Students energize for finals, papers

Energy drinks started in Europe and were introduced to the United States with Red Bull. Freshman zoo and wildlife biology major Jake Belair said he started using energy drinks to stay awake over the weekend, when he had worked a total of thirty hours.

These drinks, which are gaining popularity, are mostly a combination of energy and vitamins, including Vitamin B, according to energydrinks.factexpert.com. Other combinations include coffee and juice within the drinks.

The almost 20-year-old drink is becoming popular even for soda and alcoholic beverage companies as they see profit in creating these drinks.

Energy drinks are aimed at people with more extreme lifestyles, says energydrinks.factexpert.com. The level of caffeine is higher than coffee and could result in other health effects besides overdose, which is rare.

For long-time usage of energy drinks, health effects can include osteoporosis, insomnia, high blood pressure, infertility, ulcers and heart disease. If the body is not vitamin deficient, it is less likely to cause these effects.

Energy drinks can be bought at gas stations and grocers.

Students find energy drinks helpful in staying awake to study. However, some find themselves crashing afterwards. (Photo by Kaitie Fox)

Some students use them frequently.

Senior political science major Mitchell Fehrman said that he uses them two to three times a week to stay up to write papers. He usually drinks Nos or 5-Hour Energy. Fehrman feels these work the best for him.

Students notice side effects even when the energy drink was out of their system.

“Sometimes I am more tired the next day,” Fehrman said.

Freshman integrated language arts major Allison Hammerle said that after drinking one for a soccer tournament, she fell asleep and woke up with side effects.

“I was really sore, stuttering and not able to comprehend things [as quickly],” Hammerle said.

“The energy drink make me very jittery and bouncing off walls,” Belair said.

Despite these bad side effects, others have said it doesn’t affect them as much.

“A friend convinced me to try it in 7th grade,” freshman social work major Malik Felton said. “I thought that it would make me have energy, but it made me sleepy,”

Stacy Ulrect, resident director of Blossom Hall, said they help her to keep her eyes open, but she still feels tired.

Another student, senior computer science major Matt Ellis had an extreme reaction to the energy drink 5 Hour Energy.

The drink had been passed out to students on campus for free. A few days later, Ellis said he needed to write a long paper for his Gen 460 class.

Ellis started the paper at 2 a.m. and drank a little of it and said by the time he had finished the paper at 5:30 a.m., he had drank half of it.

Ellis said he had to get up for an 8:30 a.m. class, in which he had to give a speech. He couldn’t put his thoughts together at all, and he said his speech was blurred.

“During the speech I started to black out,” Ellis said. “I threw my pen behind me, and hit my head against the wall.”

Senior sports management major Kyle Sprague caught him before he hit the floor.

“At first I thought I had a seizure,” Sprague said.

An ambulance even came Ellis said, but he also said that he decided not to go on it because he realized the energy drink had affected him.

Despite the mishap with the energy drink, Ellis said, “I’m not afraid of them, [but] I would be cautious.”

In the past Ellis had drank Red Bull, but it didn’t affect him even half as much.

Ellis concluded that the 5-Hour Energy had affected him because he hadn’t eaten anything at the time he drank it.

After Fehrman heard about this, he started making sure he drank them with food.

As in all things of this nature, even coffee or tea, too much is never good.

Hannah Finley is the 2012-13 feature editor for The Aviso AVW.

Lisa Heath is a feature co-editor for The Aviso AVW.

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2 replies »

  1. I have done some research on 5 hour energy because of my health freak of a friend swears by it, yet the majority of my friends who have seen me with it, have cautioned me with horrible stories about people going to the hospital because of it. I was looking for a way to stay awake and write papers, just like the majority of students. I did not want to use Monster or Red Bull because I have heard they were super unhealthy, and I generally avoid carbination.
    With my research that was done online, (does not include wiki) there is nothing harmful in 5 hour energy, it is just that it needs to go with water. It has an enormous amount of B vitamins and you need water to flush them out of your system, or you will get dizzy, black out, puke, or have very bad stomac aches. I myself have found that I need to eat something around the same time, or I will not feel good, but the most important thing about it is that YOU NEED WATER.


  2. I use Monster, Rockstar, Red Bull, and NOS to help me and I will have to say this. Though they do give you an incredible energy rush, I find that good time-management skills and healthy eating will help you do better at classes. Probably the biggest problem I have with them is this: they elevate your heart rate at an unhealthy pulse and make you constantly urinate. Even more, if you have not eaten, you will get nasty chest and stomach cramps.


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