Gotta Get our Caffeine Fix
Many of us can’t get through a morning without an energy boost of some kind. When we’re awake, the body’s cortisol levels, which are responsible for energy, are at their lowest first thing in the morning — hence why we need breakfast — and later on around mid- to late afternoon.
It is these low levels of energy that compels us to eat and which is probably how the British tradition of mid-afternoon tea started.
In the world of convenience in which we live many of us, especially our teens, are looking for that quick fix. The rate at which our bodies process food means it can take 20 minutes or more before we actually feel that energy boost, and, true to form, as with everything, we want that boost now.
Energy drinks provide an instant boost. Unfortunately, it is becoming more evident that the boost our teens are craving could also be placing our teens’ health in danger.
FDA Investigates Deaths and Heart Attack Related to Energy Drinks
In 2011, “the U.S. Drug Abuse Warning Network reported a tenfold spike in emergency-room visits involving energy drinks. In some 70% of cases involving teens age 12 to 17, the energy-drink itself—not drugs or alcohol—was the main reason for going to the ER.” (1)
In October 2012, the FDA issued a statement that they were investigating “reports of five deaths and a nonfatal heart attack in people who drank high-caffeine energy drinks made by the Monster Energy Company.”
While there’s no proof as yet that these drinks caused the deaths, these cases should still raise concerns with parents.
By November 2012, the FDA “posted adverse-event reports for two more energy drinks: 40 illnesses and five deaths linked to Monster Energy and 13 illnesses and two lasting disabilities linked to Rockstar Energy.” These are in addition to the reports earlier issued by the FDA “linking 92 illnesses and 13 deaths to 5-Hour Energy shots.” (2)
These adverse event reports (AERs) don’t prove that the product causes harm, or indicate any underlying medical issues which could have played a role in the incidents.