The largest market for energy drinks, such as RockStar, RedBull, and Monster is between the ages of 12 and 24 years old. These drinks feature caffeine and sugar.
Snack Girl tries to stay away from being evangelical against any snack. BUT, I have to take a stand about these energy drinks! Last week, for the first time, I tried one. The side effects include:
- Heart racing
- Feeling light-headed
I know, because I tried it. I drank a 16 ounce Monster Assault mixed with 12 ounces of Mountain Dew in about 30 minutes. Why would anyone do that?
Umm, well one of my readers informed me that teenagers do this kinda thing EVERY day, and not just once a day, but MULTIPLE times a day. They are craving the completely legal RUSH that you get from drinking this stuff.
The FDA regulates the amount of caffeine in soda, but does not regulate it in so called "energy drinks". Why? I have no idea because caffeine is a DRUG.
Hey, but many people drink coffee? Isn't that the same thing?
Many adults drink Coffee for the boost they get from the caffeine. But the high temperature of that coffee slows down the intake, and after two or three cups, most know to stop. Teenagers guzzling cold energy drinks don't find the same restrictions.
Parents need to know about the side effects of these drinks on their children. Of course, kids are going to ask for them. The marketing on these products is directed at teenagers. Check out the blood and the CAMO on the Monster Assault can. Obviously, a 60 year old female is not going to find this product appealing.
My advice is this is to talk to your teens about these energy drinks just like you talk to them about alcohol and sex. They need information about what this stuff can do to their systems. Here are some good talking points:
- You can destroy your teeth. A pediatric hygienist told me that she had a kid with over 15 areas of decay on his teeth from drinking these drinks. The parents had a $6000 dentist bill given to them (they lacked dental insurance).
- You can get Type II diabetes. You are pouring sugar into your system and your body will not be able to keep up. Any time you drink a large amount of sugar you are putting yourself at risk for Type II diabetes and a shortening of your life.
- You can gain weight. Where is all that sugar going to go? To your waist. If you want to fit in that prom dress or tuxedo, drink WATER!
I spoke to a school nurse who informed me that students come to her with a racing heart. They are afraid they are having a heart attack after drinking this stuff.
I am writing a letter to the FDA to ask them to regulate these drinks. These should be for 18 or over, and behind the counter just like cigarettes and alcohol.
The label on the can "Consume Responsibly: Limit 3 cans per day and not recommended for children, pregnant women, or people sensitive to caffeine" is not enough. I had to SEARCH to find that warning.
Here is a great video that discusses the issues with energy drinks: News Video on Energy Drinks
Please share this post with anyone you know who is a parent of teens or works with teens. We need to be sure that people are informed about their effects!
What do you think is the WORST snack?