Sorry for the delay in posts. Been in Japan working my arse off. This is hilarious:
Schools warn of possible Spike Shooter's side effects
By BRIAN NEWSOME THE GAZETTE
At least three Pikes Peak region high schools are warning students and parents about the potential dangers of a potent new energy drink.
The warning comes after a few teenagers sought medical care after drinking Spike Shooter, an 8-ounce can that contains more than three times the caffeine of a home-brewed cup of coffee and several herbal stimulants.
Doherty High School has banned the drink on campus and persuaded a nearby 7-Eleven convenience store to remove it from the shelves, said Principal Jill Martin. Several Doherty students experienced shortness of breath, heart palpitations and nausea after just one can, she said.
Spike Shooter, produced by Colorado Springs-based Biotest Laboratories, hit convenience stores in mid-December. It’s also sold in California and over the Internet. It contains no calories or sugar and is advertised as a “high-speed energy drink.”
Tim Patterson, chief executive officer of Biotest, said he’d heard of no such problems until seeing an e-mail one school sent out to parents. He characterized the warnings as “hysteria.”
He said the drink is not intended for teenagers — or overuse — and people should heed the labels.
“It was an unintended consequence. We don’t make any products targeted to young teenagers,” he said, adding, “It’s really difficult to control abuse of a product.”
Still, he said the company is considering a commercial that would act as a public service announcement to remind people of its potency.
Jared Stevenson, 17, never dreamed a caffeinated beverage could cause him so much discomfort when he downed a can of it Feb. 12.
“I heard about it through friends. They were ravin’ about how awesome and cool it is and how hyper you could get off of it,” he said.
The Aspen Valley High School junior became short of breath. He grew anxious and jittery, and his heart raced. After a bus ride to Pikes Peak Community College, where he’s enrolled in a vocational program, school employees called an ambulance.
Paramedics said his pulse was extremely high. He was sent home with his parents for six hours of observation, and later vomited.
Martin, at Doherty, said several of her students experienced similar symptoms late last week. One girl was transported by ambulance to be checked out at the hospital. Another was “so shaky and messed-up” she was wheeled to the front office in a wheelchair. A third student was taken to the hospital from home, she said.
“One of the things they’re saying is it’s an energy drink, and I’m tired, and this is going to help me in school,” she said.
She plans to send out an e-mail to parents about the drink today. The drink sells for $2.19 a can at another 7-Eleven.
Aspen Valley, in Academy School District 20, and Liberty High School, also in D-20, sent a note to parents warning them about the beverage.
The fruit-flavored, carbonated drink was released in California in October with no complaints, Patterson said, and similar products have been available at stores such as GNC for years. Before being introduced as a drink, Biotest sold a Spike pill.
The company’s target demographic is adults ages 18-34, he said. It advertises on MySpace.com, a social Web site, and KILO-FM 94.3, a local rock station.
Katie Compton, a national cyclocross champion sponsored by Spike, said she enjoys the drink but concedes it should be used in moderation.
“Kids, they make mistakes and they drink too much and they over do it,” she said.
For Stevenson, the scare was enough to almost entirely quit caffeine. He said he now sticks to water and tea. Two friends who had planned to chug a couple of cans to get a buzz refrained when they saw what happened to him. Stevenson’s message to would-be Spike drinkers: Know your limits. “I didn’t know, and I paid for it.”
CONTACT THE WRITER: 636-0198 or firstname.lastname@example.org