I like to ingratiate myself with fellow bloggers. Since I’ve been blogging off and on since 2005-2006, bloviating on and on about various subjects, I’ve met a lot of people. I like looking through tags and checking out what they have to say, whether I disagree or not. Being more bored that I can possibly stand, I found Allison Walls’ post about energy drinks entitled Unhealthy Energy.

As a bored individual can possibly drive themselves to doing such things, I’d like to form a retort. Not one of vitriol or anger or disdain, but a rebuke of some sort of a positive, ‘elucidating’ manner. I would have replied to the claims in her post on the afore-linked blog, but she has comments disabled, so I’ll be a cool dude and advertise (she’s a marketing major, so she should ‘preciate dis, yo!) her blog in my informal reply.

In her post she states:

Energy Drinks 101:

Approximately 66% percent of its drinkers are between the ages of 13 and 35 years old
Energy drinks contain about three times the amount of caffeine as a cola

Allegedly, approximately, accordingly, roughly 97.5% of all statistics are made up. See what I did there? All jokes aside, that ’66% statistic’ is as plain as day. Go out and head by a middle/high school after the school day’s over and watch the kids (hey, don’t be a creeper, damn it!). Energy drinks will be spotted. True that, Allison. No argument from me there. As for energy drinks containing three times the amount of caffeine as Cola, that’s subjective. A typical energy drink ( 16 OZ. — standard Monster, standard Rockstar, standard Redbull) contains about 160 milligrams of caffeine, in which you are right in that claim. However, there are energy shots that contain only 90-110 milligrams of caffeine, only twice as much as Cola. Hell, Monster Absolute Zero has 130 milligrams, 30 milligrams less than the rest of the slew of Monster drinks. Want to be extreme? A SPIKE Shooter contains 300 milligrams of caffeine at only about 8 ounces. Compare that to Cola, and let the media portray it as the ‘devil’ as common sense fails people when the phrase ‘consume/drink responsibly’ is thrown out the window. ‘Energy drinks’ shouldn’t be compared to sodas. Does a soda have the label ‘supplement facts’ on the back of a can? No ma’am. Energy drinks, however, do — companies, counting their cash, will hand over the responsibility to teens and adults to consume their products wisely. These companies shouldn’t have to hold the hands of these people that are going overboard with their drinks. The fact that this is happening, and that the high horse moral-cajoling folks of the idiotic anti-energy drink movement are calling for a ban or ‘regulation’, it ruins it for the rest of us that understand what we are imbibing. The point: education and understanding.

She continues:

Energy drinks are used to give us energy throughout the day, but what are the side effects of energy drinks?

– Energy drinks cause nausea and abnormal heart rhythms
– Consumption of two or more energy drinks in a single day can lead to excessive caffeine intake
– Energy drinks have high doses of caffeine, which means a lot of calories
– Energy drinks consumed with alcohol may affect heart rates, blood pressure and even mental states

Energy drinks CAUSE nausea and abnormal heart rhythms? Correlation does not equal causation. Energy drinks don’t cause nausea or abnormal heart rhythms for me, nor for a lot of people out there. For some? Perhaps, but that’s their tolerance to caffeine that needs to be recognized and noticed by them. That statement is tantamount to saying coffee causing nausea and abnormal heart rhythms, because that’s just as true in the subjective sense. Don’t generalize, though. You would have been better off saying that energy drinks CAN cause nausea and abnormal heart rhythms, but that statement is just as useless as saying “a sedentary lifestyle CAN cause obesity”. Standing up, walking around my house in a circle five times in a row CAN cause me to be dizzy. Doesn’t mean it will.

Ah, consumption of two or more energy drinks in a single day can lead to excessive caffeine intake? Ah… ah. Apples and oranges. Different strokes for different folks. A 90 lb/pound 4’11″-5’0″ 11-12 year old girl drinking an energy drink would react different to it than a 245 lb/pound 6’5″ beast of a 30 year old man consuming an energy drink. Some people can easily tolerate 500-700 milligrams of caffeine a day. Some people can’t even handle a soda’s average 44-52 milligrams of caffeine. It’s a subjective topic. At least in this one you correctly used the word ‘can’ instead of generalizing and saying that energy drinks ‘will’ lead to excessive caffeine intake.

