Episode 1: A trip to the 7/11
They call me Super Detective. I point out the obvious, perhaps the less obvious to some. This isnâ€™t for money, and it isnâ€™t for fame. I’m working pro-bono for the good of mankind. The rest will work itself out in time.
Thereâ€™s a case at hand.
Itâ€™s been several months now since a variety of ‘pep’ drinks have been coming to surface in the community. Rockstar, Redbull, Jolt Cola, itâ€™s all the same. Drinks designed to give you a high. A kick in the ass generally associated with a large double double and some Quaaludes.
These are products that most ‘sober’ socialites will dare to try, and the ‘wasted masses’ will use to sober up, since they nurture the caffeine beast inside us all. One notable product within the new wave kick drink phenomenon is ‘Mountain Dew Energy’. Changing its name a few times, Iâ€™m not quite sure what the new name of this caffeine inspired, mountain fresh pick me up actually is. Directly on the bottle is a warning stating that the drink is not recommended for children. Yet walk around any mall, or volunteer for an afternoon school program and watch as children bounce off of the walls and talk about their ADD problems while chugging their delicious, yellow, nutrient free caffeine supplement. There’s no regulatory control over these products and seemingly no one cares about potential after effects. Most of these products recommend that no one consume more than two cans per day. Yet the masses rush to the bar every Friday night to chug back at least half a dozen Redbull and vodkaâ€™s. Are we acting responsibly? More importantly will I unknowingly regret this one day? At one point propaganda films about the hazards of various unknown chemicals were created to scare us. Today we scoff at such ‘old-school’ propaganda, and yet I wonder.
In picking up one of the latest ‘Enhancement’ drinks I failed to read the cautions before purchase. Since the drink was on sale, I decided to buy it – the latest Gatorade product called ‘Propel’. It was in a fancy looking blue bottle, and grape flavoured. Honestly, how can you give that shit up? After finishing the wonderful grape drink I finally read the warnings.
Vitamin B6 â€“ Consult a health practitioner prior to use if you are taking levodopa.
Vitamin B12 – supplementation can mask folate deficiency. Consult a health care practitioner if you are uncertain whether you are taking adequate folate.
Niacin â€“ Consult a heath care practitioner if you have impaired liver function. Discontinue use if you experience a prolonged flushing, burning, tingling or itching sensation on the face, arms or chest.
First of all I had to find out what levodopa is. It seems that levodopa is used for the temporary treatment of Parkinsonâ€™s disease. Donâ€™t think Iâ€™ll need that drug just yet. Letâ€™s move on.
What the fuck is folate and how the hell do I know if I have a folate deficiency? As it turns out, folate is a water-soluble vitamin B supplement. As stated by the warning, itâ€™s not Vitamin B12 but B12 masks the deficiency, deceiving you into thinking you have enough folate. Damn vitamins! You can find folate naturally in such vegetables as spinach and turnip. Anything with folic acid will also improve your folate situation. Do any of us really know if weâ€™re deficient though? The most common causes of folate deficiency are pregnancy and alcohol abuse. Iâ€™m not quite sure what constitutes actual alcohol abuse but Iâ€™m sure a few of us might fall into this very broad category. You know this kind of scares me. For all I know I have a folate deficiency. I donâ€™t eat all that much spinach or turnip and I certainly drink a fair bit. Will I have some sort of problem after drinking ‘Propel’? Luckily not, but I could have! Fuck, just the thought of a prolonged flushing, burning, tingling or itching sensation on the face, arms or chest turns me off! If I had read these cautions before purchasing ‘Propel’ I would have placed it back on the shelf.
In the end I conclude that we have a lot of dubious vitamin and caffeine enhanced drink products. Whoâ€™s to say what these drinks will do to us in the long run. Just watch out with those cautions. You wouldnâ€™t want to experience any intense itching, burning or tingling sensations anytime soon.