Cautionary Tale

Monday, 24 October 2011

Yesterday I let Katie walk to the corner shop (Tesco Express) with a friend. She asked if she could buy a drink. She had been a pain in the bum all morning whinging about going into town to buy stuff. She had worn us both down, so instead of trotting out my usual litany of 'if you are thirsty there is water in the tap' and 'those things are such a waste of money and natural resources' I sighed and said 'woteva'.

It wasn't until about 3 am this morning that I realised I should have looked at the bottle she bought more closely. Katie had been unable to get to sleep and rather than switching on a torch and reading a book until she felt sleepy she opted to keep the rest of us awake too. Moaning, whining, switching lights on and off and dropping books on the floor. Poor Charlie had to be up at 6.45.

When I got up (thank goodness it's half term and I could sleep in) I found the empty drinks bottle and discovered what I had begun to suspect in the wee small hours. I emailed the details to Charlie so that he could buy himself a bottle and keep awake at work.






I'm not very savvy about what soft drinks are available having never really bought them. It is something of a 
shock to me to discover that the simple choice of coke, lemonade or fizzy orange has long been a thing of the past.
 It seems to me that more choice equals more junk.

33 comments:

  1. I hate those things. I do have my coffee, but I don't worry that it will make me sick. When I was still working in the nursing home, one of our caregivers ended up going to the emergency room from drinking two of those and 2 cups of coffee before work. Not smart. She knew she needed a pick up after a night of drinking and then having to be at work at 530 am. Two hours after her shift started she passed out. I hate those things simply because people don't know enough about what is in them.

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  2. Jings that's a lot of crap to fit in one bottle! No wonder she was up so late. I can't even drink a cup of tea after 4.30pm or I'm up all night.
    x

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  3. why do our youngsters want these energy drinks they should have more energy than anyone yet you see them drinking these everywhere

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  4. I am shocked that things like that are available to buy! Surely the bottles should come with a warning or, at the very least, there should be an age limit for purchasers?
    Goodness me, I hope she managed to get to sleep at some point? Have you managed to get some rest?

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  5. Mmm, not so nice...although I'll bear it in mind if I ever need to be alert after a horrible flight!

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  6. Sue you must have felt awful on discovering the litany of dreadful chemicals your darling daughter absorbed .... even if she was being a pain yesterday ;-)

    Fortunately this is a once not to be repeated experience. I wonder if you husband bought one; I imagine he needed a strong dose of energy.

    It's half-term in the UK too, right? Good luck!

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  7. My kids are always whinging about getting these so called energy drinks as "everyone else is allowed them". I am always the evil mother that says NO and with good reason it would seem. Maybe shop keepers should be a bit more responsible about who they actually sell these drinks to and perhaps there should be laws similar to the ones for purchasing alcohol attached to these items. On a lighter note I hope your hubby manages to keep himself awake at work :O)x

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  8. I am surprised that a child (not quite sure how old Katie is) ws allowed to buy that. Our supermarket in town won't sell energy drinks to under 16's - good job too.

    The only ones the boys have ever had are the Lucozade Sport one when they've taken place in sports tournatments otherwise they are very much off limits.

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  9. I can't believe they didn't draw her attention to it in the shop, very very naughty.
    Hopefully she's 'down' now and you can all get some sleep during the holidays?! As if ..

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  10. Katie is 11. I was very surprised she was sold it too. She's perfectly fine now -just waiting for the tiredness to hit her.

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  11. That stuff can make you feel really terrible, like climbing the walls terrible. Harsh lesson, but I bet she'll never buy one again.

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  12. I think those drinks are terrible too. My MIL bought one for my 11 year old at the supermarket. Neither of them realised that it was high caffine as the same brand has non caffine version too. Luckily I checked before he drank it. The labeling is not clear enough and the shopkeeper should be more responsible.
    Jacquie x

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  13. Sue - gosh that young then definately a strongly worded letter to someone within Tescos - whilst it might not be against the law its a very silly thing to sell a child. Just imagine if she'd been able to have 2 or more of these drinks - they can make people very ill :(

    BTW not blaming Katie - she's not old enough to know the effects of these things - just the shop.

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  14. I didn't even know that these existed, and am horrified that a child could have bought a bottle! I guess you now tread a line between having her put it down to experience, or making it sound so 'out of bounds' that such things become attractive.

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  15. Will be paying a visit to Tesco Express tomorrow suggesting they carry out a spot of staff training.

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  16. I dont think it is illegal to sell those drinks so you have to educate her to reject them. One probably wont hurt her but they are load with sodium which makes them addictive. Energy drinks are nasty and a real waste of money. If she only drinks them when she is out and not at home maybe you can control her intake of them.
    A little nagging and soap-boxing is in order.

