Energy Drinks: Caffeinated Sugar Rush
Just when you were starting to think drugs and alcohol were your only concern, you now have “energy” drinks to worry about. The intention of these drinks is to boost energy, and surely they do. For example, a can of Monster contains 120 milligrams of caffeine compared to the 35 milligrams found in a Coke Classic. For some, this may not be as bad as drinking a cup of coffee, but because energy drinks are consumed cold, the chances of them being consumed quickly are higher. Basically, consuming energy drinks containing high levels of caffeine and sugar as a cold, frosty beverage has more potential of causing damage. Sure, a tall cup of black coffee from Starbucks might contain as much as 250 milligrams of caffeine, but you’re not going to vigorously consume it–you’re more likely to sip it over a period of time, which allows for a slower absorption of caffeine. The other issue is the high sugar content. With that amount of sugar, one invites the sugar rush and its inevitable sugar crash in collusion with the rush of caffeine. Sounds a lot like encouraging a type of war on your system!
Currently, studies are showing that the consumption of energy drinks may also be a proponent for binge drinking. Not only do some of these drinks have a high sugar and caffeine content, some also contain alcohol. And, those that don’t already have alcohol in them are often mixed with alcohol. What’s really concerning, however, is teens in sobriety beginning to rely on the energy gained from drinking a Red Bull or a Monster. Will it lead to getting drunk again? We don’t know for sure, but data does indicate that teens who have a proclivity for consuming energy drinks may, in fact, be more inclined to engage in risk-taking behaviors. Drinking them does introduce one or more negative substances into the body, which ultimately has the potential of causing new and/or additional harm. It also provides a rush, be it from the sugar or the caffeine, and that small rush may be the propelling factor that pushes someone over the edge and back into active addiction.