On Sunday, The People – a paper that I do not consider serious reading but is worth the occasional perusal – reported the effects of drinking five cans of Red Bull on the system of one of its reporters. The journalist drank five cans in succession, her heart rate and tension rising with every finished can.
She was declared unfit to drive after consuming the five cans of stimulant energy drink, reportedly feeling too edgy and excitable. She also wrote that she had trouble sleeping and had a bad headache in the morning.
Well, pardon me, but, no duh! If you consume five cans in a row of a caffeine-and-sugar packed drink, you are bound to feel that way. Five Red Bulls would equal nearly 15 cups of sugared coffee. (There is, however, a sugar-free version of Red Bull now on the market.)
France and Denmark have banned the drink, while Sweden considers doing so. That is not the way to deal with the potentially harmful effects of Red Bull.
A few years ago, there was a controversy over mixing alcoholic drinks with Red Bull. This was because the heavy caffeine content in the Red Bull made it hard to judge just how much alcohol the drinker was consuming. People passed out due to taking in more alcohol than they thought they were drinking. The controversy washed over without much becoming of it; bars still sell cans of Red Bull.
Regarding the latest controversy surrounding the drink, I find it hard to imagine that anyone would want to consume five cans of Red Bull. People might drink two in a row, and they would then be quite a tad energetic. However, what kind of science dictated the decisions of two nations to ban the drink because it has the potential to make idiots that drink more than two cans at one sitting very uncomfortable?
True enough, I sure as hell don’t want anybody driving completely wired from too much caffeine. I would punish that as severely as driving while drunk or stoned.
France isn’t about to ban coffee. What’s to stop me from consuming three or four espressos on a lovely warm Niçois morning? I can have as much coffee as I like, in France or anywhere. In fact, banning Red Bull for being too heavily caffeinated is as ludicrous as banning Everclear for having too heavy an alcohol content. Or maybe the French think of Red Bull as a religious symbol, hence its ban. (The Danes and Swedes, being Scandinavians, have always been keen to ban substances that either intoxicate or stimulate.)
Banning is not the answer to the Red Bull “crisis.” Yes, caffeine, like any drug, has the potential to harm if overdosed on. So slap a warning on the cans.
But banning the drink is prohibition, and prohibition is the ultimate evil.Powered by Sidelines