NADER HUSSEIN ’DOAH STAFF WRITER
8 a.m. classes. Midnight deadlines. These are a few of the many reasons why college students turn to energy drinks. With the increas- ing pressure on students to achieve higher levels of education, students find themselves looking for an extra burst of energy after a long day or a long night. This is where energy drinks like Red Bull come into play.
Full of caffeine and other supplements, energy drinks claim to give consumers the drive to take on any challenge. Red Bull, the most popular of these energy drinks, makes it a point to market their product to college students. At one point, Red Bull was distributing free cases of their beverage to pupils in an attempt to spread their popularity. But is the drink really worth the health detriments it is associated with?
According to ABC News, Swedish officials are investigating the link between Red Bull and the deaths of three young people who consumed the drink. Two of the subjects were using Red Bull in an alcohol mixture, while the third downed multiple cans after a workout. In some countries, energy drinks are only sold at pharmacies to try and combat the popularity of the beverage. Still, Red Bull has been sold in over 161 countries.
The company still asserts that its product is not unhealthy, and that it is no different from a cup of coffee.
“Clearly Red Bull is not dangerous,” explained general manager Norbert Kraihmer, speaking to ABC News. “Never ever anybody has been able to prove any harmful effects of Red Bull on health.”
But how do S.U. students feel about the craze of energy drinks on college campuses?
Sophomore Dean Greenwood said, “Red Bull is great. It helps me stay focused in class and helps me finish my assignments after a long day.”
Senior Demetrius Younger explained, “Red Bull is a young man’s cup of coffee,” relating the drink to the common early morning pick-me-up.
Not all students share the senti- ment. Junior basketball player Kyle Murph explained the availability of other alternatives that are healthier and do the job. Many people appreciate the effect of green tea in helping to combat afternoon drowsiness. It contains less caffeine than coffee and has shown signs of decreasing the
consumer’s risk of heart disease and cancer. Another option is a protein shake, which combats one of the main causes of fatigue, the lack of protein. Perhaps the best choice is a simple glass of water. Dehydration slows down the body’s metabolic reactions, which causes you to feel sluggish.
With the use of energy drinks becoming increasingly prevalent on college campuses, students and scientists alike will continue to debate the cost-benefit relationship of these drinks.