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Diatribe: Energy Drinks Can Send You To A Hospital


It seems that almost every filling station is now selling those tiny little bottles of “Five Hour Energy” beside their cash registers as an impulse item.  On a recent over-night drive, I decided to try one.  I had tasted a Red Bull before and it didn’t really do anything for me but I thought that, if so many other people are drinking the stuff, there must be something to it.  With much trepidation, I drank the contents of the little bottle.  I don’t know if I felt any benefits from drinking it or if it was psychosomatic but I didn’t get tired for five hours.  I do know that I won’t drink one again.

According to a recent report, emergency room visits linked to energy drink consumption have surged in recent years as more people combine the popular beverages with alcohol and drugs.  The vast majority of the emergency room visits were made by men between the ages of 18 and 39.  While the study didn’t say what symptoms drove these people to the emergency room, or what other medical conditions that may have had, but it did indicate that excessive use of these drinks on their own can cause adverse reactions like arrhythmia, hypertension and dehydration.

Naturally, the report was immediately criticized by makers of the energy drinks, which usually contain stimulants like caffeine and guarana as well as other additives that can compound the beverages’ effects who insist that the emergency room visits are related solely to alcohol consumption or the use of illegal substances.  The coincidental involvement of energy drinks was irrelevant.

Those that make them insist that most mainstream energy drinks contain just half the caffeine of a similar size cup of coffee.  Some energy drinks are advertised as being “decaf” … I don’t understand them.  But, going forward, I’ll choose coffee every time!

UPDATE 11/15/125-Hour Energy linked to 13 deaths in FDA report.

Copyright © 2011

From → Diatribes

  1. I think these drinks, like Red Bull, too, are just a gimmick.
    It’s not my cup of tea.
    Seriously, I’d rather have a cup of tea.


  2. My husband got horrible dehydration at a music festival after drinking one of these. It was incredibly scary and he only drinks tea now, as do I. Bob has the right idea.

    Who knows what’s really in that little bottle anyway?


  3. Since regular coffee is too harsh on my stomach & Starbucks lattes are harsh on my wallet, I’ve tried many many different ways to get the very necessary jolt of caffeine I need to wake up my brain in the morning. Tea is awesome, but just does not cut it as far as an energy boost. I’ve tried the energy drinks and don’t mind them, but I also wondered what ELSE is combined with the caffeine and how healthy is that?

    So, now I just take one No Doz in the morning with my vitamins. A 200mg straight shot of caffeine with no other ingredients to hurt my stomach or who knows what else. It’s all I need to wake up and get on with the day. It’s also way cheaper 🙂


  4. i have enough energy and prefer my caffeine hot. *pours another cuppa coffee


  5. I am most definitely a caffeine addict! If I don’t get my daily dose by 1 or 2 pm, I have a raging headache and am no fun to be around. BUT, I do NOT drink energy drinks. If I’m being honest, they just taste horrible, and I don’t like horrible. They also make me feel so jittery and goofy that I know whatever is in there cannot be good.

    My hubs, on the other hand, was addicted to one brand of “red bull” type drink until I put my foot down. Those things are crazy expensive, full of useless calories and were probably killing him. I’m sure he still drinks them on the sly. Sucker.


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