If you thought caffeine was harmless, you're about to change your thinking. Not only has it been used to create an "energy drink" market, caffeine is now available in Wrigley chewing gum. It's being touted "for adults who are already using caffeine for energy," according to a Wrigley spokesperson. Okay, wait a second... When exactly did caffeine become a source of energy? Do you recall Coca-Cola or coffee being called an "energy drink" back in the day? Neither do we. If you want energy, have a coconut oil-stuffed medjool date or a banana or something. Caffeine is not a source of energy; it is, however, one more example of how marketing spin can change the definition of a word. As a consequence, we have forgotten what caffeine can do to a body. And it's not pretty... especially in children. Energy drinks are at the center of a wrongful death lawsuit because a 14-year-old girl died of cardiac arrest after drinking just 2 of them in a 24-hour period. Five people have, in fact, died shortly after drinking Monster brand energy drinks over the last 8 years and there were over 13,000 hospital visits in 2009 related to drinking these caffeine-laced energy drinks. The FDA is also investigating claims about other deaths related to those now-common 5-hour energy "shots." The way so-called energy drinks work is with a combination of niacin (vitamin B3) and caffeine. The niacin opens up the blood vessels and drives the caffeine deep into the cells of the body, sometimes with catastrophic results. This idea behind these drinks does not work with compounds naturally found in the body and can easily overload susceptible people. And now caffeine is being slipped into chewing gum — another good reason that gum is not on The Hallelujah Diet! But what about all of the so-called benefits of "just a little" caffeine? We want to know what you think about this!
What are your thoughts on caffeine? Comment below!