Back Away From the Can Pt. 2

Continued from last week People who drink this beverage without reading every part of the warning label might be expecting the buzz of an 80-mg Red Bull caffeine high, and get more than three times that amount (and about eight times as much as a regular Pepsi). Caffeine toxicity includes symptoms such as headache, shaking and tremors, dizziness, anxiety, nausea, increased blood pressure, and a rapid or irregular heartbeat. In severe cases caffeine overdose can lead to seizures and death. Griffiths and his team ended their study with a recommendation that energy drinks come with a warning label on the can stating what the caffeine content is and to not consume excessive amounts. He said to reporters that caffeine is a drug, and should be so labeled. “If you are going to use a drug, you should know what it is, what it does and how to use it effectively,” said Griffiths to reporters. “If you don’t label that, you don’t know that.” Some energy drink companies take advantage of the idea that their product might be seen by some vulnerable consumers (read: teenagers) as a drug. One maker of such a drink has this brilliant (read: idiotic) slogan as their marketing plan: “Do the drink, not the drug.” The drink in question is actually called Cocaine, and though the company that makes it says there is no actual cocaine in the drink, they”re obviously trying to make a connection in the minds of their target audience. Raymond Herrera, marketing vice president of Redux Beverages LLC, which owns Cocaine energy drinks, says the company wants consumers to take home this piece of smart advice: “If you do the drug you are dumb. If you do the drink you are cool.” Well phew, at least the energy drink makers have our teens” best interests at heart. The Johns Hopkins study comes on the heels of another report that drinking just one can of Red Bull can make the blood ‘sticky,” and potentially cause strokes in even young, healthy people. The cardiovascular research center which conducted that study warned that drinking Red Bull caused changes seen in older patients with a history of strokes. “One hour after they drank Red Bull, (their cardiovascular systems) were no longer normal,” said Scott Willougby, lead author of the Australian study. “They were abnormal like we would expect in a patient with cardiovascular disease.” So really, think twice about whether you actually want to ingest such a product, which may give you the shakes and just might possibly cause you to have a stroke. That’s not what I”d call a health supplement.

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