Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Energy in a Can

Go into any grocery or convenience store and you will see this....tons of energy drinks.  High caffeine, high sugar sludge that amp you up, puts you on full throttle, and make you feel like a rock star.  These bad boys are monsters.

I guess it all started with Red Bull, a drink that was used mostly by college kids as a cheap and legal type of amphetamine in order to get over the effects of the prior night's kegger in time for a morning test in American Lit.  Most folks thought the stuff tasted like crap and slammed the things down for the effect rather than the flavor.  Then, they came out with these little 5 hour energy shots for those who couldn't chug a Red Bull fast enough to bypass their gag reflex.  Still, those little energy shots have a wang to them, so lots of people began doing what you do when taking shots of cheap whiskey....chase it down with something less harsh, like beer.  In the case of the energy shots, people were chasing it down with soda pop, particularly Mountain Dew.  A sugary caffeine drink that goosed up the effect of the energy shot.  After a while, folks figured out that mixing the two saved precious time and...voila...the big can of energy drinks were created.

Now...don't get me wrong.  I love caffeine.  I drink tons of coffee and tea.  I can appreciate getting a chemical boost in the morning to jump start my brain and mellow out my mood so that I can function and interact with other people.  Yet coffee and tea have their caffeine as part of a very complex structure of the plant itself.  The energy drinks are injected with synthetic caffeine.  It's akin to the difference between chewing coca leaves and smoking crack cocaine....technically ingesting the same drug but vastly different in how it affects your body.

This shit is dangerous.  I think that the fact that there are not thousands of people dying from heart attacks and strokes through drinking the stuff is only due to the fact that most consumers of energy drinks are pretty young...hence more resilient.  But if there is one thing that I have learned; you pay for everything eventually.

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