Should Teens Consume Energy Drinks?

Kadin Wetherholt 

Energy drinks consist of many different stimulants.  When digested, the stimulates act almost immediately, fueling your mind and body. The energy drinks were created for people to get a more powerful rush of energy, that coffee could not supply. The first energy drink was made by William Mark Swartz in Chicago, 1949. It was not until the 2000s that the energy drink business increased. Advertisements nationwide supporting energy drinks reach athletes and college students to help with their performance in everyday life. Very few people grasped the advantages and disadvantages of energy drinks.



Several energy drinks corner the market from Red Bull to Monster, to the new, popular, “BANG”. These drinks are advertised to everyone and have many different advantages for people; people who work early morning shifts to those studying all-night-long for an exam. Their reputation is far from perfect, but what is the benefit of an energy shot?


The main ingredients in energy drinks are sugars and caffeine. The caffeine, in very high doses ranging from 40 to 300+ milligrams depending on the brand and the size of the drink (in ounces). In comparison, coffee is at 100 mg of coffee and the sugars are not as much to make an impact . Monster alone has almost 60 grams of sugar, mixing that with caffeine fuels your body up instantly. The caffeine and sugar both helps consumers get the daily rush of energy they are looking for.


Amino acids and other significant vitamins and minerals are found in these drinks. They are packed full of staminal vitamins that help your body fight off bacteria, keeping your immune system healthier.  Taurine is one of the significant active ingredients in most energy drinks. Taurine is a natural amino acid located in many parts of the body. Big energy companies supply multiple doses in the energy drinks because it helps with muscle contraction, regulates heart rate, and helps to increase energy levels.


Other high vitamins found in these drinks are vitamin B and B12. Vitamin B is proved to help improve people’s everyday mood and can help fight cancer cells; additionally, B12 helps regulate your nervous system by protecting your red blood cells and nerves.


Liam Roer, a Senior at Oakdale high school, shares his view on these drinks, “I typically drink Redbull and Monster, helping me get that boost of energy to stay up longer.” 


He then continues, ” I haven’t noticed any health concerns.”


Some other positive side effects are  mood increases for the better, the ability to accomplish anything, a clear headspace, making you think well for a few hours. 


The drinks are easy to get your hands on and accessible at every convenient store. They can be pricey but, if you get them in the right place, they range from one to five dollars a bottle.


The basic everyday advertisement lists only the positive effects, emphasizing how much energy they give you to workout and have a fantastic day. At the end of the commercial it highlights the health concerns in the small front. Most people can’t even see them; other times, they aren’t even there.



Of course, energy drinks have detrimental effects, just like everything else in this world. Consuming them in moderation won’t damage your body as much as society antagonizes them. You should consider these drinks the next time you need a quick “pick me up”.


Since the FDA doesn’t regulate most of the energy drink variants, they are considered a dietary supplement. This allows them to not tell the public about all of the dangerous ingredients and the other harmful chemicals. This prevents society from knowing the truth of what we are putting in our bodies.


The most prominent misleading information that big companies give out is that drinking energy drinks will help with exercise. It actually makes exercising harder for individuals. Energy drinks give a boost of energy for a few hours-spiking the heart rate- and when lifting weights or running on the treadmill, the heart rate gets even higher. This results in a crash, leaving in its place lethargy. 


In 2015, a study was done at the Gutherie Robert Packer hospital located in Pennsylvania. Several of their patients experienced irregular heartbeats, chest pain, fatigue, and some had cardiac arrest accidents. They later discovered that the patients were consuming more than 400 milligrams of caffeine a day. 


Mariah Lawton, a college student at Frederick Community College, shares, ” I steer clear from energy drinks because the advisement does not list any of the health concerns.” 


She then continues, “They are just in the business to make money, not caring what deadly chemicals are in those drinks..”


Not only do the energy drinks contain vast amounts of caffeine, but the sugars in their drinks are also astronomical. The FDA only recommends that your diet consists of only ten percent of added sugars. That’s only fifty grams total in a day. Most energy drinks range from 50-90 grams of sugar in one bottle. That exceeds that max, not leaving room for others sugars.


Having an energy drink every day can lead to addiction. Teens are at the highest risk of becoming addicted since taking in all that sugar makes them want more. They are targeting college and younger students to consume them because they are going to become more addicted.


Beyond addiction, leaving one out of your day-when usually taken them regularly; could also lead to a psychological effect. When you skip an energy drink, and you start to feel lethargic-when you are not- your bodies say, “Oh, I need another one of those drink.” resulting in you consuming another drink.


Although they do contain vital vitamins needed for daily functions, consuming the harmful chemicals can lead to long term effects such as heart problems and increase your chance to become a diabetic. There are much healthier alternatives, such as taking vitamin gummies or drinking juice/eating fruit.


When it comes to energy drinks, steer clear from them—not buying them, also meaning your not supporting these big companies. Studies each month come out to show all the long-term effects of these drinks. It won’t stop people from buying them, but the more information about these drinks, the better.