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My heart raced, my hands shook, my chest tightened, my head felt light as my breathing grew heavy. Panic swept over me as I prayed for my next second to be the one that brought relief. Consuming an energy drink was a decision I immediately regretted, for the results were frightening. Although I was aware of the danger in consuming a large amount of caffeine prior to purchasing the beverage, I would have never imagined one serving alone could carry such dangerous side effects. Energy drinks are a very potent and unsafe substance that infests our market and introduces a plethora of risks and hazards to the citizens. In order to ensure the safety of every individual, the manufacturing, distribution, and consumption of energy drinks should be prohibited.
Energy drinks pose many risks that carry detrimental consequences. The beverages are composed of a mixture of unsafe ingredients that contains great risk when consumed. Caffeine is the most common and abundant ingredient used in the production of energy drinks. The stimulant causes an increased blood pressure and heart rate. Although caffeine is healthy in moderation, an excess amount of caffeine may cause dizziness, nausea, nervousness, headaches, severe fatigue as well as heart palpitations. A moderate amount of caffeine is measured at about two hundred to three hundred milligrams daily (Energy Side Effects). However, most energy drinks contain about 200 milligrams in a serving alone, noting that most beverages contain two to three servings (DeNoon). In addition to the dangerous amounts of caffeine, energy drinks are composed of other harmful ingredients used to inhibit feelings of tiredness. Ginseng is an herb used for its properties in suppressing fatigue. This ingredient is harmful to those sensitive to the chemical. The herb has been reported to cause heart palpitations, vertigo, and headaches. L-Cartinine is another major ingredient used in the manufacturing of energy drinks. The ingredient is created naturally as an amino acid; however, the large amounts included in the beverages commonly cause vomiting and restlessness (Energy Side Effects). Major risk is associated with energy drinks due to the dangerous amounts and effects of the ingredients used. Although not everyone may react the same due to tolerance, the drinks prove very dangerous, even lethal, to those who are not completely tolerant.
The consumption of energy drinks produces a vicious cycle that can prove detrimental to a person’s health. After the consumption of caffeine, the body begins to slow down due to the toll taken on the adrenalin system. This symptom, known as adrenalin fatigue, usually leads to a necessity for more energy (Foster and Ted). Because of the negative effects associated with the withdrawal of caffeine, energy drinks are addictive both mentally and physically. To explain, rather than suffer with the sudden feelings of exhaustion and fatigue after the energy “high” has worn off, an individual will instead resort to another beverage to rid of the negative effects, appeasing that physical craving. On the other hand, because people perform poorer after the effects of the energy drink has worn off, that individual may feel as though they perform better only while consuming the drinks, thus that individual will rely more and more on the beverage in order to appease that mental craving. Although this may satisfy initially, according to “Caffeine Informer”, long term abuse will cause for serious and sometimes permanent complications, such as cardiovascular problems, obesity, dental problems, deficiency of calcium, as well as insomnia (Energy Drink Ingredients and What They Do). Energy drinks create a snowball effect that will lead to over-consumption, intoxication, and a life-time of health issues.
Energy drinks are advertised and sold throughout the entire nation. Companies target teenagers and children in portraying their product as an “all powerful” substance. Because of its easy accessibility, teenagers and children everywhere are abusing the beverage while unaware of its dangers. Companies are successful in manipulating unaware individuals into believing that energy drinks cure tiredness while optimizing performance, completely disregarding the great risk it imposes to the health of our children.
In order to ensure the safety and good health of our nation, the prohibition of all energy drinks is necessary. This would include any production, selling, and consumption of a substance that contains any of the key ingredients used in energy drinks. Such ingredients include: caffeine (100 mg or above), Taurine, Gaurana, Ginseng, and L-Carnitine. If caffeine is listed as an ingredient in a product, the amount of caffeine included will be monitored to insure that it meets requirements. Any company or person that fails to meet requirements will be fined according to the extent of their misdemeanor.
The prohibition of energy drinks is very significant in improving the health and future health of our nation. The illegalization will ultimately reduce risks associated with heart health, weight, sleep, energy, as well as problems associated with excess sugar. In addition, because the advertisements will seize, teenagers and children will be allowed an opportunity for healthier choices.
Many may argue that consumers are taking a voluntary risk provided the warning labels on energy drinks. However, the labels are very vague and insufficient to the amount of damage it instills on the consumer. To explain, most of the beverages contain a basic warning of over consumption, but lack the information of what classifies as over consumption. Even fewer companies label the maximum recommended amount. For example, Monster Energy Drink recommends no more than three cans daily. However, such information can be misleading on a product in that it doesn’t consider the intake of other energy drinks. In addition, many companies fail to include the content amount of many of the dangerous ingredients, such as caffeine, carnitine, and gaurana. This is very significant in that products, for example Red Bull, contain an unhealthy dose of the included ingredients that can interact with a person’s medications. To illustrate, the ingredient ginseng is reported to interact with medications for ADD/ADHD as well as medications prescribed for blood sugar control “Energy Drink Ingredients and What They Do”. Although this doesn’t apply to every person, it can be dire to a person when not provided the proper information. Most individuals don’t consider this hazard when purchasing the beverage.
Energy drinks are a very dangerous product that inhabits a large amount of our market. A concoction of dangerous ingredients, energy drinks pose dangerous side effects as well as the threat of mental and physical addition. Furthermore, with manipulative advertisements and easy accessibility, energy drinks place our youth at a high risk for a future full of health complications. Although warning labels are provided, the warnings lack the proper information necessary for the consumer to fully understand the risks included. Prohibiting the production, sale, and consumption of energy drinks is vital to ensuring safety for our citizens.
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