Blue: Drink, drink, drink that energy drink, but only in small doses

Brandon Blue

Red Bull is a cruel mistress. Yet some evenings, when the studying is just too much, the collegiate survival instinct kicks in and we start knocking them back. In the morning of course, we come down harder and deader than Icarus in the Mediterranean.

Those blurry memories of our youths may well be a thing of the past. A new study out this week from the University of Miami Department of Pediatrics indicates energy drinks contain no benefits to children, and chronic use of them is a bad thing.

Evidently it leads to strokes and even death in some cases. Kind of like how watching “Pokemon” causes seizures in some cases.

The blogosphere responded with a quickness that can only be described as lickety. The bandwagon nearly broke from all the bloggers hopping on it, chanting in unison the inherent evils associated with energy drinks.

As a friend once told me, “If I wanted to hear their crap, I’d sit next to them in the bathroom.” In reality, the only thing separating this issue from that of video game violence is nobody is calling for a ban on energy drinks; unless you live in Long Island.

Either way, in both instances, there’s no demonstrable benefit to the contested object and the theory is that minors consume too much of both. Therefore it is up to us responsible adults to save children from the evils that imperil them; evils we with all our science and numbers barely comprehend.

Caffeine is not the issue. Note that just eight ounces of brewed coffee contains, at the least, an amount of caffeine equivalent to an 8.4 ounce can of Red Bull, or 80 milligrams.

The heart of the issue is that, for some incomprehensibly stupid reason, energy drink manufacturers aren’t required to label or even list all of the ingredients on their cans. In terms of absent yet badly needed federal oversight, I put that just above flamethrowers and right below Tannerite, though I doubt energy drinks would kill you as spectacularly.

Death by caffeine is rather grim. Just last year we saw the case of Michael Lee Bedford, a British man who ate two spoonfuls of pure caffeine powder and chased it down with — you guessed it — an energy drink. The coroner estimated he drank the equivalent of 70 cans of Red Bull.

In case you’re not clear on what happens to your body at your 70th Red Bull, let me enlighten you.

You vomit blood, perspire profusely and then die.

The only way to challenge Bedford for his Darwin Award would be to combine alcohol, a depressant, with caffeine, a stimulant. Only the most supreme of idiots would do such a thing and of course, they would make the most supreme of drinks.

In the case of do-it-yourself vodka and Red Bull mixes or store-bought Four Loko, the issue is the same: People feel alert enough to hop behind the wheel of a car and inadvertently get the high score at Carmageddon on their way home.

With that said, know that I myself understand the allure of energy drinks.

When I was younger, I got hooked briefly on Rockstar, which is equated best to the sweat from a soldier’s backside after a 10-mile ruck. Using it I once stayed awake for 36 consecutive hours, at the end of which time my primary means of movement had been reduced to random muscle spasms. Realizing how close I came to dependence, I switched to the less addictive Camel Lights.

The point? Unless your urine is green and/or pure AMP, you’re probably not drinking toxic levels of energy drinks. Not that you should try to become a human Red Bull dispenser.

When all the cool people at the party want to mix energy drinks and alcohol, resist. Lash yourself to the mast like Odysseus because, when you crash, it’s always on the rocks, never the sandbar.