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The True “Benefits” of Energy Drinks

Offduty%3A+Caffine+Drinks
Offduty: Caffine Drinks

Offduty: Caffine Drinks

Photo courtesy of www.blackhawk-christian.com.

Photo courtesy of www.blackhawk-christian.com.

Offduty: Caffine Drinks

Angelina Taillant, Staff Writer

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Soft drinks such as soda, Red Bull, and Monster have made an appearance in our daily lives for the last few decades. Today, it’s impossible to go into a store or pharmacy and not find a drink that provides more energy to either exercise or get through the day. In today’s society, teenagers buy and consume caffeine without thinking of the consequences that come with it. Although energy drinks and coffee contain caffeine, which is a great way to wake up in the morning, they also contain powerful hallucinogens and chemicals that interfere with the development of the brain. Since teenagers are still growing; it has a negative effect on the brain, and in many cases can lead to insomnia and powerful hallucinations that are hard to control.

Drinks such as Monster and Red Bull have a high dosage of caffeine and sugar which affect the brain and blood sugar levels. However, they also contain an ingredient that Coca Cola and Pepsi also have, making the drinks addictive. Like alcohol, energy drinks have a bittersweet taste at first, and are hard to swallow. In fact, many teenagers spit it out the first time they try it. However, just like alcohol, the second time around, it doesn’t taste as bad. Thus, one gradually becomes addicted to said drink.

Sophomore Matt Knight said, “I rarely drink them. The downside is that they obviously aren’t good for you with all the sugar and caffeine. But the good thing is that it keeps you awake and aware if you need to be.”

However, not all students think this way. An anonymous source said, “Yeah, me and my friends, we all drink it. It’s mostly to stay up during the day since we go to bed really late and wake up really early. They are also pretty good in giving an energy boost and staying up all night if you want to. Most of my friends drink the stuff because they need the energy to get them through school.”

Some Dwyer students become overworked and stressed because of extra homework and college-leveled classes (i.e. AP, IB, AICE), which results in them staying up late to study or finish projects. Students become hooked, and need the caffeine in order to function every day in school.

Moreover, many people that consume energy drinks admit to having busy lives, such as with school and work. These people rely on little sleep and a caffeine boost to get them through the day. However, science has proven that not getting enough sleep does not let the brain start its cleaning process of getting rid of all the toxins. If the toxins are still there the next morning, then the chemicals of energy drinks and coffee make it worse.

What is outstanding is that even with all of the information out there, according to a report from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the sales of energy drinks are higher than ever. They have approximately grown sixty percent between 2008 and 2012, proving that more and more people feel the need to turn to energy drinks.

 

Even though experts believe it is okay for an average adult to consume up to 400 milligrams of caffeine per day, current CSPI reports say that almost one third of teens between 12 and 17 years old drink energy drinks regularly. More so, drinking more than one energy drink a day can quickly send someone over the caffeine limit.

Although energy drinks are a huge part of our lives, there are many other things that can replace the feeling energy drinks provide, such as going to the gym or participating in a sport. Exercise is known to produce hormones called endorphins which help people not only stay awake and alert, but also provide a natural stimulant for happiness. Another option that is helping teenagers is the alternative of protein shakes and smoothies. Such drinks are similar to energy drinks, and are available at most stores. Smoothies and protein shakes can help people stay alert while supplementing essential vitamins.

There is always a better alternative, people just have to be committed enough to find one.

 

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The True “Benefits” of Energy Drinks