Energy Drinks

The Good and the Bad

College presents a number of new experiences and challenges to students as they attempt to become accustomed to a newfound sense of independence and the responsibility that comes with this freedom. College students are often tired due to the work that they have to do and it can become hard to concentrate on said labor after focusing on it for several hours. There are a variety of substances and supplements that students take to aid them in staying awake. From coffee to snacks, students will try anything to stay up a few extra hours and study for their exam the next day. One of the substances students use to stay awake are energy drinks and there is still an interesting debate regarding their usefulness and value.

What is in Most Energy Drinks?

There are many different energy drink brands which contain different ingredients in their recipes. There are, however, common trends among most energy drinks regarding the ingredients they share. These ingredients are typically caffeine, taurine, guarana, and sugar. Their properties are:

  • Caffeine - The world's most widely consumed proved psychoactive substance. Caffeine is a stimulant that enhances alertness, wakefulness, and movement. The substance's effects are researched and proven.
  • Taurine - The most abundant free amino acid in the human body. Contributes to cardiovascular health as well as skeletal muscle function, retina and central nervous system function. It has not, however, been proven to provide energy.
  • Guarana - This is a plant of the maple tree family. It is proven to be an effective stimulant. This is due to the fact that its seeds contain twice the caffeine of coffee beans.
  • Sugar - Sugar contains glucose which is a source of energy for the human body. It provides energy to people.

The Good of Energy Drinks

Energy drinks have positive effects as they advertise on their products. Almost all energy drinks actually provide you with what they promise; energy. Drinking a Red Bull or a Monster will make it easier to stay awake and study for that big test tomorrow.

The Bad of Energy Drinks

While energy drinks do provide you with energy, the drawbacks that they offer are also quite considerable. The energy that these drinks encourage is almost exclusively obtained from caffeine and sugar, as the other ingredients in the products do not really stimulate the human body. They also provide about as much caffeine as slightly more than an average cup of coffee. The price you pay for a typical energy drink is about $3 to $4 which is at least twice as expensive as a regular cup of coffee bought from the deli. The difference in price is even more extreme when considering that you can purchase your own coffee beans and make your own coffee for drastically less money. Energy drinks also contain high amounts of sugar (more than 80 grams in some cases) and this is proven to be harmful to the body if consumed in excess.

The Outcome of the Facts

When weighing the positives and the negatives of most energy drinks, the smart choice is to skip them and drink some coffee if you need to stay awake. The energy boost is about the same, and coffee is so much cheaper.


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