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Chasing that Caffeine High

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More than 500 new energy drinks were released last year. Doctors and nutritionists are worried because the caffeine and sugar in each drink result in an unhealthy up-and-down cycle. The drinks contain megadoses of vitamins too, and these can cause other problems if taken too often. There is even more alarming news, though. Kids are drinking several energy drinks in a row, and calls are coming in to poison-control centers from young people sick on too much caffeine.

The danger is exciting, and energy drinks target male teens and twenty somethings. For example, there is "Cocaine Energy Drink" and "Pimpjuice." Hannah Kirby who created Cocaine Energy Drink wanted to call it "Reboot," but instead decided to be daring. Kids quickly noticed the name among a thousand other energy drinks.

Some beer manufacturers now produce "energy beers" too, or beer that contains caffeine. The energy drink-alcohol combination doesn't make you feel as drunk, but you still are drunk. The possibility for accidents and alcohol poisoning increases as a result.

How much caffeine does an energy drink contain? A study at the University of Florida discovered that many of the drinks contain two to four times more caffeine than Coke. Energy drinks aren't regulated in the US yet.


Preview some of the lesson material:

Brainstorm: Brainstorm with a partner words and ideas for "caffeine" for two minutes. Next, talk about the words and ideas for five minutes.

Questions: Answer the questions to check comprehension.

  1. What are nutritionists worried about?
  2. Why are poison-control centers being called more often?
  3. What is special about names like "Cocaine Energy Drink" and "Pimpjuice?"
  4. What is the main problem of mixing alcohol with energy drinks?
  5. Why does the Florida study suggest regulating caffeine drinks?

post-Comprehension: Talk about the following questions in pairs/groups. Remember to support your answers!

  1. Have you ever (or do you often) drink energy drinks? Why/not?
  2. Do you think energy drinks are dangerous? How about if you drink them every day?
  3. Why do you think energy drinks are becoming so popular?
  4. Do you think it's safe for kids to drink energy drinks sometimes? Every day?
  5. Caffeine is an addictive drug. Why is it legal when other harmful drugs are illegal?

Google Search: Type "energy drinks" into Google. Look at the websites, and/or read additional articles on this topic. Discuss or write an essay about your findings.


Download the lesson:

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