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Without my monster, I’m a Monster

PLNU’s Breakers Market stopped selling energy drinks, with the exception of Kickstart, at the start of spring semester. This came as a surprise to many students who typically stop in between classes at Breakers to buy energy drinks.

Senior Robert Contreras, a political science major and ASB vice president, bought energy drinks at least once a week at Breakers Market.

“I drink one to two energy drinks a week based on necessity,” said Contreras.

Miles Rottman, the general manager of the cafeteria and Sodexo ordered the energy drinks to be removed from the shelves. He said,

“We are just not selling them because they are not healthy.”

Breakers Market Manager Irene Alvarado agrees that students should drink other beverages.

“For students who need an energy beverage, we offer Yerba Mate and it is the best energy drink that we have,” said Alvarado.

Breakers Market carries a variety of Yerba Mate flavors, a drink that provides energy from caffeine, theophylline and theobromine, the same stimulants found in tea, coffee and chocolate according to guayaki.com. Kickstart is the only other energy drink sold at Breakers Market.

Kickstart contains five percent fruit juice with artificial sweeteners to reduce the overall amount of sugar. A 16-ounce Kickstart has 92 milligrams of caffeine according to its label, while a 16-ounce Monster has 160 milligrams of caffeine, an 8-ounce Red Bull has 80 milligrams of caffeine and a 16-ounce cup of Starbucks coffee has 330 milligrams of caffeine.

“I’m seeing a lot of combinations — coffee, 5-Hour Energy, green teas — and if you add up all the mega doses of caffeine during the day, it can cause problems,” said Jim White, RD, and a national spokesman for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics on Web MD.

Dr. Holly Benjamin, of the American Academy of Pediatrics told Reuters that, “Children (or students) never need energy drinks. They contain caffeine and other stimulant substances that aren’t nutritional, so you don’t need them.”

“If it’s a health concern, then they should also remove the Mountain Dew Kickstart,” said Contreras. “However that would beg a bigger question about consumer freedom in decision making because health should be the responsibility of the consumer, not of the business.”

Alvarado said health is a concern for college students.

“There is a lot of sickness so we need to watch what we eat and drink,” Alvarado said.

Sodexo student manager Kasey Graves said, “It’s not detrimental that we removed energy drinks, if students want them there are other ways. I haven’t actually received any complaints.”

Even with Breakers no longer selling energy drinks, Contreras still has his one to two per week.

“The number hasn’t changed; it has just become a little more inconvenient,” said Contreras.

Rottman could not provide any more information in regards to this decision but asks that anyone with questions about the removal of energy drinks to speak with him.

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