Energy Drink Culture

Energy Drink Culture

At Gig Harbor High School, it is very common to see students walking around with an energy drink in their hand. Most students are aware of the problems associated with energy drinks, but for many, the benefits outweigh the dangers.

Many students choose to ignore the potential health risks associated with energy drinks. They are full of caffeine and sugar, which can both cause higher blood pressure and heart rate, as well as anxiety and insomnia. If you drink them too often, it can lead to heart disease and diabetes. Caffeine is a stimulant drug that causes your brain to release dopamine, occasionally leading to a caffeine addiction. The recommended caffeine intake for 12–18-year-olds is less than 100 milligrams. Many energy drinks contain twice that amount, plus other harmful chemicals. Student responses to the danger vary. Some are indifferent to the risks, while others are concerned and refuse to drink them because of them. One student, Clara Reis, stated, “I think energy drinks are okay as long as you don’t have them every day.”

If energy drinks are so harmful, then why do students continue to consume them daily? Ambrielle Reynolds (10) explained, “I love them. I love Red Bull, and I love Celsius. I’m addicted.” One of their main draws is the energy boost they provide. 200 milligrams of caffeine make you feel more alert, wake you up, and put you in a better mood. Most students have busy lives and aren’t always able to get the recommended 8–10 hours of sleep that teenagers require. This lack of sleep prevents them from being productive in school, and energy drinks are a popular way to cope with this. Another reason some students drink energy drinks is the taste. Energy drinks have a sweet and tangy taste, often with a flavor added. Some popular flavors are strawberry, peach, blue raspberry, and other original energy drink flavors. Avery Newgard (10) says, “I love them; they are so tasty!”. This taste factor makes energy drinks much more enjoyable than other energy options.

In 2022, energy drinks were the 10th most popular drink in the U.S., but due to a recent growth in energy drink popularity, energy drink consumption has likely risen. Whether healthy or not, energy drinks are seemingly here to stay with the students at Gig Harbor High School. Hopefully, in the future, there will be a healthier alternative, still offering the benefits that are currently only offered by energy drinks.