Op-Ed: Red Bull Almost Killed Me

Two weeks ago I had a near death experience. I drank red bull and coffee while studying for midterms, only to go through one of the worst experiences of my life. 

To be fair, I didn’t think that anything would happen to me. My friends have never had an issue with it. I was tired, even after drinking three cups of coffee already, and studying for finals and I thought it would help. Little did I know, the next day I would have the worst headaches and stomach aches, and the only thing I would want to do was throw up and sleep.

These symptoms lasted for a week. Every day and night my hands were shaking. I couldn’t eat anything and I had to take Advil every morning to ease the searing headaches. I went to a doctor to see why my pains did not go away and he told me that I could have died from the caffeine overload given by the Red Bull. He told me that my heart could have stopped because Red Bull amps up your heart rate.

I was shocked. I didn’t know how bad Red Bull is for you. I never thought about it before because no one told me how harmful it is.

As I looked more into how dangerous it is, I was surprised about what I found. In May of 2017, a 16 year-old boy died from having an excessive amount of caffeinated drinks. The kid thought that drinking Red Bull would be harmless since it is legal. He was healthy and had no heart conditions. Another case happened earlier in 2014. A senior in high school went into cardiac arrest and died from drinking Red Bull. She too was healthy and active.

I then read what it does to the body. It increases your blood pressure and heart rate instantly (this is what causes heart failure and cardiovascular problems), it damages your brain, bones, and muscles. It can also lead to longer effects such as behavioral problems and dental problems.

Next year, I will be attending college and moving away from home. I will be completely by myself and I won’t have anyone to take care of me. Although it was painful that I went through a week and a half of torture, I am glad it happened. I learned how bad energy drinks are for you at an early age while I was still at home with help at just a few feet away. I now know that I shouldn’t drink energy drinks in order to stay awake. I thank Gd that I didn’t drink my first energy drink in college because I might not had have just three cups of coffee and a large Red Bull, but perhaps I might have drunk more.

Even though energy drinks might be helpful to stay awake and study for an important exam, the consequences aren’t worth it. There are other ways to get the energy you need because Red Bull, or any other energy drink, isn’t worth the health risks. I felt like garbage and I didn’t even do well on my midterm. I knew I had to talk about it because it is something that so many of us teenagers drink without thinking about the effect it can have. I knew I had to share my experience in order to help my friends and hopefully educate those who drink these drinks, because it can hurt you in ways that are unimaginable.  

By: Michal Cohen (12th Grade)

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