The Buzz on Energy Drinks

Katrina Swan, Staff Writer

Madison students are turning to energy drinks for more focus during the school day, but there’s more to learn about these in-demand beverages. 

“After drinking an energy drink, I feel really weird and my hands start to shake because I am very sensitive to caffeine,” Audrey Jeoung (‘23) said. 

Any beverage containing excess caffeine, sugar or stimulants like guarana, taurine and L-carnitine falls under the title of energy drink, stated by the Mayo Clinic. Monster Energy, Celsius, Red Bull, Rockstar, Reign and Mountain Dew are especially well known and popular among adolescents. With the return of in-person learning, more students are using these beverages to combat fatigue. In a survey of 249 Madison students, 10.4% said they drank energy drinks on a daily basis. 

Advertised with colorful cans and Instagram models, it’s no wonder why energy drinks have risen in popularity amongst teens.

“They have interesting cans, so it kind of pops out at you,” Colin Sullivan (’22) said. 

The marketing strategies of energy drinks have been a controversial topic in and out of the courtroom. In 2014, Red Bull settled $13 million in a class action lawsuit for false and misleading advertising claims for its energy drinks, stated by Insider. As reported in CBS News, San Francisco City Attorney, Dennis Herrera, filed a lawsuit against Monster Beverage in 2013. Herrera accused them of marketing to young children. Since both lawsuits,  Monster Energy and Red Bull began to display the caffeine amounts on their products. 

For the fatigued teen, energy drinks sound like a great option. They provide a boost of energy and focus from the stimulants they contain according to The Mayo Clinic. Hundreds of brands mean an endless option of flavors and ingredients to try. With no brewing or boiling involved, these drinks are easy to consume at a fast rate. However, there’s another side to these beverages. 

“If I were to take a gulp or chug it, then my hands would shake and it would feel like my bones are vibrating,” Zeda Crawford (’22) said. 

Excess caffeine intake can cause dehydration, heart complications, anxiety and insomnia according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). In a Madison survey of 249 students, 28 have experienced the jitters/shakes, 15 headaches and sleep problems, and 14 increased stress levels. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends 100mg of caffeine for adolescents, roughly the amount of an 8oz cup of coffee. The CDC also states the only long-term solution for fatigue is sleep. So, next time you reach in the fridge after a late-night, remember your health.