Friday, September 07, 2007
Bringing back "Blow"
The "Blow" press kit comes in a faux cocaine brick with several vials, a credit card and a mirror. It caused quite a stir in our mailroom.
"Coke", "snow", "the white lady" -- I'm not old enough to remember cocaine's heyday, but I've seen enough movies to get a good idea.

Fast forward to 2007 and another sort of heyday -- energy drinks. One of the newest ones on the market is seeking to re-create that Studio 54/"Boogie Nights" cocaine glory, and it has the name to go along with it -- "Blow."

"We're the first powdered energy drink in a resealable vial," says Logan Gola, "Blow's" creator. "It's powerfully effective and convenient to consume." [Editors note: Since this story originally ran, CNN was contacted by the founder of "Zipfizz" who told us that in fact his product was the first powdered energy drink in a resealable vial.]

The similarities don't end with the drink's name. "Blow" also comes in a small vial in white powder form. You simply pour this mixture of caffeine, taurine and other stimulants into any drink to soup it up.

But my concern when I first saw the stuff, apart from the obvious play on the illegal drug -- what if somebody poured this powder into another energy drink, creating a lethal high-caf' cocktail? Or if people took the cocaine allusion a little bit further and actually snorted Blow?

Not to worry says Dr. Eric Lavonas, a North Carolina ER doctor and spokesman for the American College of Emergency Physicians. Although he wouldn't recommend snorting it, he says "Blow" has a little less caffeine than a grande coffee from Starbucks. People who drink those will tell you they pack barely enough punch to get you to the next Starbucks for your second cup of the day.

While caffeine overdose can be serious business, Lavonas says it's not very easy to accomplish. "You most certainly can overdose enough on [caffeine] to die. You just have to really work at it."

So what are the risks associated with caffeine? For starters, too much caffeine when you're not used to it can cause serious problems. "Much as a 15-year-old has three mixed (alcoholic) drinks, he's going to be sick as heck, but that same 15-year-old when he's in college he'll be much less affected." says Lavonas. "If you come out of the blocks with this much caffeine, you're going to feel awful."

Other possible complications can include irritability, the jitters, and potentially serious heart arrhythmias. The bottom line, Lavonas says, "If somebody takes one or two of these things, they're going to feel awful, but it's not going to cause them serious harm."

Do you consume energy drinks? Have you had any bad experiences with them, or do they just give you a much-needed energy boost?
I personally don't like energy drinks all that much. They give me a little burst of energy, but coming down from that high makes me sleepy and very irritable. Plus, one of my friends dranl 5 or 6 a day, regulary fir a few months and while she did zip around it still seemed as if she was moody. Plus she landed in the hospital with kidney failure...
I drink energy drinks everyday, and have never really had a bad reaction. I did how ever take an excedrine migrain pill with an energy drink, and that just made me a little more jittery, and then crashed hard when it was all over with. Nothing serious though.
This whole energy drink thing has me scared for the people that use them. The main reason that I don't use them is that too many cups of coffee will give me the jitters, I learned that while cramming for finals in College. But what really surprised me was the effect that one can of Mountain Dew did to me. My heart was racing before I even finished it! I think its very dangerous for people to be adding more caffeine to something that's already loaded with it, not to mention that coming down from that sort of high just undermines the whole purpose in the first place.
I wouldn't put much stock in this stuff. Zipfizz is a healthy powdered energy drink mix that has been out for more than two years. It also comes in a resealable plastic container. Gola should get his facts straight before speaking. Fad drinks like this will no doubt "blow" away in short order -- deservedly so.
Actually, "energy" drinks never give me energy at all. I remain sleepy and slugish even after a couple of bottles of the stuff. Only thing that works, the B-vitamin infused Emergan-C.
This may sound a little odd, the first 15-20 minutes after having redbull I feel less productive, and I am rather distracted; maybe a little irritable as well. But after that I do experience a boost. Does not happen with other drinks, just redbull; btw I love it.
No, I don't use energy drinks, but I used to work in a convenience store that sold them, and I tell you what, there was alot of kids who did. I mean, little 7- and 8-year olds! To them, it was "cool" to buy a Red Bull and candy cigarettes, then eat them as their parents smoked Marlboros, and drank beer. Sickening. I wouldn't sell them (little kids) the stuff (energy drinks), by the way, any more than I'd sell an 8-year old cough syrup laced with alcohol. In my opinion, caffeine in enough quality amounts to a mind-altering drug, in children's bodies, anyway. Why isn't this stuff regulated? No child should be ingesting these products, and the teen useage, in my opinion AND experience, makes it waaaay too easy for them to look to the "real" thing for the "bigger high", meaning harder drugs.

PS. The kids coming in the store told me it was the useage of Ritalin that's been leading to this new and growing popularization of these energy drinks. From the mouths of babes!
Dear Matt Sloane...

Thank you very much for sharing helpful a piece of information
with us.

Many doctors said that excessive
caffeine in the body can lead to severe medical disorders.
I think so, too.

Also I heard that excessive caffeine in the body can damage the
kidney which produces the urine
passed by the bladder.

According to my experience, proper
amount of caffeine certainly raises
our work efficiency increases
concentration ability and gets rid of fatigue.
However these phenomena last for short period of time not for a long time.

I think caffeine can also deliver the addictive qualities of a drug.

