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energydrinksPretty much every Thursday afternoon I can be found pulling a shift behind the counter at Club East. I’ve been doing it long enough now that I pretty much know what people are going to be getting when I see them walking up the ramp into the cafe. One of my responsibilities is keeping the cooler shelves stocked  and faced with the usual supply of drugs soft drinks, pastry and candy for the next shift.

And one of the things that struck me pretty almost from the beginning was how much Monster® Energy Drink we push sell in a day. I’ll confess right here and now I’ve never imbibed so I’m not writing from a posture of experience. It’s pretty evident, though, that price is no obstacle to the folks who — without hesitation — lay down $2.50 (US) per dose can.

Just for the sake of enlightenment, I googled “monster energy drink side effects” and found a few disturbing facts. The amount of caffeine typically found in these drinks can be the equivalent of 14 cans of cola, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine. And according to the Sports Medicine Advisory Committee high carbohydrate and caffeine content in Monster (as well as other energy drinks) can lead to gastrointestinal upset, including diarrhea.

And most notably, Recent research in Australia has highlighted the risks with over-consumption of energy drinks. This data was gathered from 7 years of calls to the Australian Poisons Center. Listed in order of most common to least common:

  1. Palpitations / tachycardia
  2. Tremor / shaking
  3. Agitation / restlessness
  4. Gastrointestinal upset
  5. Chest pain / ischaemia
  6. Dizziness / syncope
  7. Paraesthesia (tingling or numbing of the skin)
  8. Insomnia
  9. Respiratory distress
  10. Headache

So… all of this surely isn’t going to win me any friends at the cafe. On the other hand, maybe we’ll begin to move away our current strategy of getting people unhinged from alcohol or drugs simply to get them addicted to sugar.