Energy drinks have become a common sight at St. John’s. Their booming popularity during this decade has helped to make them a normal part of many students’ days. These drinks can give students the extra boost that is necessary to do all of the things they need to do in a given day. But is the boost these drinks give worth the adverse health effects that have been linked to them? Or is coffee the better alternative?
What seems to have happened is that energy drinks have created and entered into a market that is entirely separate from that of coffee. While many see them as competitors, they are not in direct competition.
Coffee is more of an everyday beverage that people regularly consume multiple servings of in a day, whereas energy drinks are usually limited to single use. Energy drinks and the boost they provide are stronger than what coffee can offer, which justifies the more intense crash to many.
As the market continues to grow, more and more people are drinking energy drinks on a regular basis. The argument about the effects of energy drinks on a person’s health continues to rage, but it doesn’t have much of an effect on the fans of the drinks. Energy drinks have made a market for themselves, and unless a study can show a direct correlation between them and a devastating health effect, people are going to drink them to get that extra jolt of energy they need.
The most common health problem associated with energy drinks is that of excessive caffeine intake. This is not usually a problem when drinking one energy drink per day, but can become a problem when more are consumed or if drinking some of the larger sized drinks. Excessive caffeine intake can cause a euphoric state to many, but also causes nervousness, irritability, sleeplessness, increased urination, abnormal heart rhythms and upset stomach.
With excessive caffeine intake comes the dreaded caffeine crash. The crash that happens when an energy drink wears off is definitely a problem, especially for students. Using an energy drink to stay up all night and study is a common occurrence, but if the crash happens in the middle of the test then the benefits of that studying might not be seen.
The crash from energy drinks is much worse than one from coffee because of the higher concentration of caffeine, which makes many question the usefulness of these drinks.
While energy drinks do have their negatives, there are few, if any, concrete links between them and adverse health effects beyond the symptoms of excessive caffeine intake. There have been reports of illness, seizures, and even death due to energy drink consumption. This has caused some countries to ban many of the drinks, including market-leader Red Bull. However, these instances are generally seen as exceptions, not rules.
Despite all the reasons not to consume energy drinks, they remain a popular choice for consumers. Coffee and other drinks, while still popular, are simply not viable substitutes for energy drinks.
They may not cause as hard of a crash, but they also fail to give the same boost. If a student needs to stay awake for just a few hours more, turning to an energy drink is the better choice. It can provide the necessary jolt of energy without keeping them up all night.