Energy Drinks: Are They A Risk At Sheridan?

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The number of beverages in today’s day in age are endless. Some may focus on their morning cup of coffee, others may focus on their afternoon protein shake, but what about energy drinks? Following multivitamins, energy drinks are the most popular dietary supplement consumed by American teens and young adults. Energy drinks are all around us, increasing in advertisement in various ways, but what’s the real deal with energy drinks?

How They Work

Energy drinks are specifically designed as stimulants to boost physical and mental reaction. Usually containing loads of sugar, caffeine, and other sweeteners such as taurine, energy drinks jump-start the heart. These drinks may seem to be all the craze, but there are many things that these drinks do to the rest of the body; some of them aren’t all that good. Headaches, dehydration, and dental damage are all on the list of side effects of these praised drinks. The most concerning side-effect of an energy drink is the disruption the rhythm of the heart and skyrocketed blood pressure levels. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, the correlation between the number of energy drink-related visits to emergency departments has doubled since 2007. In 2011, 1 in 10 of these visits resulted in hospitalization due to cardiac and blood pressure complications from energy drinks. The real issue arises when energy drinks are mixed with high intensity workouts. The Canadian Journal of Cardiology published a comprehensive study that looked at the incidences of cardiac events after energy drink consumption among adolescents. They found that energy drink abuse among teens caused increased risk of cardiac events, especially in those with underlying heart conditions. The risk of abnormal heart rate and rhythm increases when the child engages in sports or exercise, and that brings up the concern of the addiction in teens.

There are a huge variety of energy drinks on the shelves of our grocery stores.

Energy Drinks and Teens

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services states that one-third of teens between the ages of 12 and 17 drink energy drinks regularly. Teens are coming to schools with them as a morning beverage, drinking them for energy for weightlifting and practices, and even purchasing them in schools. The list of side effects for teen consumption includes insomnia, heart palpitations, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and even seizures. Scary stuff huh? Teens and energy drinks do not mix well, and schools are becoming more aware of this arising issue and putting a stop to it. Even the government has proposed to ban energy drinks in schools.

Senior Chance King with a Venom energy drink.

How Does This Affect Sheridan?

With the popularity of energy drinks in teen life, energy drinks have made an appearance in the hands of students at Sheridan and the vending machines. They have been making their way into the hands of the athletes at Sheridan too. Senior Chance King has been drinking energy drinks for about a year, consuming two a day normally. Chance’s favorite is the new Bang drink. He stated, “Energy drinks have become a bad habit for me and some mornings I just need it to get through the day.” King says that he has probably spent $200 on energy drinks and that they are definitely not worth it. He explained, “It’s supposed to be good for you, but there is always a downside to them. After you drink them you have a caffeine spike and if you don’t use that unnecessary amount of caffeine you drop off and feel dead.” Chance is one of the many teens at Sheridan who can attest to the negative effects of energy drinks.

“It’s supposed to be good for you, but there is always a downside to them. After you drink them you have a caffeine spike and if you don’t use that unnecessary amount of caffeine you drop off and feel dead.”

Overall, the negative effects of energy drinks outweigh the good ones. For teens, the risks and addiction seems to be greater that most. The next time you crave that taste of an energy drink, ask yourself “Is this worth my health?”