Energy Drinks: Do You Know What You Are Drinking?

By

Jessica Axsom

Most students will confess that at one time or another, they have pulled an all-nighter and crammed information for the following day’s test. It seems that no matter how much time is placed before them to prepare and study, waiting until the last minute just seems like the most logical thing to do; until they are forced to face the fact that maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all. Trying to force those eyelids to stay open can become almost impossible and they may fall back on a tasty alternative, an energy drink. Maybe while one student is guzzling down a Monster, another teen is riding around town with friends and in need of a pick-me-up for the long night ahead. When the car pulls into the local gas station to fill up the gas tank (good luck with that with the rising gas prices) and the group files into the store to stock up on junk food and energy drinks to get them through the night. More and more teens and young adults are purchasing these sugary alternatives to sleep, but most of them don’t understand the true risks inside the artistic aluminum cans.

While energy drinks are proven to give you a boost of energy, they are also proven to cause long term effects and even death. Caffeine is the main ingredient in energy drinks, such as Monster and Red Bull, which is a stimulant that is addictive and causes anxiety attacks, heart palpitations (a racing heart or uneven heart beat) and insomnia. Another harmful ingredient is taurine, which has been shown to cause mood swings, irritability, anxiety, insomnia, and sensitivity to noise. Guarana is found in most energy and soft drinks, and has been reported to cause consumers to tremble, become extremely hyperactive, heart palpitations, and insomnia. Ginseng has the most violent side effects on its victims, diarrhea, nausea, headaches, nose-bleeds, changes in blood pressure, and chest pain are just a few of the many after-shocks that have been reported.

Another leading ingredient that most of us can find in our own homes, that most of us use a bit too excessively, is sugar. The recommended amount of sugar that one adult should consume daily is nomore than 40 grams. There are 27 grams of sugar in one 8 fl oz serving of the famous Monster energy drink. In Mountain Dew’s own Amp, there are 30 grams of sugar in one can, the recommended serving size. Red Bull is tied with Monster at 27 grams in an 8.3 fl oz serving. The amount of sugar in one serving obviously doesn’t exceed the daily allowance of sugar; but most consumers exceed the serving size on the can. If one person drank the 2 servings of Monster, that would equal 54 grams of sugar, or almost 13 teaspoons!

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About Joshua Dean

Editor-in-Chief of The Cub View all posts by Joshua Dean

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