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    From students to athletes, energy drinks have become the beverage of choice to help boost students performance. Aetena Health News has reported that Jim Heidenreich, vice president of marketing for Colorado-based EAS Inc., has said that, "When it's all said and done, most energy drinks are caffeine and sugar, as are most soda pops," However, some parents and teachers disagree about just how safe these energy drinks truly are. Officials in Canada, France, Norway, and Denmark have yet to approve many energy drinks. Energy drinks should not be allowed in schools, because the harms have shown to have more disastrous effects than provide pleasure. In addition, these harms have yet to be fully understood and therefore these drinks should not yet be encouraged nor permitted.

    A state legislator and an entire school district in Rhode Island have considered the consumption of energy drink by students a form of substance abuse. I’d agree with these people for I have seen students drinking these beverages before school, during lunch, while doing homework, and before sporting activities. Scranton Principal Henry Vecchioni wrote in a recent school newsletter that,” These drinks contain high quantities of caffeine among other metabolic transmitters, with the intention of creating an energy burst. I have not met too many middle school students who need a higher level of energy."
    .
    Energy drinks include ingredients such as methylxanthines, B vitamins and herbs. Other common ingredients are guarana, various forms of ginseng, maltodextrin, inositol, carnitine, creatine, glucuronolactone and ginkgo biloba. In addition, all energy drinks have almost double the amount of caffeine than does regaular sodas. Energy drinks also include guarana and ginseng; two ingredients that are not FDA approved.


    According to the Livingston County News, Broward County school officials have considered a ban on energy drinks within their school system after a couple students were hospitalized after the consumption of energy drinks. The students’ hearts were racing and they were dripping of sweat.  The students had been drinking Redline, a weight-loss energy drink. Other symptoms from the consumption of energy drinks include dehydration, cramping, sleep deprivation, and respiratory distress. Individuals may be more likely to experience these symptoms if pregnant, caffeine sensitive, or less than 16. These symptoms may even be more intensified if the energy drink is taken with alcohol or before sporting events.

    Some may say that these symptoms are due to preexisting conditions for which energy drink manufactures cannot be held responsible. They may claim there has yet to be a clear link between the consumption of the beverage and some of the medical consequences that people have suffered. But, is it really just a coincidence that people all around the world who have been hospitalized or killed all had consumed energy drinks around their time of their symptoms?

    An 8.4 ounce energy drink called, Spike Shooter, has more caffeine than a 6 pack of coke. Spike Shooter is a product of Biotest Laboratories, LLC of Colorado Springs. According to Buzzle.com, Biotest CEO Tim Patterson believes these schools are voicing opinions and warnings of “hysteria”. Three Colorado schools have sent out warnings to parents about the dangers of energy drinks. Over 244 7-11’s have taken Spike Shooter off their shelves. Patterson says Spike Shooter energy drink is not for teens and that not more than one of these beverages should be consumed per day.  In his opinion, it is a matter of tolerance and that is up to the users conception.

    In November 1999, a young male also died after consuming energy drinks. This has caused the Food Safety Promotion Board to establish a Stimulant Drinks Committee to commission independent scientific research into the health effects of stimulant drinks.

    Energy drinks all have labels on them with warnings about the use of their products. I believe that before energy drinks are distributed and allowed in schools, parents, teachers, and students need to be educated on the effects of this type of beverage. Information also needs to be known about how energy drinks react with certain types of medications. We need to establish a health advisory committee to discover more information on the consumption of energy drinks. Until this occurs, energy drinks should not be permitted, tolerated, or supported in any educational environment.




    Work Cited:
    Livingston Community News, Aetena Health News
    Buzzle.com-Banned in Colorado: Energy Drink Gives More Than Just a Boost
    Nutrition Bulletin: The health effects of stimulant drinks. Finnegan, Derek
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