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Ban The Bull

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

It was with a vague mixture of surprise and pleasure that my eyes settled upon the front page of yesterday’s Courier. Gracing the front of the paper was a large (out of focus) image of a can of Relentless energy drink, clutched in the pseudo-militant fist of a disgruntled mother. Her 13 year old son had apparently been sent home from school due to the severe level of the ill effects he was suffering due to drinking a can of said “energy” drink before school.

This woman, Ms Mackenzie (no relation), has successfully lobbied her local Scotmid to restrict sales of said drinks to customers who are 16 years old and over. They have imposed this ban on “underage” energy drinks sales with no legal obligation to do so.

Bravo I say. Those who spend more time than is healthy in my immediate proximity will have heard me ranting on this particular subject before. I have issues with so called “energy” drinks anyway but I find the combination of children and energy drinks especially loathsome. Hyperactive children are a pain in the ass generally with their fidgeting and squawking and all round annoyingness. Hyperactive children on Red Bull are a horse of an entirely different colour.

I had a can of Red Bull once. One can. Once. The resultant palpitations and sweats were enough to convince me there is no merit in the claim that it gives you metaphorical wings or even any energy. It just made me edgy and paranoid and left me feeling slightly in fear of a heart attack. Admittedly I seem to be particularly sensitive to caffeine. I don’t (can’t) drink coffee. It’s probably not the effect it has on everyone. But what it definitely didn’t do was give me any energy. If anything it left me feeling more tired and worn out.

Subsequently I have been told, although I have no evidence other than the word of a nutritionist, that caffeine over-stimulates your adrenal gland. This basically leaves your metabolism in a physical “panic” state which obviously is detrimental to your physical well being. I’m not sure about the basis for this theory but I do know that almost 2 years ago I cut out nearly all the caffeine consumption in my diet and felt much better for it. Even tea. It’s all hippy herbal nonsense for me these days or caffeine free. But I digress.

The problem is less a physiological one for me and a mental one. A brat with a can of Red Bull believes that it is going to give him/her some magical stimulant effect and make them really hyper and mental like and in the truest placebo style they start to act up. It’s similar to those experiments that were done where people were given what they thought was alcohol and the belief they were drinking alcoholic drinks led them to behave in a drunk manner, psychologically protected from how big a twat they are being by the belief they are drunk. Same thing with infant energy drink syndrome.

Symptoms of IEDS include (but are by no means limited to):

Fighting with posters out of the poster racks, moving CD and DVD header boards around in the sections because its OH SO FUNNY, pushing every button on the listening posts really hard just so you can push every button, loudly “singing” when listening to music on the headphones on the listening posts and giggling like a fanny at nothing.

Arguably they are similar to the symptoms of chronic marijuana abuse among older members of society but as Ms Mackenzie so righteously points out in the article in the Courier, energy drinks are a gateway drug to the harder highs of alcohol and illegal drugs. She is currently lobbying mp’s and other retailers in an attempt to get a blanket ban on the underage sale of these drinks. Ms Mackenzie I salute you. More power to your elbow!

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