energy drinks are targeted towards young adults, making them particularly popular on college campuses.
“I do not think energy supplements are healthy, but I still drink them all the time. I think they work, but eventually you do crash,” said Tierney. “It’s the taste that intrigues me more than anything.”
Perhaps a solution to the health risks posed by energy drinks is that they need to be regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. If the POA does not take action on regulating energy drinks to protect the people from consuming these deadly doses of caffeine and other ingredients it can result in people being subject to serious health risks. Yes, it is drink at your own risk, but is it worth the crash?