Red Bull. Monster. Rockstar. All rocket fuel for the heart. But the kids are drinking it up like never before. Wonder why your child notes their heart skip or race? Ask about how many of these drinks they have a day. You'll be amazed.
It turns out that my son likes this stuff. I tried one this weekend for the first time. I did the "sugar free" variety." It was bad, but then, I know this stuff wasn't marketed to folks who can consume other "stimulating" beverages. No, this is for kids.
What I've been impressed with is how Red Bull took over my son's high school: a young man came up to their Red Bull car and was recruited. How? Free Red Bull for all the years he's in high school provided he gave it away to all of his friends. He's one of the most popular kids in his school. Gorilla marketing at its most powerful.
But this stuff can make you sick. Too much of this stuff can definitely cause symptoms: skipped heart beats, racing heart, anxiety, nervousness, hyperventillation with its associated numbness in the hands and feet, and in kids with underlying heart disorders, it can certainly exacerbate preexisting heart rhythms. Our pressured kids are drinking this stuff to stay awake long enough to do their homework after gaming too late at night or staying up on their cell phones talking to their girlfriends or boyfriends ("Who needs sleep?" I've heard kids say.)
But the biggest worry is how some teens use the drinks. Some report downing several cans in a row to get a buzz, and a new study found a surprising number of poison-center calls from young people getting sick from too much caffeine.Starting to sound a bit like the cigarette industry, doesn't it?
Danger only adds to the appeal, said Bryan Greenberg, a marketing consultant and an assistant professor of marketing at Elizabethtown College.
And don't get me started on how ridiculously expensive these drinks are...
I guess you have to pay for all those freebies somehow.