Do not depend on excessive caffeine.
The best way to recover from one's
fatigue is to sleep well. :)

I tossed and turned last night
because I drank a cup of coffee
late afternoon.
I got up this morning from bad side of the bed. :(

thanks again for this information.
take care~~~
I am a graduate student at a large state university, and I see students sitting in class and walking around on campus with energy drinks. I just don't get it. I have never tried one, and I don't plan to in the future. I plan my days so that I can get at least seven hours of sleep a night, I have a couple cups of coffee in the morning, and usually I have a can of diet soda later in the day for a boost.
Isn't it a shame that in order for humans to simply exist and carry out ordinary day-to-day activities they feel it's necessary to take stimulants and drugs. Doesn't this say something about our society when we will induce our bodies to be "ON" longer than is normal to extend our day, instead of simply getting plenty of rest and fluids and enjoying a normal "human" day.
During high school I had to do a lot of work for the end of my semester. I don't often drink caffine. I bought three or four energy drinks, pulled an all nighter, and drank a couple that night. I ran on an energy drink all day at school. At the end of the day I had one left and one of my friends said drink it. I drank it and had enough energy after not sleeping for 40 hours to sprint playing frisbee for 2 hrs. long past when my friend got tired. But after that I had an irregular heart beat for 3 weeks. It was kinda scary. Heart beat, heart beat, thump! Heart beat, heart beat, thump! I haven't even tasted an energy drink since.
It is not the caffeine that produces the surge of energy. It is the adrenaline that your adrenal glands must pump into your blood stream to overcome the caffeine in order to drive blood sugar into your cells. Caffeine inhibits the intake of sugar into your cells. This is why researchers have found that overindulgence of both sugar and sugar-free pop can lead to precursor diseases to diabetes. The excessive caffeine can lead to a blood sugar control problem. It is not natural to consume so much sugar and so much caffeine. For the vast majority of the history of man, our bodies have not functioned in this way. Our life expectancies might be getting longer, but our "quality-of-life" expectancies will probably get shorter.

I think my grandparents lived within the perfect window of human history for quality-of-life. They had more natural foods and less overindulgence. Except for one of my eight ancestral lines back to my great grandparents, 6 out of 8 of my grandparents and great-grandparents lived into their 80's and 90's WITH good health. I, on the other hand, grew up just as the fast-food / packaged-food industry started coming on strong. I am now in my 40's, and in poorer health than my mother who is in her 70's. My mother made mostly meals from scratch and family-garden produce, but my last 20 years have been filled with convenience foods and lots of sugar.
Matt:

Sorry I feel like your report along with the doctor is misleading and not informative.

The isssue is MINORS using these drinks and the secuditive names on the labels to lure minors into using these drinks.

The facts are that minors are using these drinks more than the norm and they are becoming obese and doctors are seeing heart damage from young people due to too much caffeine.

We will stick to water, juice and milk at our house and will not be consuming these drinks.
When I started college last fall and continued to work part time, I started drinking energy drinks to keep me awake and focused. Instead they made me jittery, nervous, and they upset my stomach.

These days I refuse to drink the stuff and even moderate my coffee and soda intake.

We really need to slow down as a society. This is really becoming too much..
Caffine made me realize I had Super Ventricular Tachycardia when I was 17. Drink a cup of coffee or a glass of soda and my heart would go from 60bpm to 200bpm in a few seconds. I had two electrical pathways in my sinoatrial node. While caffine did make me realize I had this problem, after surgery in 2003 to correct it (cardiac ablation) I never wanted to drink the stuff again. It's effect on me as a stimulant and as a diuretic is awful, due to my self imposed sensitivity.
Being a coffee addict since I was around 15 or 16 (10 years ago), I started drinking energy drinks in the past year in hopes of an extra "kick" to keep my energy levels boosted when I felt sluggish at work.

While I like the taste of some energy drinks over coffee, as they taste refreshing rather than dehydrating, I honestly never really feel a lift in my energy. I think I might be too accustomed to caffeine for them to have much an effect on me. I have, however, noticed that if I drink more than 2 double-size cans of energy drinks that I wind up having trouble staying asleep at night.

Honestly, in my own quest for figuring out how to best feel more energetic & less sluggish, I've started to realize that drinking plain old water more often throughout the day makes me feel more refreshed and awake than the sugary energy drinks OR cup after cup of coffee.

I'm also really concerned about the popularity of energy drinks because of the high amounts of sugar in these things. At least coffee is pretty much calorie free, and a couple of teaspoons of sugar and a little milk makes it palatable for most people. Energy drinks, like soda, contain ridiculous amounts of sugar as well as artificial dyes and flavorings. Is this what kids (and adults for that matter) really need to get addicted to?
We've become a society of being too rushed and doing too much all in the name of greed. We've sacrificed the amount of sleep we get as well as down time that we've resorted to drinking even more caffinated drinks along with other "legal" drugs to make up what we've lost. I don't drink energy drinks other then to once in a blue moon mix it with vodka for the taste. I often joke that one day we'll all have IV's inserted so that we wouldn't have to spend time to eat...maybe that's not too far off.
As a high school senior with a 4.2 GPA, I've never even tasted an energy drink, so I don't see why other adolescents rely on them so heavily. If a student manages his time appropriately and does not over-participate, he may lose a little sleep occasionally, but no situation would call for a large sugar or caffeine boost.

Of course, I speak from my own circumstances. Perhaps I have a little more tolerance for fatigue.
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