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The Energy Drink Craze Among College Students

By Samantha Husman
On December 6, 2011

Coffee has been a popular drink for centuries among all ages of people. Consumed mainly for taste, it also provides a caffeine boost. In recent years there has been an explosion in the popularity of energy drinks – with more caffeine than coffee - specifically with college students. Rising health concerns focus around college students and the increasing consumption of energy drinks.

According to Pediatrics magazine, "Energy drinks are regularly consumed by 30 to 50 percent of children, adolescents and young adults." Reasons for consumption vary among college students in particular. According to a survey, "67 percent consumed energy drinks due to insufficient sleep, 65 percent to increase energy, and 54 percent to drink with alcohol while partying."Alternatives such as home-brewed coffee, fruit smoothies, tea or water could perk up students needing an energy boost for sleep deprivation or social reasons.

Despite the vast variety of energy drinks on store shelves, many of them contain the same ingredients and pose the same health concerns, as sited by Glucose, or sugar, is one of the prevalent ingredients in energy drinks, accounting for many of the carbohydrates and calories. In comparison, cited that, "Coffee contained much fewer calories and carbohydrates than most energy drinks, particularly if you used Splenda or other artificial sweeteners."

In addition to carbohydrates and calories, the amount of caffeine in energy drinks can be harmful if too high. On average, energy drinks contain more caffeine than coffee, greatly varying by brand. Some negative effects of too much caffeine are, "Restlessness, anxiety, irregular heartbeat, nausea and abdominal pain" as cited by

Whether college students are aware of the ingredients and side effects that energy drinks can have on them, they continue to consume energy drinks. College students could consider other alternatives to energy drinks such as.

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