The Magnificent Seven #5: Energy Drinks: Highs and Lows
Just three days left of CLIConline. To celebrate the end of #CLICstory we present The Magnificent Seven: seven articles that have been read more than all others, or inspired people to do great things.
This feature was originally published on 24th May 2013. The author had this to say:
"Under the username Turangalîla (inspired by Olivier Messiaen) forSwansea, this is the only article I created solely for CLIConline. Withthe site sadly to depart, I wanted to pop this on my The Sprout instead.I feel the themes discussed are still of the utmost importance."
Do you gladly glug one down for that oh-so-needed burst of energy? Do you drink them just for the sake of it? Or, do you simply find them repellent?
After discussions in the Senedd last week, it seems the concern with energy drinks is ever growing. How they stand out as one of the keys concerns with children's health today. As I watched the live stream, I found myself looking at the bottle of Coca-Cola I had bought. It happened to have my names on it. This being their latest fad where people want bottle with their name on. Their clever marketing trickery are what makes people buy these sorts of drinks. Who doesn’t want a drink with their name on it?
One of the main problems with these drinks is that they are cheap. Come to think of it, some are the most reasonable drinks around. As a child I could have never bought a can of Coke or Sprite for 25 pence. It is a bargain and this where the problems lies. Children are going to buy what makes their pocket money go the furthest.
I myself have fallen foul to these drinks on rare occasions. But as an avid coffee drinker, I can control just how much sugar I would like in my cup. We all need a pick me up now and then. But when it appears to threaten our health, concerns are raised. There is no such thing as moderation in an energy drink. Not when it comes to having caffeine, taurine, other things in it along with that much sugar.
I recall a friend the other year who was ask for ID for purchasing an energy drink. He continually said, ‘‘I can’t believe I got IDed for an energy drink’’, much to my irritation. Like with alcohol, it seems anyone who looks under 25 (including those who are actually over 25) now can’t purchase either of these types of drinks without some form of identification. I have different views when it comes to alcohol and the ID process, but that’s for another article.
In Monday’s Metro, an interview with Jules Knight, the singer and actor was printed. He was a member of the classical boy band Blake but left to further his acting career. Currently starring in the most lame of hospital dramas Holby City, the question was asked, ‘‘Have you ever had to go to hospital for anything?’’
He recalled the time where ‘‘The doctor thought I’d had a heart attack - but it turned out it was just a weird reaction to a vodka and Red Bull.’’ Alcohol and energy drinks are notorious and considered even unhealthier when mixed.
Looking at a can of Relentless, with its fashionably designed can, I was shocked and appalled that is contained 50 grams of sugar. In this same instance I went for the sugar free version in the hope that it would not turn me into a raving toddler foaming at the mouth and bouncing off the walls.
Since my brother was hyperactive as a child, I too had all food and drink scrutinised by my mother, even though I was nowhere near as bad as my him. How we were trained to only ask for apple juice at parties and other events. This still goes on today even in my adult life. But I do recall my first sip of Red Bull.
We were in Bournemouth for my sister’s graduation (if memory serves right). She had bought this new and exciting drink. I was curious and was after a taste. She let me have some. I was amazed. It put to my mouth the taste of sour raspberries, which I am a big fan of. I was after more, much to sister’s retaliation. You never forget your first time. But there have been times after this where taking these sort of drinks leads to sleepless nights and a whole lot of regret.
With all these recollections, I now feel that the prices should be raised for the drinks and to only drink in moderation. Perhaps even a ban would be in order, especially in schools. But that would only make some people want it more a la prohibition. Keep the ID requirements in order. Lower the rates of sugar. Most important of all, teach kids the health implications.
We can’t have the children of today brought up on these types of drinks. Pure and simple.