Red Bull= Possible Red Flag as Stimulant

 



                   
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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. 

                 
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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.


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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?

22 Comments

I’ve never tried Red Bull – I don’t even drink coffee, as I’m plenty wired without caffeine! – but it can’t be good for people. Would it ever be banned? I highly doubt it.

- http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

There is 80mg of caffeine in the standard 8.3oz can of Red Bull, while a 6oz cup of regular coffee contains 130mg. The problem with most canned energy drinks is that they contain 2 or 2.5 servings to a can.
One of the most dangerous ingredients in certain energy drinks is actually the high concentration of B vitamins – the reason a bottle of 5hr Energy says to consume no more than 2 a day. They can cause paralysis & death in high doses.

I could go on and on, but like so many other things, the key is probably just moderation. Besides, there is currently no way to test for energy drinks, and even if there was, they wouldn’t keep up with how often new ones are produced.

Jane,
I always look at it that the MLB did ban those diet pills and the stimulants that were making the rounds before 2006.
This is just another generation of stimulants and adverse effect prolonged beverages that will end up with a bad connotation, and not just a refreshing one.
But, such is life.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Red Bull is disgusting. Yes, it has sugar, yes it has caffeine but it tastes like lemon pledge and is ridiculously overpriced. You can get three or four shots of espresso and put in as much sugar as you want for the same price at any coffee shop. Johnny Damon’s “Fluttery Eye” when he drank 8 cans (8!!!) a day should have been warning enough, but people still didn’t listen.
Those kinds of stimulants have no effect on me, except caffeine makes me less irritable and always has, so I can’t really be judgemental of it except to say that it probably causes cancer (everything does).

Ladyshark,
Believe me, we used to sell Amp, Sobe’ Adrenlaline Rush, Starbuck’s Double (Expresso) Shots, Rockstar, Frappacino’s and a host of ther stimulated beverages.
The biggest sellers for me were still those huge 20 oz monster sized cans of energy drinks. Unless the smaller cans were 2/$4, people would just look the other way on them some days.
I know there will never be a test for them, but the constant drinking of them in front of kids will give them a false sense of security that they are okay for them to drink.
Sometimes I think they should be regulated like cigarettes and someone under 18 can not purchase them without an adult present. Almost like a PG-17 movie in a can.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Xcicix,
Not sure, but I suspect someday we will find out a lab rat or two got a form of cancer from the chemicals in energy drinks, but then it was an isolated incident so it was not noted in the reports….
Seriously, it is a known fact that our society craves caffeine and sugar to the point of diabetic coma at times. I would be the first to raise my hand that without a soda a day, i would be a wreck before 8 am.
But that is my personal poison of choice.
Everybody has their weakness drinks…. for some people it is juiceboxes/pouches.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

im hate energy drinks they are bad 4 anyone i will never drink any of them. good blog as always
tmas805 PS ur #10 on the fan’s blogs list cool for u

Cliff – CONGRATS on have the #10 ranked blog for the calendar year 2009!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

I can only imagine how addictive those drinks are. I tend to drink way to much pop (Pepsi), but as long as i don’t buy it or have it around me i am fine. Nice Read.
http://clevelandbaseball.mlblogs.com/

Tmas,
Thank you for letting me know that.
Yeah, I sold those pesky drinks for years, but I am not a user….
I guess it could be worse, I could of put a soda dispenser in the clubhouse and I would be responsible for fat athletes.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Julia,
Thank you for letting me know, but blogmaster beat you to it tonight.
I think I took a nice climb upwards from #23 for 2008 to post a Top 10 in 2009.
But it is the readers who got me there. I just like to write about my team.
Glad so many people have traveld (about 182,568 visitors since 8/2008).

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

rays so do i i like bloggin on my team and other important stuff sonn i’ll make the top 100 i’ll let u know lol
tmas805

Cleveland,
Since Progressive Field is a Pepsi account, I can see the dedication and your logical swing towards loving Pepsi products.
I think most people either have an obsession with coffee or soda as they get a bit older…..I tend to love the Dallas/Fort Worth Dr. Pepper as my beverage of choice.
I like that little note of if it is around me…basically it is gone.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Tmas,
I can tell you this, it will not be long before you are listed.
You blog a lot and also comment on people’s blogs.
Just enjoy writing and telling your adventures and you too will have a following soon.
Just takes time and dedication, then people will get to know you and your style of writing.
You are well on your way to a spot in the monthly listings.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Congratulations on your spot on the leader board!!
http://catlovesthedodgers.mlblogs.com

I don’t think I have ever had a Red Bull but sometimes outside the stadium, they are passing out free of similar drinks. I tried one of those but I found them too sweet.
Emma
http://crzblue.mlblogs.com/

Red Bull has even looked for MLB sponsors…Jimmy Rollins did a Red Bull tailgate with fans last year, which while it may be good press for him to hang with the fans, may not be the best message to send to kids. Although, I do think coffee may be worse and certainly, a lot more people abuse coffee than Red Bull. Personally, I would not touch either.

Jenn
http://philliesphollowers.mlblogs.com/

Cat,
Thank you for that.
It is great that Mark does this every month so people can get to see some of the blogs they might not usually see because they might be out on the West Coast like you.
That is how I got to first read your blog and also Rockpile Rants for the first time.
So even if you are not high on the list, just remember people do click on the links and check out other people…I know I do all the time.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Jenn,
I am with you. I only do coffee if it is so cold I can not feel my hands when I was working.
I had a TSM at Pepsi Named Rich U. He used to drink energy drinks like it was Aquafina water. Well, Rich was like me a bit high energy anyways, but he went into hyper gear when he had a few AMP’s before our weekly sales meetings.
To make a long story short, right after I left Pepsi, Rich went to work for Red Bull.
Talk about perfect job, perfect person (lol).
I used to also do the Warped Tour when it came through St. Petersburg as a Special Events Coordinator. I sold 1,200 cases of water and gaterade in one single day. I wanted to sell energy drinks, but Monster and Red Bull owned the right to distribute and they sold 2,000 in one day. 2,000 cases to me would have been worth around $ 1,200 dollar for 9 hours work, not counting the $ 600 I made from water and gatorade…..It is BIG MONEY.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Emma,
That is one of the biggest things about those drinks, they are either a bit bitter or sweet like honey to mask the other ingredients in the mix.
And those samplings of course are to get you to want to sample them more, or at least think about them when you need an energy boost.
I would think the go-go-go culture of Los Angeles might be a mecca for such beverages.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

good job on being number 10! On the red bull well it tastes like crap and I heard someone found drugs so don’t drink red bull.

Lorcan,
Not sure about the drugs, but i have heard it tastes better mixed with some Vodkas.
But then again, I do not drink mixed drinks, only beers with blue mountains on them.
Thanks for that. As a reminder to people…commenting and posting entires get you noticed and on the top lists.
Be creative and be consistent in your posts and you will get your own following….I promise.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

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