Energy Drinks: High-sugar marketing ploy not useful
April 5, 2012
Filed under Opinion
Want to stay awake? Want to feel alert? Sleep at least eight hours a night. Eat food of a healthy quantity and quality on a regular basis. Participate in routine hygiene activities. The key to continually staying conscious isn’t something new. And it isn’t turning to a synthesized source of a quick energy buzz, which doubles as a marketing scheme.
That’s right, contrary to popular belief, guzzling a Monster Energy Drink® at 7:30 a.m. does not get a student ready for the school day. Gulping a Rockstar Energy Drink directly after school does not spur a sleepy brain. Chugging a Red Bull Energy Drink before a long night of studying (or anything else) does not have the long term effects people expect it to have.
An energy drink is short term. It wires the blood and brain for half an hour, maybe, of rapid fire activity. And when that time period is over, the blood sugar levels go back down to normal, and the drop feels so dramatic the drinker feels even more sluggish than before the “energy” was drunk. Then, the drinker thinks, it is time for another energy drink! Which is exactly what the drink producers want. The truth is, the only benefit of an energy drink is a short boost of high-wire brain activity, and a paycheck for the producers.
There are those few events when energy drinks are suitable. If the driver of a long road trip is getting drowsy, that driver could get an energy drink to survive the last hour of a stretch home. If a teacher is grading papers late at night and cannot focus, that teacher could get an energy drink to finish up the batch. Energy drinks are for getting through the last boost of some tedious task, not for drinking on a regular basis or supporting a student’s energy or nutrition for the school day.
The best way to stay awake during the day, however, is to follow the health patterns learned in third grade. Energy drinks are highly unnecessary and ineffective.