Crashing during finals – reaching for an energy drink could be an unwise move.
Students who plan on fueling up their finals engines with a Red Bull or Rockstar should think twice, says David Dausey, Ph.D., chair of the public health department at Mercyhurst University.
“Energy drinks are the equivalent of unfiltered cigarettes. Many students will consume excessive amounts of energy drinks during finals week to try to keep up. When they are combined with lack of sleep, stress and alcohol consumption, you can have a very dangerous combination,” he said in a press release.
Amid recent claims that the drink 5-Hour Energy could have played in a role in 13 deaths and 33 hospitalizations during the past four years, Dausey issues a strong warning in this month’s The Dausey File: Public Health News Today (see video below).
“We’ve already reached a point where many people in the public health community compare these sugary drinks to cigarettes in terms of their threat to public health,” he said, adding that the FDA has been slow to address the threat.
“The FDA doesn’t regulate energy drinks as food; instead they are regulated as ‘dietary supplements,’” he said. “This means that the regulatory standards for energy drinks are different than the standards for a typical soft drink. The FDA has been a day late and a dollar short for practically every threat to human health for the last decade – from pesticides to BPA. Don’t wait for the FDA to come out and say energy drinks are unsafe. Use common sense and stay away from energy drinks.”
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