Caffeine leads to a lot of calories? Oh, lawd, What? Allison, that does not make any sense. What has been written and now been seen, oh lawdy. Caffeine is a psychoactive stimulant, not a vehicle for a caloric entity. I mentioned SPIKE Shooter above. The drink contains 300 milligrams of caffeine and zero grams of sugar. No calories. Copious amounts of caffeine does not equal a high ‘dosage’ of calories or sugar, but the fact that energy drinks out there that contain a horde of sugar (and thus calories) exists must have given you this idea to link caffeine to high caloric intake. Various sugar-free energy drinks contain a high dose of caffeine but, obviously, no calories. Strong, black coffee will contain caffeine, but no sugar. Look at the standard, average, mundane fat burner… caffeine, no calories, no sugar. So, no, high doses of caffeine does NOT mean ‘a lot of calories’. That false information on your post needs to be revised and edited.

No argument from me regarding the energy drink/alcohol conflation. I’ve never been an advocate of consuming the two, but it doesn’t have to simply be “don’t combine energy drinks with alcohol!” The real fact is that one should generally NOT consume caffeine with alcohol. Caffeine increases one’s heart rate, and alcohol tends to slow it down. Furthermore, both caffeine and alcohol are diuretics. But I digress. That’s another topic for another time. I agree with this statement of yours, but it’s not solely the energy drinks being at fault here. They are just in correlation because of the popular drink concoctions including them, when in reality it’s the combined consumption of caffeine and alcohol both that CAN harm somebody.

One last thing she wrote that is irking me:

Studies have shown that energy drinks can cause more harm to your body than helping you to have more energy.

What a crock of shit, a statement that wields the biggest ‘verbal bullshit sword’ that I’ve seen/read in the last 48 hours. Allison, don’t be vague and state that “studies have shown…” without posting said studies. And if you are going to post studies, don’t slosh them onto a blog from just any who-diddly-do website. Produce studies from a peer reviewed journal that have published studies on humans in vivo. Otherwise the studies are nothing more than bunk he-said/she-said garbage that you OR I BOTH could self-publish, convolute, modify and fabricate on our own. It’s scammy. Do I recommend an energy drink to a 45-year-old fat ass who’s looking to lose weight and gain energy? Nope, but nothing’s stopping the said obese individual from doing so.

The bottom line is, energy drinks — just like anything and everything in life — should be consumed responsibly AND moderately. They shouldn’t be victimized or demonized (this whole “take a stand against energy drinks” horse shit is as moronic as it gets; that’s not me being mean by stating that — that’s me being truthful and honest about my thoughts and feelings toward that dreck) because some people irresponsibly, immaturely and stupidly tragically over-consumed without taking common sense into consideration. That’s tantamount to saying football the sport should be banned because concussions can lead to severe brain damage and suicidal tendencies. Listen, if you like energy drinks, consume them. If they bring you joy, consume them. I can’t stand the whole “YOLO/You Only Live Once” adage, but it’s apropos here, because I believe wholeheartedly that an individual should do what makes him/her happy, and if they like to throw back an energy drink or two, and they can handle it without any negative side effects, then that’s their prerogative. That doesn’t mean it’s healthy or unhealthy. Can it lead to an unhealthy lifestyle? I hate that phrase or question — can eating a pound of broccoli leave to an unhealthy evening? (Go check the toilet after 2-8[more] hours!) I don’t like the healthy/unhealthy argument. Nothing in this world is truly healthy OR unhealthy to the core, because for every ‘healthy’ thing can render itself into something unhealthy depending on the circumstances.

More on this later. Damn, it’s confirmed that I’m bored, but I had something to say (write). Again, this post wasn’t meant to contain vibes of vitriol or anger, but my style of writing may come off that way when I’m making a point or sounding sarcastically silly (my proclivity to use expletives or crazy contrasts/comparisons). The “take a stand against energy drinks” bullshit is just that: bullshit. Far-fetched, over-hyped and over-heralded. If you want kids to consume energy drinks responsibly, educate them. Banning them and making drinks illegal to be consumed by minors won’t work, because they’ll find adults to get it to them. Banning energy drinks completely won’t work, either, because we all know how prohibition worked (ha!). You know what DOES work? Educating yourself, understanding common sense (a difficult task for many people) and accepting consumer responsibility.

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