By Angela E. Rodriguez |Staff Writer|
Students looking for a quick fix to pull an all-nighter for finals should be cautious.
As finals approach, we all suffer from sleep deprivation due to late night cramming. For many it means stocking up on energy drinks like Red Bull, Monster, Rock Stars and so forth to help them keep motivated to study the entire night without feeling tired.
Even though these popular drinks help energize their consumers, they have harmful side effects which include jitters, changes in heart rate and according to healthmad.com a “crash phase.”
“Many people get sick in the ‘crash phase.’ [Their] energy will be gone, which makes [them] think that another energy drink is what [they] need,” according to healthmad.com.
Many college students live a full life of stress, deadlines and assignments. Therefore they are always on the prowl for extra energy to keep them fired up through the day.
“Out of all the energy drinks, I like Red Bull because you feel energized within like ten minutes. I barely started drinking Red Bull this past month because of midterms. I had so much to do that I needed an extra boost to keep up later in the night. They really work like no other,” said student Abdiel Aguayo.
However, consumers ignore big risk factors, like the fact that energy drinks destroy your tooth enamel. According to NPR’s blog “Energy Drinks Can Take Teeth On An Irreversible Acid Trip,” there is a high amount of citric acid in energy drinks in order to preserve its shelf life and to flavor the products, but at the same time, this acid strips the enamel from your teeth.
“I don’t know what I would do without my Monster energy drink. I literally drink them everyday! When I don’t have [it], I feel so tired and find a way to get one. I tried to stop drinking them, but I always go back,” said student Derek Fenton.
Consumers who are drinking these products are susceptible to damaging their tooth enamel and can develop other long term effects such as acid reflux and high sugar levels, which can lead to diabetes.
These long term effects, among others, are increasing among consumers, which for the most part are “about one-third of all 12 to 24-year-olds [who] consume energy drinks,” according to Chigago Tribune.
“There are about 30 to 50 percent of teenagers who consume these beverages. They are losing enamel and are prone to cavities and tooth decay,” according to NPR’s blog.
According to healthmad.com, associate professor in the School of Dental Medicine at Southern Illinois University, Poonan Jain, argues that energy drink consumption not only depletes tooth enamel but also leads to loss of bone mass and kidney stones.
“Even though I now know what I am doing to my teeth, it doesn’t really stop me from drinking Monsters. I know that they’re not good for me, but it’s like people who smoke cigarettes. They know they’re bad for them, but they still smoke,” said Fenton.
Energy drink companies are not required to put the amount of citric acid on the products’ labels, therefore consumers will never know the damage that they are causing their teeth.
Next time you need to stay up, consider drinking something more traditional like coffee or tea. Not only are they natural, but they’re inexpensive and better for your body and less damaging for your teeth.