Many Titans on campus drink energy drinks like Redbull, Bang, or Monster, but how does this affect our bodies and how we sleep?
Energy drinks contain copious amounts of caffeine, a drug also found in coffee and teas, which affects the brain by raising your alertness levels.
“Most people assume you’re getting energy from energy drinks, but the reality is what you’re getting is the effects of an excitatory amino acid, caffeine, but it’s not actually providing energy in the form of calories.” Human Biology teacher Dr. Fitzgerald said. “You’re putting a drug in your system which makes your brain think you have energy, but it’s not actually providing energy to your body.”
While coffee or tea also have similar amounts of caffeine per serving to energy drinks, energy drinks tend to be more dangerous because of how they are consumed. Coffee and tea are usually warm, and people drink them over longer periods of time, so the body is able to account for the small amounts of caffeine entering the body at a time and drinkers do not feel the negative effects.
With cold fizzy energy drinks, people drink them rapidly, and they contain much higher amounts of caffeine inside of them. This makes it hard for the body to compensate for the high concentration of the drug in the blood at one time leaving some drinkers to go through withdrawal symptoms after the drink wears off.
“It normally takes me around a half hour to finish an energy drink,” said junior Kate Gladheim, “I used to drink them to study and do work at night to stay up, but now it doesn’t really affect me.”
When it comes to sleep, many students, like Gladheim, drink energy drinks later in the day so they are able to study for longer periods of time. This can interfere with sleep, seeing as you are actively trying to stay awake and alert. However, since the drink provides no real energy, you should be able to fall asleep if you’re tired.
“Even if I drink a Redbull I can still fall asleep if I have nothing to do, but it just keeps me awake if I need to stay awake” said junior Emily Bylsma.