Snack Girl recently got a question about Monster Rehab and she got excited. Rehab? Maybe Monster has become healthier.
Alas, Monster's "Rehab" is not about healthier. Here is a quote from the can:
We need a new drink. One that can do it all: a triple threat that quenches thirst, hydrates like a sports drink, and brings you back after a hard day's night.
We do NEED a new drink - one that discloses the amount of caffeine in every can of this stuff. A 13 year old with a common heart defect recently died after drinking two Monster Energy drinks which is the caffeine equivalent of 14 cans of soda. See her story here: Today Health.
After my first post on Monster, I wrote to both of my U.S. senators asking for help. Since the U.S. government regulates the amount of caffeine in soda, could we get some legislation enacted to regulate the amount in energy drinks? To my surprise, I received a phone call from junior senator's Scott Brown's office telling me that I needed to contact the FDA.
First of all, it was nice to get a call. John Kerry's office didn't even e-mail me back! But, the FDA just told me that they don't regulate caffeine in dietary supplements. Ahem. So, whose job is it to ensure that we have information and regulation about what is in these drinks? How many teenagers with heart defects have to die of a caffeine overdose before a serious warning goes on the side of this can?
Monster Rehab is actually a bit better than regular Monster because it is sugar free. But, it tastes like the drink that Iron Man has to suck on to get power for his radioactive chip. Monster Rehab tastes AWFUL.
Two years ago before I wrote about Monster (see: Monster), I actually drank a 12oz Monster and then a 20oz Mountain Dew because I heard that teenagers were mixing these drinks to get a high - multiple times a day. I can tell you from personal experience that my heart started racing and I felt ill.
Since I am 42, I do drink coffee every morning to wake up. But the high temperature of that coffee slows down my intake, and after two cups, I know to stop. Teenagers guzzling cold energy drinks don't slow down their consumption.
My advice 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!
What do you think of "energy" drinks marketed to kids?"
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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.
You know, I could really use some wings right now. These legs are just not working for me....