The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

The Student News Site of Fluvanna County High School

The Fluco Beat

Kaiya Wrigley
Coach Jackson and Coach Harlowe-Garrett disapprove of Alani and RedBull energy drinks

When that Rush is Too Much

Much of American society today seems to run on caffeine. Whether it is a macchiato from Starbucks, smoothies for a pre-workout, an iced coffee from Dunkin’, or ever-popular energy drinks, caffeine is an essential part of many peoples’ day.

However, they may not realize that when they swing by the drive-through or grab a can of Monster on their way out the door, these caffeine-filled drinks, especially energy drinks, can be extremely harmful to their bodies. According to an article from the National Library of Medicine, energy drinks increase a person’s heart rate and blood pressure due to their plentiful amounts of caffeine. The article also states that energy drinks can create many health conditions including caffeine intoxication, caffeine-induced anxiety, and sleeping disorders.

Yet even with this myriad of negative side effects, people especially can down can after can of Monster, Red Bull, or Celsius energy drinks. These drinks are also popular among student-athletes, something high school athletic directors and coaches frown on.

Fluvanna Athletic Director Scott Morris strongly discourages energy drinks in general, but especially before any high school activity. Many students say they suspect energy drinks are banned from school grounds because that’s how the National Collegiate Athletics Association handles energy drinks. The fact is, however, that they are not banned as high schools cannot legally ban energy drinks. Despite this, energy drinks aren’t sold on campus for many reasons, one being that they are dangerous and disliked by most staff members and coaches.

“It’s as simple as energy drinks aren’t good for young people, and we as an athletic department and as part of the Virginia High School League, discourage and don’t recommend using such products,” said Morris.

Assistant Athletic Director Jason Barnett agrees, and added that energy drinks give your body different stimulants that aren’t good for you. He explained that drinks give your body artificial energy you might not be used to or prepared for, and that they provide artificial energy which can cause abnormally high heart rates, potentially leading to harm.

FCHs Baseball Head Coach Joel Gray agrees with Morris and Barnett. “Drinking those drinks can lead to unusual heart rhythms,” he said. “The best thing athletes can do is drink water or even Gatorade.”

Other coaches, such as Volleyball Head Coach Christi Harlowe-Garrett and Boys’ Basketball Coach Heath Bralley, are also not fans of energy drinks. They say energy drinks are unhealthy, have too much caffeine, and are dangerous. “Energy drinks are a lose-lose situation as far as your heart goes,” said Harlowe-Garrett.

According to Jefferson Health, energy drinks can cause arrhythmia—a condition where your heart produces irregular heartbeats. Arrhythmia can cause damage to your heart, brain, and other organs. In addition, having arrhythmia makes it harder and more dangerous for students to participate in athletics.

These coaches also don’t like energy drinks for a number of other reasons as well. Once your drink is consumed, you go on a sugar and caffeine high for hours, and then you crash–meaning your energy levels drop tremendously and you’ll feel drowsy. Feeling drowsy during games or warm-ups can nearly be dangerous because when tired, players are less likely to think about technique or warming their bodies up in the right way so as not to hurt themselves.

FCHS athletic trainer Tyler Golden also discourages the use of energy drinks because of their caffeine. “Caffeine is a diuretic,” he said. “I’ve seen some of these drinks like C4 and Ghost that have 200mg of caffeine which is [equal to drinking] three and a half cups of coffee at once,” he added. A diuretic drink makes you lose liquids in your body, thereby causing dehydration. Athletes being dehydrated during games can lead to a decrease in endurance and reaction times, and increase the possibility of injury, according to an article from the National Library of Medicine.

Despite so many coaches be adamant that students should avoid such drinks, many still choose to drink them. I a recent poll on Instagram by @flucojournalism, 64 percent of student respondents said they like drinking energy drinks, while 37 percent said they drink one daily.

“I start my morning off every day with a Celsius. I always drink it when I do my makeup. If I don’t drink one I’m always tired in my first block. I look forward to drinking one every morning, and people who don’t drink Celsius are missing out,” said sophomore River McMillian.


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