Tag Archives: Energy Drink

Digestive Dangers Dog Dogs

There’s a reason human food is called that.

You’re supposed to feed human food to, well, humans. Same thing with dog food. Although, I did grow up with a girl who enjoyed nothing more than snacking on a dog biscuit, but I think that was more along the lines of a cry for attention than an actual appreciation for the crispy taste.

A recent article in the Huffington Post went on about twelve human foods that can harm dogs. And I’m not talking about dropping a huge wheel of Cheddar cheese on your dog’s head. Don’t do that, either. No, these are foods that are dangerous if digested.

In yesterday’s post, I went over the first part of the article, which included foods like chocolate, milk, cheese (see?), avocado, macadamia nuts, grapes and raisins, garlic and onions.

This go round, I start with something I’ve been doing to Buzz, The Garbage Disposal That Walks Like A Dog, with a distressing regularity.

The humans in our family love apples. Their favorite is the Honey Crisp varietal, which is pretty expensive. Because of the cost, I’ve encouraged the young dudes not to share their cut-up apples with the dog, no matter how much he begs. However, they and I have a tendency to give in to those puppy-dog eyes and drop the dog the apple’s core.

Turns out, that’s not such a smart thing to do. Apparently, apple cores (as well as the cores of plums, peaches, pears and apricots) contain cyanogenic glycocides, which you might know better as cyanide. Yeah, the poison. It’s not enough to drop you in your tracks if you eat just one, but it can build up and dogs weigh less than a human, so it builds up quicker.

Another no-no is feeding the dog active bread yeast or dough. If a dog ate active yeast dough, it can ferment in his stomach producing toxic alcohol or could expand in the digestive system, producing dangerous levels of gas and rupture the stomach or intestine.

One of the reasons we’re told not to give a dog chocolate is that chocolate contains caffeine, which is bad for them. (Us, too, but no way am I giving up my Diet Coke.) So it should go without saying that you shouldn’t actually let your dog drink the leftover half-caff, skinny latte. Or any coffee. Or Coke. Or Monster or other energy drink.

Caffeine overstresses the dog’s nervous system, leading to vomiting, hyperactivity, heart palpitations and even death.Bacon, yes, bacon, is bad for dogs. The poor dears.

Finally, most surprisingly, and most horribly, the food we’re not supposed to share with our doggie friends is. . . wait for it. . . not yet. . . bacon.

Yes, bacon.

I’ll pause here while we contemplate the appalling wasteland of the future without bacon. All right, enough. It’s not like we’re being told no more bacon, just don’t give it to Spyke.

Bacon, like most foods high in fat, can cause a dog’s pancreas to become inflamed (called pancreatitis) and stop working. Once that happens, the dog’s digestion gets all wacky and derails nutrient absorption.

All in all, that’s a pretty heavy and extensive list of human foods that are explicitly not for dogs.

Just to be safe, and prevent a lot of table-side begging, maybe we should just not feed Spot any human food at all.

Well, other than broccoli. Buzz, The Garbage Disposal That Walks Like A Dog, loves his broccoli and those greens are good for everybody.

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Freaky Friday: Energy Drinks = ER Visits?

by Richard

Here’s an odd thought: A large percentage of Americans start the day with a cup or two of coffee and they’re considered completely normal. However, if you start the day by quaffing an energy drink, you’re considered to be a severe health risk.

Although, maybe there’s something to it.

Consider: A recent federal report says that the number of visits to the emergency room in the United States has risen tenfold since 2005. Of course, almost half of those visits were due to mixing the energy drinks with alcohol or drugs, leaving 56 percent of those visits blamed on just the energy drinks alone.

Looking at the above paragraph, I hope you can all spot the flaw in the reasoning. It’s got to do with comparisons. See, the newspaper article in which I read this, emphasized that the ER visits were up tenfold. Aieeee!! What it didn’t do, until much farther down the article, was tell how many visits that was.

