According to a new study, as reported in the Bloomberg News, more than half of all calls to U.S. poison control centers about ‘energy drinks’ such as Red Bull and Monster are for children younger than six, some suffering seizures and heart problems. The study claims that energy drinks aren’t safe for children and that people of all ages with underlying health conditions should be reticent about imbibing the hyper-caffeinated beverages. While teens and young adults balancing school and work loads are the most frequent consumers of these drinks (I worked in retail for years and the break-rooms were littered with empty cans of quickly- consumed energy drinks), there occur many unintentional exposures to kids less than six years old.
Researchers for the study analyzed all 5,156 calls to poison control centers during a 36-month period that involved energy drinks. Most of the calls involving children younger than six were because they got the beverages accidentally. Nearly a third of those children experienced serious symptoms requiring treatment, including tremors, seizures, nausea and vomiting, chest pain and erratic heart rhythms. As a result, the American Medical Association has called for limiting sales for people under age 18.
I myself can’t drink any beverage with caffeine in it, as I have long been prone to palpitations. Yet, like most things, these drinks have their niche and, as a good conservative-libertarian, I am not in favor of banning the sale of almost any item. However, as with anything we put in our bodies, we need to use our own logic and discretion. Just as we wouldn’t let a six year-old grab a beer from daddy’s fridge, we should also make sure they can’t just walk off with an ‘energy drink’ as well.
So, let’s wake up and smell the coffee. Like marijuana ‘edibles’, energy drinks can have unpleasant and even dangerous affects on the body.
‘Artificial’ human energy is an iffy proposition.