Red Bull and Rockstar Energy drinks are risky business for students


By Randee May, Staff Writer

It’s six in the evening and you’ve got a five page paper due at eight am the next day, and all you have written so far is your name. You’re exhausted from a long day of classes and work, so you reach over and grab yourself a Five Hour Energy to give you that little boost of energy, but have you ever thought about what’s in that shot?

Have you ever considered the consequences?

For Destiny Williams, a little boost of energy to get through the day is far more important than consequences. “I drink between four and five Starbucks espresso shots to give me energy. I think the advantages outweigh the risks.”

If Destiny had been inside the bookstore at the same time as nursing students Julie Giardina and Andrea O’Neal, she may have reconsidered her answer. While purchasing scantrons for their exams, the two students would take a moment to help enlighten the student body of Armstrong about energy drinks and the damage that can be done.

“They cause adverse reactions on your blood pressure and heart rate. They can also mess with your electrolyte balance,” Giardina informed.

“On a trip our friend had four red bulls, two five hour energy drinks, and two other drinks. We ended up having to pull over and take him to the emergency room,” O’Neal pitched in.

While their friend made it out of the emergency room with no permanent damage, others have not been so lucky.

In June, a sixteen year old vacationing in Mexico went into cardiac arrest after spending an entire day drinking energy drinks instead of water. In 2012 there were at least seventeen deaths links to energy drinks and a total of thirty-four documented deaths in the last decade.

The FDA however claims that energy drinks are not the cause of these deaths, but underlying factors such as hereditary diseases and medications that could have been taken.

Despite popular belief, energy drinks do not enhance performance or concentration. Energy drinks dehydrate the body and act as a psychoactive drug. You can take one energy shot and it won’t be enough to get your ‘fix.’ Eventually your body will build a tolerance against sugar filled drinks.

More importantly they contain ingredients like Taurine, which is banned in most countries.  As well as Ginseng which causes sleeplessness, low blood pressure, vaginal bleeding, miscarriage, and a myriad of other symptoms. Ginkgo Bilbo, which has been known to cause thyroid cancer in rats and herbs that have not been approved by the FDA are also ingredients that can be found in everyday energy drinks.

Law officials have suggested a ban on energy drinks, requesting anyone under the age of twenty-one be restricted from buying energy drinks.

Many students claim energy drinks help them stay awake during class, but Christian Napper would disagree after he fell asleep during history class and knocked his head against the desk despite the energy drink he had chugged before class. His professor promptly told him he should get his money back.

Next time you feel like you’re crashing after only being two and half pages in try considering an alternative boost of energy, try moving around to get your blood pumping, instead of popping open that third can of Red Bull or Monster.