• Rich Barlow

    Senior Writer

    Rich Barlow

    Rich Barlow is a senior writer at BU Today and Bostonia magazine. Perhaps the only native of Trenton, N.J., who will volunteer his birthplace without police interrogation, he graduated from Dartmouth College, spent 20 years as a small-town newspaper reporter, and is a former Boston Globe religion columnist, book reviewer, and occasional op-ed contributor. Profile

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There are 12 comments on Should You Shun Energy Drinks?

  1. Well this is one biased article. How about quoting someone who realizes that normal, sane consumption (I’d say about under 10 “doses” of this terrible drug) has no side effects for normal people other than increased productivity, minor stomach pain, and jitters. Caffeine sensitive people, and they are aware of their condition, should not be drinking this in the first place. Basically, it’s like anyone else partaking in some of Mr. Jones’ “koolaid.” If you’ve never had caffeine before, use some sense and trying something less decaffeinated first, maybe a diet coke? This “tragic number” of people are just examples of Darwin’s theory in caffeinated action.

    1. Beyond the clear bias shown in this story, I have to ask: WHAT is the reason for making this a lead story at a large teaching and research university? And what in heaven’s name is the purpose of “should BU students bypass 5-Hour Energy drinks available for purchase in University food stores?”

      Does that somehow make the story relevant to Boston University? Are 5-Hour Energy drinks sold at BU stores different than those sold at CVS, grocery and convenience stores throughout the city, or elsewhere? Come on! It seems pretty premature to be writing about the POSSIBILITY that the death of 13 people MAY have been associated in SOME way with this product.

    2. Consuming an extreme amount of anything, including water, will kill you. So I agree that the odds of a sudden death from consuming a reasonable amount of nearly any product on the market will kill you (sans an alergy).

      However, I was taking this product once or twice a day for about a year. It turns out that it was causing painful, scaring cystic acne. About 10% of the population is sensitive to extremely high levels of B12, which was causing the acne.

      I think the general rule is to try and avoid consuming highly processed and unnatural products. God only knows what we’ll find out about high levels of guarine, taurine, and nutrasweet in 30 years. Why not just have a cup of coffee instead?

  2. People should be warned and educated on consumption, but they have a right to buy products from companies that have a right to sell those products. I’m writing this after consuming a V8 energy; regulating energy drinks makes as much sense as regulating assignments at BU because they cause my all-nighters, therefore forcing me to consume caffeine. Please. I chose to wait to do my work, I chose to stay up, I chose to purchase an energy drink. Don’t penalize the company for people who think it’s perfectly healthy to consume a Monster every hour of the day. It’s like the McDonalds lawsuit all over again.

  3. “Even more concerning, these beverages are displacing more nutrient-rich ones, such as … sugar-free plain water.”

    Yum, SUGAR FREE WATER! Sounds nutritious. If you read into the deaths associated with these beverages, there are more often than not other contributing factors. If you dont replace a meal with 3 bottles of five hour energy, I think you probably are not at risk. Like everything else, always in moderation…

  4. I thought it was hilarious when they said “distributor recently reported the caffeinated beverage’s possible involvement in 13 deaths.” I’m pretty sure more people have died from drinking water. People need to learn that anything over consumed is not healthy for us even products that are healthy for our diet. Lets not knock the companies and their products, but instead the consumers that are informed.

  5. As was stated before, everything in moderation (including moderation!?). If you consider the total amount of caffeine “users” to the amount of deaths caused by it, the numbers would be negligible. I don’t mean to trivialize anyone’s death, but statistically speaking, it’s quite unusual to die from caffeine overdoses.

    Like every over the counter drug or supplement, 5 hour energy also has a label which suggests dose size. If I buy psuedofed and decide to take more than what’s recommended, the sky’s the limit…

    Either way, there should be no reason to take 5-hour energy off the shelves, as adults should have the ability to use it properly/within their limits.

    Also, who else is excited for caffeinated cracker jacks!?! Oh my goodness…

  6. Thanks for the insight, get that energy drinks in tandem is the main source of risk. Any informations about the energy shot from Vitamin B12 in other energy drinks?

  7. If we want to solve the problem of reliance on sugary, caffeinated drink, maybe we should examine the stress culture on campus that leads people to use these drinks to get their work done and what’s causing them to eat less/fewer regular meals and not sleep. I mean, really. Especially during finals.

    1. I sort of agree with Jess. Part of the problem is that some students don’t get the proper nutrients because they feel that they have no time to eat full meals when there’s studying to be done. I wouldn’t say that “stress culture” is the real issue though. School is hard so it causes stress. How you deal with stress is up to you. Evaluating the causes of stress probably won’t deter people from energy drinks. When I was at BU, I always had a 5-hour or two in my backpack. I’d drink one if I really needed to stay up. It worked, but it’s best in moderation. The energy you’ll experience after drinking a few in a short period might not feel natural and could keep you from getting work done. People just need to find out what works for them. Some people could get away with having half of one (resealable caps). Don’t overdo it, and avoid mixing with booze. Would be interesting to have an article with statements from BU students (the users).

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