US college bans energy drink sales on campus, says they lead to 'risky behavior'

US college bans energy drink sales on campus, says they lead to 'risky behavior'

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - When you drink too many energy drinks you may get more than what you bargain for.  The caffeine-fueled pick-me-ups can lead to a lot of health problems and behavior that may leave you feeling unlike yourself.  That's why Middlebury College leaders in Vermont decided to ban the sale of energy drinks on campus.

College officials say that the drinks have led to 'problematic behavior' including alcohol abuse and high-risk sexual activity.  The officials also say they don't support or properly nourish the students, which is the dining service's mission, NBC News reports.

Doctor's Care Regional Director Dr. Denis Rhoades agreed. "There have been instances, especially with teenagers and young adults, which they undertake risky behavior that they otherwise would not have done because of caffeine and energy drinks that they have taken in. They shut off that part of their brain that allows them to make good decisions, almost like alcohol."

The Mayo Clinic says by consuming only a 16-ounce energy drink, you increase your blood pressure and stress hormones, which could lead to health problems.  A Regular Strength 5-hour Energy shot contains about the same caffeine amount as a 12-ounce cup of coffee.  These shots may be used to keep you awake, but the problems happen when it's time to sleep. Dr. Rhoades says your body will fight the urge to sleep, and mixing other medications can turn your energy drink into a deadly cocktail.

"You do that enough times and at a high enough dose, you can cause migraines, insomnia, heart attacks, tachycardia, anxiety reactions; you can also cause tremors in the nervous systems," Dr. Rhoades said.

If you have diabetes or a heart condition, you should never have an energy drink.  Too much of the pick-me-up drink and someone who has heart disease or an unknown condition could suffer a heart attack.  As for the sugar, it aggravates diabetes and REM sleep, Dr. Rhoades said.  Lack of sleep can lead to a psychotic break, in extreme cases.

At Coastal Carolina University, students who had one bad experience with energy drinks didn't have them again.  Most said the crash wasn't worth the hype.  However, CCU senior Hannah Graham said coffee doesn't cut it for her.

"I drink them often, like 4 times a week.  I'm very busy…I work, I'm a single mom, I go to school, so sometimes coffee just doesn't cut it," Graham said.

Most students said they tried energy drinks to cram for a test or stay awake during the day.

Students at Middlebury University in Vermont think the school is over-stepping their role.  But, they can still drink Red Bulls and other energy drinks on campus, they just cannot purchase them there.

If you're looking for an alternative to get more energy the American Heart Association says to drink a something cold like a homemade fruit smoothie, socialize, take a walk, stretch and stay hydrated.

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