The Worst Snack You Can Drink

May 12, 2010   20 Comments

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.

Monster Assault and Mountain Dew

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:

  • Nausea
  • Jitters
  • 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?

Want to read about snacks?
Snack Girl Challenge: Lose Ten Pounds in 3 Months
Cheerios: A Good Choice For a Healthy Snack?
Try Rhubarb - In Season Now and Super Yummy
The Worst Pizza on the Planet

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I am having a discussion on Twitter with someone who likes to drink Diet RedBull - something I didn't know existed. For comparison RedBull has 80mg of caffeine, Diet Coke 12 mg, and coffee 145 mg. I'd say coffee is still your best bet because it is roasted bean juice. See my post here:

A lot of energy drinks also contain brominated vegetable oil (BVO) that is in the beverage to keep citrus flavors suspended and give them a cloudy appearance (saw it for the first time on a mountain dew can and heard it can be in gatorade, squirt, etc). BVO is used since 1931. It is banned in over 100 countries, not the US though. It causes infertility in mice and has been shown to cause memory loss (and lots of other symptoms like bromine poisoning) in humans. Caffeine and sugar look almost harmless next to that.

For another look at sugar in drinks - check out the blog post I just put up today at Apparently, great minds think alike... :)

Interesting side light to this wonderful "stuff".

I was cleaning my garage last week and happened on an overturned box with an unopened can of Monster under it, only it was opened on its side. The contents rotted or rusted right through the can.

I also got a stomach ache from a Red Bull that my intern gave me.

Tom: I use coke to remove corrosion from my car's battery terminals! They get really clean and shiny!

Interesting fact! Semi drivers have to have a hazmat license to transport Pepsi and other soft drinks over state lines, the soda I and many others drink everyday can erode asphault. I like rockstar, and what many people don't pay attention to is that one can, unless it is the size of a red Bull can be 2 or 3 servings. I know rockstar isn't good for me, and I drink it in moderation, normally sipping it for hours when I am working a double, even after years of drinking it I still find it funny that it turns my contributions to the porceline god the same color that it cam out of the can.

I used to drink those beverages routinely (the diet versions mostly) until I tried a new one (Full Throttle Blue Demon).

Tasty stuff, but as soon as I finished the can, I had palpitations, sweats, and shortness of breath. I tossed the rest of my supply of those evil concoctions (different brands), throwing the unopened cans into the trash, and now I drink a very tasty, full-bodied, flavorful, antioxidant-rich ancient botanical punch to get my motor going. This beneficial and palatable potion? Good old reliable TEA! (black and green when I could use a boost, and decaf and rooibos (African red bush)just for pleasure.)

What about those 5 Hour Energy drinks, or shots, whatever they are considered. Opinions?? Supposedly nothing bad in them except B vitamins?

I've tried a variety of energy drinks, monster, rockstar, redbull, amp, nos, venom, full throttle, something with a cheetah on the side of the can... I've never had ill effects, except once when i had two in the same day and my hands got a little shakey. Moderation is key, as always.

Caffiene really can help you perform better, read:

@tina that is actually because the drink contains niacin, a b vitamin, that naturally turns your urine bright yellow/green.

Thank you for sharing this. I teach Health to high school freshmen and will be showing them the news video because it covers three topics: energy drinks/caffeine, sugar, and sleep!

monster is goood for u bro tast the rainbow brooooooooo

I don't think you understand how Type II diabetes works. Drinking a large amount of sugar will not give you it. Diabetes is a genetic crap-shoot disease.

Not saying I don't agree with some of the things in this article, but I had to comment before someone's uninformed babble confused people. My brother is a long haul/OTR trucker.He is on home time right now, and laughing his butt off on the other side of the room. You do NOT need a hazmat to transport Pepsi, Coke, or any other soft drink across state lines. Not even for beer do you need a hazmat certification. Please educate yourself before posting on these sites!! Thank You :-)

Actually, you DO have to have HAZMAT license to haul the ingredients in Coke/Pepsi, etc. I was incredulous too (ex husband has beento a truck driver for 20 years, and I went to school for it myself in 2010). Acsorbic acid, etc.

monster does not do all that calm dow people

I drink 3-5, 8.4oz cans of red bull a day, I'm a mom of four boys I can't remember the last time my children allowed me a full uninterrupted nights sleep. I have never gotten the side effects u stated, ever. I think that when your looking for something you tend to see it even when its not there. Like if you go on web md because ur having a cramp on ur left side all of a sudden your wondering if you have thirty different diseases because u think u have the signs, but really you don't ur just over exaggerated with the belief ur heart rate is elevated and the more paranoid u become the greater it increases, not by what u have consumed buy by your mind fearing what you consumed is causing u problems. There is less caffeine in a 8.4 oz can of red bull than any sized coffee at Tim hortons which in my area is greatly frequented by a large population.

i used to drink monster but not anymore

you forgot about fatigue when the child has ADHD

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