Wake Up Woodbury

It may be wise to educate your teen about healthier beverage choices.

When did we get so tired?

I’m not just talking about bleary-eyed parents of newborns and log-sawing old folks in recliners. Everybody is exhausted these days. At least that’s what Martians might believe if they landed in Woodbury and saw everybody guzzling energy drinks.

Crushed cans of Rock Star and Monster Energy Drink litter the paths of teenagers who think they’re in desperate need of a boost. And it’s been whispered that a friend’s 70-something mother has been sneaking nips from a little 5-Hour Energy bottle that she keeps in her purse. In case she wants her energy only an hour at a time?

These types of drinks have been in the news lately for their supposed connection to emergency room visits and fatalities. So, maybe sips are better than gulps.

Hopefully, they’ll reconsider reaching for a Red Bull and maybe find a way to get some needed rest.

Some reports show that a bottle of 5-Hour Energy contains up to 215 milligrams of caffeine. A 16-ounce can of Monster or Rock Star Energy Drink each contain about 160 milligrams of caffeine. A typical 8-ounce cup of coffee contains 100-150 milligrams of caffeine.

But it’s the added ingredients, including lots of sugar in some energy drinks, which contribute to their negative reputation. Some energy drinks have up to 70 grams of sugar. That’s 17.5 teaspoons in one can!

I’m one to talk about added sugar. Once, when a guy behind me in the church coffee line saw how much cream and sugar I was stirring into my cup, he asked, “Are you getting coffee or baking a cake?”

But I only use 1-2 teaspoons of sugar in my coffee, which still seems like a lot. But I just can’t drink it black. And I am indeed tired. I require two cups of dark roast most mornings and sometimes an additional jolt around 3 o’clock.

But caffeine isn’t entirely bad for me.

I’ve read that some women who regularly drink natural sources of caffeine like coffee or tea have a slight decrease in risks of heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer.

Drink too much, over 500 milligrams of caffeine per day, and you’re likely to suffer nervousness, irritability, upset stomach, tremors and irregular heartbeat. Possibly even increased blood pressure and increased cortisol production, a stress hormone that is linked to weight gain. Oh, heck no. I don’t need that.

For adolescents, pediatricians recommend no more than 100 milligrams of caffeine a day and no regular caffeine for young children. So, it may be wise to educate your teen about healthier beverage choices.

Hopefully, they’ll reconsider reaching for a Red Bull and maybe find a way to get some needed rest. And unless you’re raising your own special Honey Boo Boo (please God, no), absolutely no go-go juice for your little kids.


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Rhonda Fitzgerald December 05, 2012 at 05:36 PM
http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/08/15/us-australia-redbull-idUSSYD5846120080815 . Red Bull drink lifts stroke risk: Australian study By Rob Taylor (Reuters) - Just one can of the popular stimulant energy drink Red Bull can increase the risk of heart attack or stroke, even in young people, Australian medical researchers said on Friday. The caffeine-loaded beverage, popular with university students and adrenaline sport fans to give them "wings", caused the blood to become sticky, a pre-cursor to cardiovascular problems such as stroke.
Rhonda Fitzgerald December 05, 2012 at 05:37 PM
"One hour after they drank Red Bull, (their blood systems) were no longer normal. They were abnormal like we would expect in a patient with cardiovascular disease," Scott Willoughby, lead researcher from the Cardiovascular Research Centre at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, told the Australian newspaper. The Austria-based company, whose marketing says "Red Bull gives you wings", sponsors Formula 1 race cars and extreme sport events around the world, but warns consumers not to drink more than two cans a day.
Rhonda Fitzgerald December 05, 2012 at 05:37 PM
Rychter said Red Bull could only have such global sales because health authorities across the world had concluded the drink was safe to consume. But Willoughby said Red Bull could be deadly when combined with stress or high blood pressure, impairing proper blood vessel function and possibly lifting the risk of blood clotting. "If you have any predisposition to cardiovascular disease, I'd think twice about drinking it," he said. Red Bull Australia spokeswoman Linda Rychter said the report would be assessed by the company's head office in Austria. "The study does not show effects which would go beyond that of drinking a cup of coffee. Therefore, the reported results were to be expected and lie within the normal physiological range," Rychter told Reuters. Willoughby and his team tested the cardiovascular systems of 30 young adults one hour before and one hour after consuming one 250ml can of sugar-free Red Bull. The results showed "normal people develop symptoms normally associated with cardiovascular disease" after consuming the drink, created in the 1980s by Austrian entrepreneur Dietrich Mateschitz based on a similar Thai energy drink. Red Bull is banned in Norway, Uruguay and Denmark because of health risks listed on its cans, but the company last year sold 3.5 billion cans in 143 countries. One can contains 80 mg of caffeine, around the same as a normal cup of brewed coffee


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