Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Why not ban coffee and pop too!?

Once again, Health Canada is flexing its muscle. This time energy drinks, in particular 'Red Bull', are under investigation.

Health Canada says it's now looking into three reports of adverse health effects from consuming the drink.

"The whole situation is under review right now," said Health Canada's Natalie Lalonde, opening up the possibility that the drink could be banned in this country as well.

At about $3.50 for a can, Red Bull is an expensive drink. But the owner of a downtown Toronto variety store says Red Bull quickly replaced Coca-Cola as his number one seller.

The can may be small, but it packs a big caffeine punch. One serving has the same amount of the stimulant as a large Starbucks coffee.

[. . . . .]

Ciaran Persad did exactly what you're not supposed to do with Red Bull -- he drank it while working out.

"A lot of strange things happened actually," Persad said. "I got some strange muscle twitches in my arm."

The University of Toronto's Ahmed el-Sohemy says he's not surprised. A gene-diet interaction specialist, el-Sohemy has been studying the effects of caffeine on the human body for years.

"I think it's dangerous to market a product as a sports drink that has these ingredients in it," he said.

Red Bull is the best-selling energy drink in Europe, where retailers sell 1.6 billion cans each year. But, Canadian consumers will have to wait for the results of the Health Canada review to find out whether the drink will stay on the shelves in this country as well.

Well, if it makes you feel funny, don't drink it! Other studies suggest that the supposed effects of energy drinks are exaggarated. Canadian hysteria rears its ugly head yet again.


Temujin said...

I really think Canadians just want the basics. Who needs such frivilous luxuries like "sports drinks" and the like. Why, I'm sure if they banned everything except saltine crackers and bottled water, Canada would be a lot better place to live.

Mike said...

Ice cream hurts the roof of my mouth sometimes and I curl up in pain like a little baby.

Anonymous said...

They're going to have to review and possibly ban water after they're finished shaking down - I mean testing - Red Bull drinks.

Once I powered down a big glass of cold water right in the middle of a workout, and the next thing I knew, I was doubled up in agony with a massive cramp. And this is promoted as a "health drink"? Somebody should do something!

Anonymous said...

I am glad that Canada is checking out the safety of this drink; that the government has an interest in the health of its people. Children are drinking this stuff and are ending up in the emergency room with heart papitations because of the massive amount of caffeine in it. I think that it should be regulated for the children's sake. Not everyone knows that caffeine acts as a diuretic, and that if you're using this drink to boost performance during a sporting event, you need to make sure to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration!

Anonymous said...

I agree, my 19 year old son had a few vodkas and red bulls together. The problem is that he had not eaten as he was too excited about his upcoming gig and he had been busy rehearsing. Instead of performing at his gig, he was found dead on a car park. He became very ill at the party and felt "out of it". He left the party early whilst his friends continued on to a club. They found him in a bad, disorientated and hyperactive state when they got home but thought he just needed to sleep it off. His girlfriend went to make him a drink. In the time it took for her to make a drink, he went to the window for some fresh air and fell to his death three floors down. His blood tests show that he had less than the drink driving limit of alcohol and no drugs (he did not do drugs) in his sytem. But the effect of Vodka was greatly increased by drinking Red Bull and the fact that he had not eaten. I know that some countries are looking to ban such drinks. We do not know enough about them. We should be looking at the effects more closely. I do not blame Red Bull. I just feel that it is being pushed heavily as a great drink and I am sure it is but when combined with alcohol it can be a lethal cocktail.

Anonymous said...

Don't blame the energy drinks. People who are already unhealthy MUST STOP blaming foods that are the straw on the camel's back.