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  17. Lizzie, this was a one-off, her intake of these drinks doesn't need controlling. She had no idea what they were or what caffeine did, she chose it because it said 'sparkling berry' on it. Obviously I have explained it all to her now and have told her that she needs to avoid anything described as an energy drink. These drinks are new to me, never mind my 11 year old daughter.

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  18. I guess it's the sort of thing you have to buy once, if you're a teen, and then hopefully write off as a consumerist exploitative bottle of overpriced junk. Would she buy it again, do you think?

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  19. Poor Katie, I bet she felt weird and out of sorts. I gave up coffee a while ago and then had half a cup of instant mellow birds (the really mild stuff). I do not exaggerate when I say, the stuff made me sky high. It was weird, like every thing was racing and everything was go go go but at the same time I had a sense of exhaustion from feeling so over-active. I had it in the morning and that night I had huge problems getting to sleep. Felt OK the next day. I haven't dared touch it again since though.

    Tesco had no business selling that stuff to a child. If it isn't policy, then it should be; especially when you take into account the warning on the tin. It sounds like a horrible experience for all of you. I'm glad she is back to normal energy levels now.

    Children are often encouraged to drink these awful drinks. I remember in my daughter's school there was no water available at all - not even at meal times. There had previously been a fountain but that no longer worked. You were expected to go without and then buy sugary drinks at lunch time. It used to make me rather angry and my daughter started to get headaches. In the end she was packed off with a couple of bottles of water everyday. The only available drinking water was in the class room and the teacher wouldn't let them drink it as it was seen as a distraction.

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  20. Our village shop won't sell these drinks to kids. They have a sign at the till but I can't remember what age they will sell to now. Not sure if it was 16 or 18.

    I'm sure she won't go buying it again after you had the talk with her.

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  21. Those drinks are disgusting all round, but incredibly popular with young folks (most people under 20 who worked for me in my last job had those as their drink of choice). There's kids swigging them like they're tap water. I'm wondering what the long term health fallout from it will be.

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  22. My boys think I'm a monster that I don't let them drink this stuff and that I only allow them a coca-cola on special occasions. Boy the Younger is mad enough as it is without that shit. Problem is, they go to other people's houses where fizzy pop is sometimes the default drink. Thankfully school is a water-only environment. No wonder so many child can't concentrate and lack focus. I'm sorry you had such a horrid night and hopefully Katie's bad night and your wrath will be nough to put her off another time.

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  23. Oh dear, poor Katie, poor you. I think I've a university student or two about the place who has fuelled an all night essay writing session with one of these - the concept of finishing work well in advance of deadlines does seem rather to have passed them by - but they're not something I'd ever buy. Just one small cup of 'proper' coffee and I'm all abuzz!

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  24. I do agree with you completely when you say more choice more junk. And I am still laughing about "the natural flavour" part. Anyway it is not a bad thing if she learns something from this experience.

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  25. Oh, that just makes me so mad that stuff like that is allowed to be on the market and sold unsupervised. Pet food is better controlled.

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  26. It's terrifying isn't it? A quieter evening tonight hopefully,

    Sarah x

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  27. Scary but at least she was at home and you could see the effect and, seeing the positive, at least she knows now. I'm very thankful to Oscar's primary school teacher (big into fitness) who sat her class down and explained what was in these 'energy' drinks so I don't get too many requests from him.

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  28. It's worth pointing out that energy drinks are often used as mixers for alcohol in underage drinking - this is because they have a strong flavour which masks the alcohol flavour. Of course I am categorically not suggesting that Katie was doing this but if a teenager suddenly starts buying energy drinks it may not be for the caffeine and it is always useful to be aware of these things as a parent.

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  29. sideline:

    Oh wonderful Sue; you love winter too ;-) I've just popped over the Emma's.

    Sorry about that. I'm simply very excited about this winter making project.

    Stephanie

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  30. Anonymous8:06 am BST

    I work in a sixth form college and every week we seem to get a new 'energy' drink in, I hate having to sell them but as I'm not the boss I have no choice although i have mentioned how nasty they are. Some students are buying at least 2 of these each day, not good.

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  31. Your poor family- I hope everyone makes up for the lost sleep. The "energy" drinks are a huge fad with the teens and kids here, too, and there is no age limit. I swear the corner stores would sell them to four year olds. Also, it's usually not just caffeine. A lot of the drinks have high levels of B vitamins and amino acids that can really ramp a person up. I can't take my vitamins at night because the B vitamins will keep me awake. Not to mention artificial sweeteners usually. Yuck.

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  32. Pati from London8:16 pm BST

    WoW, what an interesting post Sue!
    These drinks are awful, not only for the system but they do taste yukie.... I remember that I recently had to have a Lucozade for the first time in my life for my 3rd pregnancy's gestational diabetes test at the hospital and it was really disgusting. Am glad your little one is feeling better and yes, at least, she will now know better for next time. x Pati

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