Banning Energy Drinks

Posted: January 9, 2015 in Education

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I caught the tail end of a news broadcast about making the sale of energy drinks to persons under the age of 19 illegal. This would also mean that vending machines in high school hallways would also be energy drink free. This caused me to assess my own school and what we offer our young minds.

Doctors Nova Scotia are the ones that are pushing for legislation to pass the above law. On their website, they indicate that they have support in this venture from the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) – that’s pretty good support. In a study conducted in Nova Scotia, 50% of grade 7 students admit to using energy drinks in the 12 months prior to being surveyed and this increases to 71% usage by grade 12. Some students (they cite 25%) even mix this with alcohol…surprise surprise. Could it be that living on the east coast ain’t such easy livin’ after all? Are east coasters more wound up than their stereotype depicts? Do these statistics simply show that east coasters are putting in long hours and therefore require the beverage to keep awake? Who knows.

I have a limited connection to energy drinks. They were certainly not popular when I was in high school and Red Bull only became common when I was in University. I worked at a nightclub, so naturally shifts that lasted until 4am required a drink like Red Bull. I never engaged in more than two a night and I’ve never been a fan of mixing it with alcohol…

I can’t say that I am for or against the motion to ban energy drinks, but I’ll say that the benefits of keeping energy drinks in-school don’t seem to outweigh the downsides to it.

Advantages: Energy drinks, obviously, give students a kick in caffeine. Therefore, it may help students to stay alert during class. I’m not too sure how long the kick lasts, so their crash may be worse. The energy drinks are also high in carbs, so for athletes, this may be an advantage for increasing performance. I suppose the last advantage is that by offering the drink, students can make the decision on their own whether the drink is something they’d like to engage in or not.

Downsides: Energy drinks are packed with sugar, which can be both good and bad. The ideal consumption of sugar intake a day is about 37grams and most energy drinks contain about 35grams in one beverage. This high sugar content can lead to obesity. Also, students who do not have good self-control can partake in too many beverages leading to heart issues because of the high-caffeine content. By offering students only healthy drink choices forces students to make the right choice. Too much caffeine can lead to headaches due to caffeine withdrawal and can even lead to insomnia if the beverage is consumed too often.

My school offers no pop or energy drinks in the vending machine nor do they sell it in the cafeteria.

As a fun fact…webmd published an article in 2012 directly linking heart attack, suicide, a miscarriage, vomiting, and psychotic disorders to energy drinks. Is that enough to scare off students from drinking them? Probably not.

 

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Comments
  1. Eric says:

    Just don’t take my coffee.

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