Turns out, energy drinks were involved in 13,000 ER visits in 2009, the last year for which we have data. That’s out of the nation’s 123 million ER visits per year. So, let’s say the incidence did rise tenfold. That means, we started out with approximately 1,300 ER visits in 2005 and now we’re up to 13,000 or so.

I don’t know about you dudes, but I’m not all that worried by these statistics. The problem is, we’re seeing something new in the form of these Energy Drinks. Yeah, I do tend to agree that mixing them with alcohol is a bad idea. But that’s because the energy drinks contain enough caffeine to slightly counterbalance the depressive forces in alcohol, which can lead to people being conscious long after they should have passed out, and continuing to drink more than they should while they’re awake. That’s bad. No question.

And, as is the case with caffeinated sodas in general, you should keep energy drinks out of the hands and bloodstreams of the young dudes and dudettes. Their undeveloped bodies aren’t equipped to handle the caffeine and other energy boosters.

At issue, is the drinks themselves. I just can’t see how drinking these beverages is any worse or any better for you than drinking a Coke or a coffee. If you drink a lot of coffee all day, you’re going to get the shakes and a sore stomach. Same thing with the energy drinks.

If these drinks have more caffeine, then don’t drink as many of them. This is on the consumer, not the manufacturer. As an adult, we’re supposed to be regulating what we eat and drink, when we eat and drink, and how much we do both. That’s on us. We learned how to do that with coffee to such an extent that no one even blinks when folks drink it. Now, we as a society, just need to learn how to regulate our intake of these energy drinks.

Then, in 20 years, we’ll consider that normal and we’ll all be worried about something else that’s just come along.

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Brain Death And How To Live With It

by Richard

I knew it was going to be bad, but, dude, I had no idea just how bad it was really going to be. But first, some astonishing news. Did you know there is another 5 o’clock and this one happens in the morning? I had no idea.

At least I didn’t right up until my alarm went off and I had to roll out of bed — in the dark — and try to put on my human face so I could go and dynamite Hyper Lad and Zippy the Monkey Boy out of bed so we could volunteer at the Ramblin’ Rose women’s only triathlon in Rock Hill, SC.

The Ramblin’ Rose series of triathlons is designed to help ease women into the sport of triathlon, in which they swim 250 meters, cycle 10 miles and then run 2 miles. It seemed like the majority of the women there were competing in their first triathlon. They were nervous and excited.

I was grumpy and tired. Hyper Lad rallied quickly and lived up to his name, running around, smiling and having a great time. Zippy the Monkey Boy was a teenager. It think that really says it all.

After a nice wait at the volunteer check in, we were assigned to answer questions and help athletes before the start of the race. Once it began, we started handing out water to the ladies as they started out on their run. We worked in the hot sun for a couple of hours before it was time to drop Hyper Lad off with his mom and head in to the car.

Zippy the Monkey Boy was due in Wilmington at the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s MarineQuest summer camp in a little under four hours. We were running late.

Zippy, despite having a learner’s permit, did no driving. He was “too tired” and, besides, he’d (deliberately) forgotten his learner’s permit. Which meant I had to do the driving. Fortunately, I made it through the traffic sniggles (inside joke) and speed traps without getting too frustrated or too busted, so that’s all good.

We hit Wilmington, dropped off Zippy to his delight, and then it was time to head back home.

So, to recap, up at 5 am, working in hot sun, then four hours in the car to Wilmington. After about an hour break, I was hitting the road again for another four-hour drive. No question. Severe action was called for.

With that in mind, I hit a convenience store and gassed up the car and myself. Well, not really gassing up me, as I can pretty much take care of that on my own. Just ask the little dudes. I did, however, grab a couple of those big energy drinks and start chugging.

An interesting experience, jazzing and jiggling in my seat with excess energy while trying to drive under the speed limit. Even better was the frequent potty stops. Who knew drinking lots of liquids, chock full of caffeine would make you need to brave disgusting road-side bathrooms?

You learn something new every day.

Still, the end result was that I survived, the little dudes are where they are supposed to be and I was finally able to get some sleep. Sometime around 3 am, once the caffeine finally wore off.

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