Pop! Fizz! Crack!: Are energy drinks good for your health?


(Courtesy of Emerson Fraley)

Someone grabbing for a Monster energy drink.

The crack of the can, the pop of the carbonation, the sound of the fizz, and the taste of that first sip. Drinking energy drinks is a normal part of most students’ lifestyles. Red Bull, 5-Hour Energy, Monster, Alani Nu, Rockstar, Celsius, and Bang are examples of popular energy drink brands.

“I don’t think they are good for you but they are not bad if you drink them in moderation. As long as it’s not the only thing you drink and [you should] monitor how much of it you intake,” said Freshman Maryrose Willis.

An energy drink is a beverage that contains large amounts of caffeine, added sugars, other additives, and legal stimulants such as guarana, taurine, and L-carnitine. These legal stimulants can increase alertness, attention, energy, as well as increase blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing, according to the CDC

“I think energy drinks are bad because of the amount of sugar and taurine but I still drink them,” said Junior Avery Simmons.

Experts recommend teens get no more than 100 mg of caffeine a day (about 1 cup of coffee or 2 caffeinated sodas), however, even smaller amounts of daily caffeine can make someone dependent on it. This means that if you quit caffeine suddenly, you’ll have caffeine withdrawal symptoms like headaches, trouble concentrating, feeling tired and irritable, according to the CDC.

“My favorite energy drink is Redbull because I support the F1 team,” said Senior Caden Fraley.

Energy drinks can be a part of many things. Red Bull is the official energy drink partner of Riot Games’ global League of Legends events, including the LEC and LCS. The energy drink brand also sponsors both CS: GO and League of Legends teams for German organization BIG, according to ESI.

“I would recommend Celsius because it keeps my energy up throughout the day. However, I think it’s like soda where you shouldn’t drink too many or rely on them,” said Senior Katie Rhea.

CELSIUS aims to inspire those who want to live fit by giving them a sustained energy source that’s specially formulated to work with your body to help you reach your goals.

According to CELSIUS, “CELSIUS stands out against other brands because it’s made with healthier ingredients such as ginger, guarana, green tea, and 7 essential vitamins. Our drinks contain no sugar, no aspartame, no high fructose corn syrup, and no artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors. CELSIUS is certified gluten-free, kosher, and non-GMO.”.

Alani Nu is another one of the Highlands High School students’ favorites. Alani Nu recommends consulting a physician for anyone under the age of 18. All of their products are designed to be taken by individuals over the age of 18.

“My favorite is Alani Nu because it has the best flavors and tastes better than the others,” said Willis.

Lastly, another student favorite is Bang Energy. Bang kept meticulous details on the alternating macro-nutrient profiles of their clients never once counting or paying attention to calories.

“My favorite energy drink is Bang because it tastes really good. My favorite [flavor] is the Birthday Cake Classic,” said Sophmore Cole Stemann.

When you drink energy drinks some experience: dehydration (not enough water in your body), heart complications (such as irregular heartbeat and heart failure), and anxiety (feeling nervous and jittery).

However, some students are not energy drink consumers.

“I am not a fan of energy drinks because I’m not a huge caffeine fan,” said Senior Lance Borden.

Whether drinking energy drinks or not large amounts of caffeine, added sugars, other additives, and legal stimulants such as guarana, taurine, and L-carnitine are not as good for you as you think. Multiple studies have shown energy drinks can reduce mental fatigue and improve measures of brain function, such as memory, concentration, and reaction time. 

No matter what flavor or energy drink you take in, monitor it. Too much can harm your health and more.