Red Bull= Possible Red Flag as Stimulant
There has been an ever increasingly dangerous activity rising amongst the Major League Baseball community over the past several seasons. MLB has been actively very proactive during recent years to try and remove the toxic stimulants and addictive presence of chemicals that can cause harm to its stable of athletes. But there is still one group of stimulants in the beverage form, that they have thrown a blanket over and cosidered them safe enough to excluded from their list of banned recently substances since 2006. And maybe because of this items high commercial profile, this addictive stimulant beverage has been left totally alone and just might be the stimulant of choice by MLB players right now.
And I know firsthand all about the increasing battle as I was an active battle participant during their ever increasing FREE samplings and the multiple public ingestions of this addicitve products for so long as a Pepsi salesman. But in recent years, I have seen more and more MLB players and staffers beginning to show a more addictive reaction by ingesting more and more of this product, amd sometimes in plain sight of kids and their parents attending MLB games. And since these same players are the positive examples that our kids look up to, could that shiny tin can buldging out of their back pockets be an invitation to our kids to also sample the beverages and wanting more for themselves?
And I personally did not have the adequate information on the dangers of what I was selling to the public and promoting to teams like the Tampa Bay Rays while with Pepsi. I was even so naive enough about the possible side effects of the product to provide FREE cases of the product to members of the team wihtout hesitation. I always knew that someday I might get a high jolt of reality that would bring me back my senses and the real life consequences that the beverage I was peddling might be doing more harm than good. But that is how it is with most salesmen right? We sell things without regard to the future effects.
I knew some of the potential dangers, as they were told to me via the Pepsi promotional materials, but these same pamphlets did not include any scientific information about the chemicals contained in that small can. And yet I still sold the product without a moments hesitation, not knowing the actual nutritional value of the beverage was a shallow shell, and that possible side effects could someday pose difficult health situation for the consumer.
And to be totally honest, I might have sampled a total of two cans in my lifetime as I did not need that “rush” of energy or boost of power as I am normally high strung and these beverages just took me to the state of jitters and nervous energy. But then again, the first group of salesmen to condone the sales of Coca Cola might not have been privvy to the true contents of their high volume beverage, or the honest fact of the extent of traces of cocaine swirling around in that 8 ounce bottle either.
But that should be no justification for myself or other salesman to promote a product with an unknowing zeal. I should have done some side research into the product, and not let the company’s common justification/belief system bounce around in my noggin that as consenting adults, we all know the possible risks of what we were doing when we purchased this drink, and took on the full boat of responsibility of any future suffering from the ill effects, or lifetime health pricetag we might pay for our beverage addiction.
But the one segment that I might have used my personal tunnelvision on was seeing the multitudes of kids who were steadily watching these same role models and athletes down a 20 ounce can in a single gulp and then go back to playing the game a few moments later. Lost somewhere in translation in my mind was the fact that kids also idolized these players, and if they drank Red Bull or another brand of energy drink, then maybe they should too. MLB took steps in 2006 to outlaw a huge segment of stimulants, but this one beverage has been on the stimulant frontlines for a long time with no opposition from the league.
I have to say I am in total opposition to this beverage ever setting foot in plain sight again anywhere on a MLB field. I do not want to personally see these cans being drained into a Gatorade bottle by a player sitting in the Bullpen, then sucked down like a energy cocktail within eyesight of young kids. I would like these drinks hidden from view or eliminated from the field of play, or outside the clubhouse as a secondary stimulant that could cause harm to our fine tuned athletes, or used to promote their use by our children. I hate to say it, but in this case, “Out of sight, out of mind” might be the best formula.
Granted, I know that MLB will not eliminate these beverages totally from the game, but their inclusion on benches or within sight of the fans and the kids in attendance should be stopped right now. And that is why I feel that the energy drink industry could potentially be the next level of stimulant disaster for the Major Leagues. For it is the energy beverage of choice in the MLB’s clubhouses and Bullpens and is a stimulant that promotes only a short-term rush of instant energy, but can also bring about a increasing level of addiction to the instant rush of the beverage as it flows through the body. And maybe it has taken this long for me to get the courage to consult and advise the fans and some of the ears around baseball about these potentially dangerous beverages.
And the worst part is that some of the beverage companies like Red Bull actually furnish their products FREE by the caseloads to teams like the Rays for consumption before, during and after games. And the availiability of these beverage within an arms length only increases their level of consumption. Lost in all of this is the quick letdown and fatigue factors that follow the massive consumption, and the odd bodily sensations experienced after the effects of the beverage start to wear off.
It is easier for an ex-salesmen like me to preach to you the bold taste an
d boost of energy you get from these chemical mixtures and forget the fact it is providing a mish-mosh concoction of good and bad chemicals within this single beverage to put into our bodies, and sometimes abused by excess in large quantities.
This is a part of my old saleman’s position I do not hold in high regard. I sometimes felt like an old snakeoil salesman on the plains of the Old West. For I did not think of the possible reprecussions or possible adulation of the kids under 18 also screaming and wanting this beverage because they saw so and so drink one on the bench or before a baseball game.
I learned a long time ago as an athlete myself that I can not trust everything told to me or given to me as a “helping agent”. I had to do some of my own ”legwork” in the past because I wanted to be responsible as an adult and potential role model to people who saw me use a product. I have to admit, I am a huge Dr. Pepper addict, and that same basic additive of Caffiene is also a huge component of every energy drinks. But I also know that a single small can of Red Bull or AMP has about a 8-packs worth of sugar and caffeine nestled within that 20 ounces of golden fluid.
Small eyes of our kids see everything that happens on a MLB field, or just beyond it. And the constant influx of people on ads joyfully enjoying a jolt of energy from these drinks or the one-gulp tasting swigs of this product bring about truth problems for our younger growing fans. Energy drinks are made for the basic stimulation of our adrenal glands to produce extra energy and open our blood vessels to circulate more oxygen throughout our system.
But when is the price is too much to feel that rush or boost of energy for that brief segment in time. Energy drinks are currently legal in every MLB ballpark, even in the stadium bars as additive to our cocktails. But shouldn’t someone really look long and hard into these beverages and see if their addictive and short-term “highs” might be damaging more than just the athletes bodies… they might also be harming our future fan base? I think so, but then I used to “push” this product for a living, so can you even trust my words here?