Call for BAN energy drinks from Australian construction sites as trades ‘collapse’ due to poor diet

A prominent construction trainer has called for energy drinks to be banned on Australian construction sites because tradesmen are consuming so many unhealthy drinks that their jobs and health suffer.

Paul Breen, who trains up to 500 young traders in western Sydney each year, told Daily Mail Australia that sugary and caffeinated drinks actually slow down trades.

Young trades arrive on construction sites with the habit of consuming several energy drinks a day to compensate for lack of sleep and poor physical condition.

Apprentice electrician Matt Glass told Daily Mail Australia the drinks are so cheap that his colleagues have “two for breakfast and two for lunch” every day.

But the drinks end up making young trades less good at their jobs because it affects their concentration and mental health.

Leading construction trainer Paul Breen has called for a ban on energy drinks on Australian construction sites because tradespeople are consuming so many unhealthy drinks that their jobs and health suffer. Apprentice electrician Matt Glass (above) gave up energy drinks after training with Mr Breen and completing his own research

There are reports of interns taking a liking to energy drinks in high school, with adults reporting seeing up to 30 students line up to buy them at servos near schools in the mornings.

Mr Breen, who runs Productivity Bootcamp to prepare for trades in the construction industry, said bins at his Penrith site are filled with empty energy drink cans every week.

“We throw the bins in front of them and say ‘guys, look at this, look at what you’re doing to yourself’.

He said young marketers “get a boost of energy and confidence” from the drinks at first, and they copy their friends who buy the brands in part because of their extreme sports imagery.

“After a while their young bodies start to break down,” Mr Breen said.

Paul Breen said once young traders understood the benefits of healthier eating – and that drinking water and eating a good breakfast would keep them energized throughout the day – they gladly changed their diet. Pictured: Traders taking part in his course

“They have sleep issues, and it affects their concentration and their mental health, tremendously. It’s like putting bad gasoline in a good engine.

“I think they should be banned.

“They should also get rid of the vending machines that sell them at the big venues, I guarantee the employees wouldn’t kick in if those drinks aren’t there, they’d just drink water if that’s all he there is.”

Mr. Breen’s company offers job training and nutrition to teens who start out as “couch potatoes with no back and leg strength, no core strength.”

Often, their poor physical condition is the result of poor diet, including excess fast food, soft drinks, and energy drinks.

Numerous studies have linked sugary energy drinks to breast, prostate, and colorectal cancer, as well as obesity and mental health issues, including increased anxiety, depression, and trouble concentrating.

He said that once teenagers understood the real benefits of healthier eating – and that drinking water and eating a good breakfast would keep them energized throughout the day – they gladly changed their diet.

Dentist Dr Kaejenn Tchia (pictured) said in extreme cases teenagers are losing their teeth partly due to energy drinks

Mr. Glass, a third-year electrician apprentice, gave up energy drinks after taking Mr. Breen’s training and completing his own research.

“I looked at what doctors were saying about it, and people as young as 23 were having heart attacks from drinking too much, in Australia and the United States,” he said.

Last year, an unnamed 21-year-old English university student spent 58 days in hospital and was being considered for an organ transplant after consuming four 500ml energy drinks a day for two years.

Mr Glass said he tried to talk his co-workers out of it, but most weren’t listening.

While an energy drink is the equivalent of a cup of coffee, the low price of the packs means that young people consume up to four of these drinks in a few hours, and their energy levels eventually “crash”.

Nutritionists say that trades are not the only ones concerned.

Workers in many early-starting jobs, such as distribution, hospitality and even offices, take energy drinks for a morning boost, said Leanne Elliston, dietitian and spokesperson for Nutrition Australia.

After drinking up to six cans a day for seven months, Mr Pyner started having toothaches.  He hid his teeth from his mother, until all four front teeth broke when he bit into an apple

After drinking up to six cans a day for seven months, Mr Pyner started having toothaches. He hid his teeth from his mother, until all four front teeth broke when he bit into an apple

The destructive effect of an energy drink on tooth enamel, which literally left the tooth crumbling - the little pink bits on the root of the tooth are actually bits of enamel

The destructive effect of an energy drink on tooth enamel, which literally left the tooth crumbling – the little pink bits on the root of the tooth are actually bits of enamel

“Absolutely, it’s a problem. When you have it regularly, your body gets used to it, so it becomes more than a habit. It’s addiction.

Ms Elliston said people should exercise moderation with energy drinks, but often they won’t because one bottle or bottle cannot provide the energy needed for an entire working day.

“It kind of works in that it gives them quick energy to get the job done.

“The crucial factors that are missing are getting sustainable energy and trying to minimize the huge peaks and dips that occur with energy.

‘As fast as they get the hit, then it drops [and] so reach out for another.

Dr Kaejenn Tchia, a Darwin dentist and spokesperson for the Australian Dental Association, said it’s well known that years of energy and carbonated drink consumption put you at risk of losing all your teeth.

But the consistent consumption of energy drinks in younger age groups means this is happening much earlier than expected.

“Throughout Australia, tooth decay and erosion are becoming more prevalent in younger populations.

“We tend to see in very severe cases that, coupled with poor oral health literacy, energy drinks have caused people to tip over and lead to tooth loss.

“In extreme cases, it happens in teens and early twenties.”

A statement from the Australian Dental Association said energy drinks and sports drinks can affect teeth by causing tooth decay, tooth erosion and sensitivity when the enamel is literally eaten away.

The culprits are sugar and high acidity levels in energy drinks.

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