Kickstart with energy

Benefits and disadvantages energy drinks provide


Emily MacIntyre

Sitting in her fourth-hour broadcasting class senior Andrea Heather experiences a sugar crash after consuming an energy drink.

As days seem to become shorter, with less time to complete an ever-growing list of tasks, the search for energy feeds a growing industry.
For most, it is a simple cup of coffee to start the morning. But for some adults and teens, it becomes something more convenient that’s packed with caffeine and sugary flavors – Energy Drinks.
In research provided by, since 2013 Red Bull has grown in sales by about five percent each year, while gaining and keeping its current ranking of the number one most sold energy drink in the United States. Following in a close second is another popular drink, Monster.
In the year prior, the New York Times stated that five people may have died after drinking Monster Energy. This information was brought to light after the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released incident reports pertaining to energy drinks.
While there are no direct links between energy drinks and death, such drinks come with serious health risks. Some side effects are weight gain, cardiovascular problems, and one’s ability to function properly.
“Most energy drinks are filled with sugars that cause weight gain, while also causing irregular and rapid heartbeat and increased blood pressure which ultimately can lead to heart failure,” said.
What many people fail to realize is that the FDA does not regulate the ingredients in energy drinks. These drinks are considered a dietary supplement rather than a beverage, meaning they can contain more caffeine than a soft drink.
“Next to multivitamins, energy drinks are the most popular dietary supplement consumed by American teens and young adults,” National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NIH) said.
According to, energy drinks contain ingredients such as Taurine, Ginkgo Biloba, Guarana, and dozens more ingredients that most people have never heard of. Also stating that one Monster Energy is the equivalent to four cans of Coca-Cola.
Consuming 500mg of caffeine is enough to cause caffeine toxicity which then leads to a large increase of emergency room visits from energy drink consumption.
“I don’t drink one everyday, I know some people do and most of time are like bouncing off the walls,” senior Andrea Heather said. “I only drink the four to five times a week.”
According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in 2011, 1,499 adolescents aged 12 to 17 years went to the emergency room for an energy drink-related emergency.
Following up, in 2016, Fox News reported the parents of a 14-year-old girl who drank two 24-ounce Monster Energy Drinks in 24 hours filed a wrongful death suit. Their reasoning being Monster failed to warn consumers about the risks of drinking its products.
In this case, specifically, an autopsy concluded she died of cardiac arrhythmia due to caffeine toxicity. It was also found the girl had an inherited disorder that can weaken blood vessels.
This event caused sales for the company to decrease by 14 percent. Judy Lin Sfetcu, a spokesperson for Monster Energy, stated that the company was unaware of any fatality anywhere that has been caused by it’s drinks.
“Although the FDA caps the amount of caffeine in soda to 0.02 percent, there is no such limit for energy drinks,” Fox News said.
Not only can energy drinks of all kinds lead to life threatening side effects, there are other adverse effects people have experienced.
In an interview for the New York Times, FDA spokeswoman Shelly Burgess said additional incident reports referred to other adverse events such as abdominal pain, vomiting, tremors and abnormal heart rate from consuming energy drinks.

“It just helps me wake up in the day and I normally don’t finish it until like third hour so I’m not taking it all in at once,” Heather said.
While energy drinks do come with many disadvantages, there are benefits as well
“Energy drinks are intended to boost your energy, alertness and concentration. People of all ages consume them and they continue to grow in popularity,”, an informative health media website, said.
What isn’t presented to most is the fact energy drinks can increase mental alertness while also improving one’s brain function.
“Multiple studies confirm that energy drinks can indeed improve measures of brain function like memory, concentration and reaction time, while also reducing mental fatigue,” said.
PubMed Central is just one of many databases containing such studies. They did not study the energy drink as a whole, but rather the ingredients it contains.
Healthline also stated one study consisting of 36 volunteers, in particular, showed that drinking just one 8.4-ounce (500-ml) can of Red Bull increased both concentration and memory by about 24 percent.
Not only do they provide the extra kick a person may need, many athletes use it to maximize their workout with the attack of energy they gain from the drink.
“Energy drinks, on the other hand, are formulated to deliver caffeine and other stimulants, such as guarana or ginseng, to give a rush of energy,” said. “They may also contain taurine, an amino acid that may boost performance during exercise by helping muscular contraction and the removal of waste products.”
Many energy drinks also come with healthier options, such as zero sugar or zero calories to limit the weight gain and sugar consumption while also benefiting from the drink.
Mood lifting and attitude improvement is another benefit from these drinks, according to Nova Medical Centers.
“Once you’re high on energy, you’ll feel like you’ll be able to take on anything. Eliminating the groggy and temperamental mood will lead to constructive relationships among your peers and family,” Nova said.
Another health benefit of energy drinks is vitamin supplements. There are different vitamins included in each drink some being: Vitamin B (including eight total), non-animal sources of B12 and some antioxidants.
It is still very important to continue to drink lots water along with an energy drink. According to, caffeine is a mild diuretic, which can stimulate an urge to urinate. This removes water from the body, especially if a person is not accustomed to caffeine.
Whether a person chooses to drink an energy drink is personal preference. Each drink comes with it’s own benefits and disadvantages