Coming down hard on energy drinks

Popular energy drinks (SOURCE:

Popular energy drinks (SOURCE:

Do energy drinks work? Do they really give you the energy they claim to? We often drink them during exam periods to fight off sleepiness. More than three-quarters of my friends have told me they turn to energy drinks at exam time. Others have said they drink them like water.

Energy drinks help us get through the day, but they may actually be doing us harm. Although the caffeine in energy drinks wake us up for a bit, they make us feel tired later on. For some, the effects of energy drinks could be worse. According to a recent study at the University of Tasmania, researchers found that energy drink consumption can cause many physical problems such as sleep disorders, hypertension, and nervousness. On October 22, The New York Times cited US Food and Drug Administration reports that suggest a possible link between Monster Energy, a popular caffeinated drink, and the deaths of five people. Clearly, we should be cautious.

So what should we do when we’re pulling an all-night study session and can’t keep our eyes open? Dr. Lee Hyang-woon of Ehwa Womans University Mokdong Hospital recommends taking a walk or stretching, which stimulates blood circulation and helps refresh your mind. Walking, in particular, helps you take in oxygen, which is good for your concentration. If caffeine is absolutely necessary, Dr. Lee warns against exceeding 400 mg per day.

So the next time you need a pick-me-up, breathe in some fresh air. Energy drinks may just burn you out.

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