Students seek energy boost

College life tends to run on a different watch than most of the world. Whether it is studying late at night for a big exam or working all night on a big project in the lab, students can run low on energy.

There are a variety of quick pick-me-ups available to the masses throughout the day. These energy boosters usually come in small tin cans and are priced around $1.99.

Americans seem to love their energy drinks. According to the New York Times, Red Bull is the third largest in beverage profit for convenience stores.

Since the success of Red Bull, multiple “extreme energy rush” themed beverages are debuting everywhere. The drinks come in colorful cans and edgy names like Full Throttle, Rockstar, Monster, and there is even an energy drink called Bawls. The most recent and controversial drink is called Cocaine, which has a higher amount of caffeine than Red Bull. In fact, an average cup of coffee has about 80 to 100 milligrams of caffeine, while Cocaine has 280 milligrams, according to the Food and Drug Administration’s Web site.

The non-regulation of the ingredients in energy drinks, by the Food and Drug Administration, has created some controversy. In most circumstances, caffeine is not severely dangerous, but it could pose a threat to those with high blood pressure or anxiety. According to the article, “The Energy Drink is Unmistakable, The Health Impact is Unknown,” by New York Times columnist Michael Mason, an existing concern is that little research has been done on the long-term effects of excessive caffeine consumption.

“I’m not even sure that they actually live up to their claim,” said John Brown, 19, a political science student from Tampa. “I have no personal preference when it comes to a specific brand name. Everyday there’s a new advertisement for a new energy drink.”

Energy drink brands, such as SoBe and Arizona, customize their products to contain herbal ingredients as an alternative to drinks that are highly caffeinated. Ginseng is a popular additive but most drinks still contain traces of caffeine.

Whether students are drinking Red Bull or a can of Cocaine, labels on many energy drinks warn consumers not to drink in excess. According to the Food and Drug Administration’s Web site, Red Bull is not a thirst quencher; these beverages should be used only for a temporary boost.