Beginning March 7, the sale of energy drinks will be banned on the campus of Middlebury College in Vermont. The reason? According to college officials, energy drinks contribute to “problematic behavior,” including “high-risk” sex and even substance abuse, Time reports. The ban on energy drinks will be sweeping, and apply to most popular beverages in the category, from Red Bull to 5-hour Energy and everything in between.
A flyer, posted at Wilson Cafe, an eatery on the Middlebury campus, advises students that energy drinks aren’t compatible with a healthy lifestyle among the college’s student body.
“Energy drink consumption facilitates unhealthy work habits such as prolonged periods of sleeplessness, contributing to a campus culture of stress and unsustainable study habits.”
NBC News reports that the soon-to-be banned energy drinks also fail to conform with the college dining service’s mission to “nourish” students.
The student body is split on the idea of energy drinks being banned.
Some students, such as Khine Su, says she’s used energy drinks to help her stay awake when studying, once “relying on” 5-hour Energy’s berry-flavored energy drink to give her the energy to stay up while writing her thesis. However, she does admit that after drinking an energy shot, she usually goes without sleeping.
“For me, one shot works, but I can’t sleep afterwards and go straight to class in the morning.”
She added that she has a friend who’s drinking six of the energy drinks per day.
Another student, citing a bad experience in high school where he drank a single energy drink that resulted in feeling “absolutely miserable” with his heart “pounding” already stays away from energy drinks, whether they are banned or not.
One student who works in the cafe, Arnav Adhikari, admitted that the cafe sold “loads” of energy drinks, and that he thinks the college is going too far by demanding that energy drinks be banned altogether. Arnav also questioned the health benefits of banning energy drinks, adding that the cafe still sells fried food on campus.
“There are more important things for them to address. And what do energy drinks have to do with sexual activity?”
Ultimately, the decision for the popular energy drinks to be banned came from the college’s Community Council. The Community Council is made of faculty and staff, as well as a dozen Middlebury College students.
Executive director of dining hall services Dan Detora told NBC News that he believes that it makes sense for energy drinks to be banned, calling it “the equivalent of banning cigarettes.”
Health experts tend to agree, calling energy drinks “unhealthy” when abused, sometimes even dangerous. The American Academy of Pediatrics has gone on record as advising that there is no “safe level” of energy drink consumption in children and adolescents, and even one serving raise blood pressure and cause other cardiovascular side effects and complications.
While the sale of energy drinks will be banned on campus beginning March 7, students will still be allowed to possess and even consume them at school. They will just have to buy their energy drinks off-campus once they are officially banned.
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