By Cassie Coughlin |Staff Writer|
Energy drinks like Red Bull, Monster, and Rockstar have gained a reputation for being poor for our health, yet their popularity continues to soar among college students.
A major benefit to energy drinks is the boost of energy they provide, so it isn’t strange that many college students turn to energy drinks, particularly during midterm and finals week.
The caffeine and sugar inside energy drinks is what helps your body get that extra boost, according to an article by Inside Science.
“Caffeine makes you feel more energized by affecting your brain, while sugar refuels your body’s cells and helps keep you physically active longer,” said Ali Jennings.
This is what makes energy drinks attractable to so many, especially college students.
“If I really need to stay up, then yeah I will drink a Monster or Redbull, but if I just need some extra energy I will just get Starbucks,” said student Stephanie Monne.
Some may argue that for college students, it’s not the extra boost that attracts them to energy drinks, but the fact that these drinks are easily accessible.
When discussing energy drinks among college students, Monne mentioned that energy drink brands were a constant figure on her college campus and seemed to always be available.
“Out of my whole college career (4 years) I only bought one energy drink, the rest of the time they were given to me,” said Monne. “They [energy drink brands] are really good at marketing toward college students.”
Many energy drink brands, such as Redbull and Monster, have marketed themselves as not just a drink but an entertainment brand.
By sponsoring exciting events, like Monster Energy’s Supercross and Redbull’s sponsored Grand Prix, these brands become more than just a drink college students need to stay up.
Energy drink brands seem to have no trouble gaining popularity, but like most things, when excessively used, energy drinks can become dangerous and even harmful to our health.
According to an article published by Mayo Clinic, symptoms related to excessive energy drink consumption may include “nervousness, irritability, insomnia, rapid heartbeat, and increased blood pressure.”
In a similar report by WebMD, spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association, Suzanne Farrell, referred to energy drinks as “there will be an energy burst, but it could also lead to agitation, difficulty concentrating, hyperactivity, a problem sleeping, nausea, and affect blood pressure.”
Many college students aren’t unaware of these negative effects.
“Sometimes it gives me a stomach ache, if I drink a whole Monster, but if I drink a smaller amount I feel fine,” said Sanchez.
It is no surprise that energy drinks are not the healthiest thing we could consume, but it seems that as long as they are consumed in moderation, there is not a lot harm done.
“For most people, occasional energy drinks are fine, but try to limit yourself to about 16 ounces (500 milliliters) a day,” said MayoClinic.
So next time you find yourself pulling an all-nighter on a paper or studying for an exam, try limiting yourself to only one energy drink.
Or maybe just play it safe and drink coffee—the superior stimulant.