Monday, October 30, 2006

Red Bull and teenagers.

Fox News has an article speculating on the amounts and dangers of energy drink use by teens. New brands are being created daily, and the drinks aren't regulated by the government.

There's no evidence that these drinks are actually dangerous, although nasty side effects can make you feel sick for a few hours. I "overdosed" on caffeine once studying for an exam by drinking too many coffees with extra espresso in a row, and although it didn't hurt me in the long run, I was nauseated and shaky for 5 or 6 hours.

Energy drinks are self-limiting in a way. The website has a calculator where you enter your weight and favorite energy drink, and it tells you how many you'd have to drink for it to be deadly. I'd have to drink 115 Red Bulls to kill myself, according to the Energy Fiend calculation. I'd be shaky and sick to my stomach after 3, so that's not going to happen.

Since the "deadly amount" of these drinks is so impossibly high for normal people, and because caffeine causes people to be nauseated way before that point, energy drinks sound like the safest way to consume caffeine. Even if some reckless teenager drank as many as they could in a row, they'd be vomiting way before the toxic point. Caffeine pills would be a more logical target of ominous articles like this one.

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