Envisage a teenager- it’s 8:30 in the morning, and she treads into class. While one would expect this adolescent to be weary- fatigued even- for it is so early in the morning, this teen in particular is wide awake, thoughts spinning endlessly within her head. Every idea, notion and event from her short-lived morning is already replaying in her mind, demanding thorough analysis. Shaking scrupulously as she removes her backpack, her hands are frailty and caution. Her skin takes on a glossy shine and salty drops of sweat invade her eyes- hair plastered to her scalp.

And all because of an energy drink.

Frequently containing high and unregulated amounts of caffeine, these drinks have been reported in association with serious adverse effects. Palpitations, agitation, paraesthesia: these are all symptoms of consuming a singular energy drink and are the epiphany for a formula of mass unhappiness.

Yet, many are seemingly unbeknownst to this.

Excuse my candour, but I believe the fundamental dangers of addiction are detrimental to one’s- especially our youth’s- heath and the evident solution to stopping such occurrences would simply be to ban them. There are no proven positive effects: energy drinks have a dearth of any therapeutic benefit, and many ingredients are understudied, thus meaning they are not regulated. The reports of toxicity, elevates alarm for potentially serious adverse effects in association with energy drink use. It is clear the negatives far outweigh the positives.

A cumulative effect of decreasing health is enforced by a lack of emphasis on the hazards by parents, teachers, social establishments and the media- this of which deepens the magnitude of this problem. As well as educating teenagers- teenagers that withhold our future- toxicity surveillance additionally needs to be improved, and regulations of energy drink sales and consumption should be based on appropriate research.

In my anecdotal experience, teenagers and energy drinks have not assorted well with one another. In the classroom, it is a fait accompli that those of whom devour the drink are suffering gravely, be it either short or long term. As an educated individual, with a concern for social welfare, I now feel compelled to bring this issue to the forefront – can we continue to ignore this debate?