My grandchildren and I have been thoroughly enjoying the olympic games this year, particularly the gymnastics events. Watching these young people perform made me appreciate the dedication and literally their lifelong commitment to this. When I saw this video it really saddened me, first with the loss of such a young life, but also with the question, “why was she even drinking this beverage?” She obviously was not in need of energy for any sports event; as stated in the video, she was with her friends at the mall. Was it peer pressure? Designed to give one more “energy,” these drinks often have 2 or 3 servings per can, giving the person drinking them an equivalent of taking in as much caffeine as 12 to 14 sodas at one time.
According to Dr. Stephen Chaney, University of North Carolina, an article in the July 18th edition of the British Medical Journal (Cohen, BMJ, doi: 10:1136bmj.ed737, 2012) stated that most sports nutrition products have little or no scientific backing. Less than a week later the British Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) identified 84 sports supplements that should not be used by Olympic athletes. Dr. Chaney went on further to say, because of the dangerous ingredients, no athletes, for that matter, should be taking them.
When I checked the Red Bull Energy Drink website it stated that the drink has been developed for people who want to have a clear and focused mind, perform physically, are dynamic and performance-oriented whilst also balancing this with a fun and active lifestyle. In reading this I can see why young people are so attracted to it with all of those promises!
One of the products that I recommend to my college-age grandchildren when they need to have that clear and focused mind (for exams as an example) is a scientific blend of caffeine from natural green tea extract, plus L-theanine, B vitamins, and vitamin D which all help one to sustain energy, improve performance, stay alert, sharpen their focus and improve their mood. A natural product with no artificial flavors or sweeteners or preservatives, it is just one of many of their sports nutrition products that have helped Americans rule the podium ~ winning more than 100 gold, silver and bronze medals.
When my granddaughter was crowned Miss North Carolina in 2010 and ultimately was in the Miss America contest in Las Vegas, I gave her this product as she was on such a hectic schedule. She was amazed at how so many of the young women were consuming Red Bull products because they felt they needed the caffeine. They did not like the “buzz” they were getting however, and really liked the product Nadia was using because they loved the energy they felt without the side effects they were getting from the other products. When she told me this, I really appreciated that I had given her something so safe and natural.
Whether our young people are trying to get more energy, more focus, or simply follow the crowd in using the products marketed to them, we should certainly try to educate them more about the seriousness about consuming large amounts of caffeine. Unfortunately, as Dr. Chaney stated in his article, most of these supplements are based on hype and marketing, not science. The Food and Drug Administration apparently only regulates the amount of caffeine in soda, but is not required to in energy drinks as they are considered a dietary supplement, not a food.
Perhaps it will take the tragedy of a young girl losing her life to help more be aware of the dangers of these “energy” drinks. What about you? Are there young people in your family who perhaps are unaware of this? If you are interested in the safe sports products I recommend, go to this contact me site and I will send you more information.