By Denna Changizi,
Despite the quick energy boost, energy drinks can be dangerous. There are many energy drink-related problems such as liver damage, kidney failure, respiratory disorders, seizures, heart failure and death. Yet, many students at Davis High still consume them.
According to Dr. Anne Johnstone, energy drinks “are not regulated by the FDA [Food and Drug Administration], so as a result they can have significantly more caffeine that can cause injuries to many organs in your body […] the long term effects are unknown.”
Johnstone’s 11-year-old son Mason Johnstone conducted a scientific experiment earlier this year, feeding three plants with different liquids. Plant A received water, Plant B received Dr. Pepper and Plant C received an energy drink.
After about six hours, Plant C was dead; the leaves were wilted and dried out. Plant B was next to die.
Not only did the plant that consumed water survive longer, it also grew more and was overall healthier.
But some teens still can’t seem to dispose of the caffeinated energy drinks.
“When I stay up doing homework, I’ll drink some,” junior Whitney Sacramento said.
Sacramento says knows they’re bad for her, but drinks them anyway.
Pharmacist Soheila Zahedpour says that the human body can actually become dependent on energy drinks. The caffeine works as a stimulant, and consuming energy drinks can soon become a daily ritual.
Energy drinks are also high in sugar; a 16-ounce can of Red Bull contains 52 grams of sugar.
“The American Heart Association recommends no more than 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day for women and no more than 9 teaspoons for men,” Dr. Chris Iliades said on www.everydayhealth.com.
But there are alternatives to energy drinks–the Bai Antioxidant Infusion Drinks company suggests green tea or protein shakes instead.
Green tea comes with health benefits such as reducing the risk of heart disease and improving mental clarity and performance, and the caffeine in it will still help people stay awake.
Protein shakes, especially those with fruit, have many carbohydrates that supply your body with plenty of energy.
“Energy drinks like Red Bull or Rockstar are loaded with caffeine which can make kids feel anxious, nervous and can interrupt their sleep—even hours after drinking them.” Dr. Kate Land said.
Not all students are focused on the energy aspect of the caffeinated beverage. “I liked the flavor of the lemonade Rockstar,” sophomore Kyle Schutte said.
Though Schutte used to drink a Rockstar on a regular basis, he eventually stopped, knowing the damage it could cause.