A recent title on Medscape caught my eye “Can Energy Drinks Lead To Future Substance Abuse?” Several years ago Business Insider wrote about “The Marketing Strategy This Energy Drink Used To Take On Red Bull And Become A Billion Dollar Brand.” Red Bull is an addictive caffeine and sugar sandwich with some synthetic taurine and synthetic B vitamins thrown in as an afterthought that promises to “vitalize your body and mind.” Using the word “energy” in naming their products makes people think these poisonous cocktails are actually healthy.
One in three adolescents and young adults in the US have succumbed to the multi-million dollar marketing of these empty cans of hype. These kids have grown up with sugar-addled brains, which are treated with Ritalin and they need more sugar and also caffeine to get their “fix”. It is quite conceivable that they will soon turn to cocaine to continue their high. Dr. Abram Hoffer said that sugar was more addictive than heroin!
Another medical concern is that these energy drinks are being consumed with alcohol to counteract its sedative effects. People may not be doing that consciously but the end result is that energy drinks keep you awake longer so you end up drinking more alcohol. Or you may think you are “awake” enough to drive when you have an elevated blood alcohol level that will impair your driving.
The FDA whose fake mission is to: “protect the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation,” doesn’t seem concerned that millions of young people are addicted these toxic brews. They are hardly “protecting the public health” when they allow the ingestion of these poisons.
Ingredients of Rockstar: Carbonated water, high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, (a total of 65 grams of sugar) citric acid, taurine, natural and artificial flavors, guarana seed extract, ascorbic acid, caramel color, sodium benzoate (preservative), potassium sorbate (preservative), caffeine (160-240mg), niacinamide, inositol, l-carnitine, milk thistle extract.
Let’s put these ingredients in perspective – 65 grams of sugar is actually 15 tsp. At any one time your blood stream only holds about 2 tsp of sugar. Fifteen teaspoons of sugar hits your pancreas like a sledge hammer and insulin explodes out to try and get rid of that extra 13 tsp that your blood can’t hold. A cup of coffee gives you about 95 mg of caffeine. Obviously 240mg is 2.5 times that amount, so these energy drugs are going to make you high on sugar and buzzed on caffeine.
The American Heart Association (AHA) has finally weighed in on the sugar controversy and recommends limiting the amount of added sugars women consume to 25 grams or about 6 tsp per day. Men are apparently “allowed” 9 tsp. This is on average HALF the amount in ONE energy drink. The World Health Organization recommends no more than 25 grams across the board.
Researchers are looking at the possibility that energy drinks increase the risk of cocaine use, which is quite likely because sugar and caffeine are so addictive and you will crave bigger highs. But I predict that long before that is proven, daily users will develop diabetes, adrenal fatigue, and yeast overgrowth at triple the rate and much earlier than their parents because they are ingesting triple the amounts of sugar and caffeine. Already, 50% of Americans suffer with chronic disease but we think that’s confined to the older population. Not anymore.
One of the billion dollar energy drinks boasts that “Its brand has clearly resonated with consumers, partly due to the product itself, and partly due to its image: a sturdy black can with gold and red lettering, gold star icon and provocative slogan (Party like a ROCKSTAR!), not to mention a brand name suggestive of celebrity, high energy and sex appeal.”
“Sex appeal?” Lord Sufferin’ Cats. As if our kids weren’t exposed to enough pornography in their young lives, energy drink companies are using sex to sell sickness. I could give a very emotional rant at this point but let’s just let the facts speak for themselves.
As I’m writing this I’m thinking how ironic it is that the FDA doesn’t want me to talk about the importance of magnesium to produce real energy and keep us healthy but it happily allows unhealthy, toxic, synthetic products to be mass marketed to our kids. I guess “It’s just business.”
What do you do about this travesty? Inform your kids and grandkids that they are being duped by companies that want to sell them products that they wouldn’t think of giving to their dog. You can google my name and sugar and come up with several blogs and articles to help educate your friends and family.
If you want real energy that’s sustainable and safe, you can make your own energy drink using my ReMag®. Play with it using flavored Stevia, essential oils, but don’t forget the sea salt which some people say modifies the taste.
Carolyn Dean MD ND
The Doctor of the Future®
RESOURCES: Along the borders and in the links of my web site you can find my books, writings, and my call-in radio show. Email your questions to: email@example.com.