Students consume unhealthy energy drinks to focus

Claudia Rivas

While the spring semester is rapidly progressing, the alarm of assignments, exams, quizzes, midterms and project due dates are evidently stressing college students to the point of major exhaustion.

The heavy studying and working is creating a schedule where rest or sleep is nearly impossible. Instead, it transforms determined university students into zombie-like characters able to motion the actions of a studious pupils, but unable to retain significant information.

With the driven intent on conserving facts, figures, and details most students will drink anything to “stay alive.” This is especially true during the peak of fatigue.

Some may take naps during the day to stay awake during the late hours of the evening and others will gulp down energy drinks for the adrenaline rush.

Energy drinks such as Monster, Red Bull and 5-hour ENERGY are quickly becoming widely popular among college students for a buzz of vitality. Although the bump of vigor proves why people drink energy drinks, a question arises: Why do college students consume energy through these types of drinks for liveliness instead of other common caffeinated beverages like coffee, tea or soda?

Sacramento State student and energy drink consumer, Alejandro Gonzalez discussed his experience of how energy refreshments assist his productivity.

“Unlike coffee where flavor is practically the same, I like how energy drinks give me not only more options in flavor, but also make me feel as though the caffeine kicks in faster than coffee,” said Gonzalez.

There are multiple aspects to energy drinks that appeal to audiences of young people more than just flavor. One facet includes the ostentatious names such as: Monster, AMP, Bawls, Full Throttle and Viper.

The loud names and colors energy drinks provide in their branding take advantage of young people’s perspectives. This is due to the words related to the titles each line of energy drinks has.

For example, Viper has a line named after radical snakes; this triggers minds to correlate adrenalin with a thrilling name such “Black Mamba.”

The number of calories in energy drinks is another facet that manipulates young people into consuming such beverages. The number of low calories on a can of the substance does not mean it is a healthy choice for natural energy.

Sac State Ph.D and Registered Dietician, Kathleen Deegan further explained the misleading factor energy drinks provide on their cans to gain a strong following.

“Energy drink companies are hoping that consumers do not understand the relationship between calories and energy,” Deegan said. “Young people see the low number and think, ‘Not many calories, but so much energy, great!'”

She goes on to explain that this idea proves the lack of understanding of metabolism in the average person and how people also don’t understand that energy is calories.

Instead of drinking excess amounts of caffeine, Deegan suggested a number of ways to produce energy in a healthy manner.

Students looking for a boost are able to do so by simply eating fruits and vegetables. By eating a balanced amount of produce, the energy gained in such calories will give the body a longer vitality compared to drinking only energy drinks for a boost.

When asking a Sac State student on their suggestions of what is to be done for energy rather than energy drinks or caffeinated drink, Rachel Anderson gave answers.

“Energy drinks only last a really short amount of time,” Anderson said. “If young people want more energy for productivity, college students should manage their time well enough to ensure that they are able to get at least the eight hours of sleep needed to have more energy during the day. At least that’s what helps me.”

Whether eating fruits and vegetables, managing sleep or exercising is preferred, these are a few suggestions in creating healthy energy that will last longer in the body rather than rely on heavily caffeinated energy drinks.