Do Energy Drinks Have a Place in Education?

Noah Roach, Reporter

Energy drinks have become a normal part of many people’s lives, some depending on them daily as much as coffee. When first introduced, they gave workers an extra boost that was needed for longer shifts.

In the modern day, energy drinks are consumed by a massive demographic. Students, teachers, children and adults alike. Is this okay? Our school sells them during breakfast and lunch, and we’re not alone. Other schools across the country are selling energy drinks during school hours.

I believe they do have use in schools. I have and still use them when I need a lot of work to be done in a short amount of time.

In my opinion, I think the negative health effects overshadow the positives that individuals might receive with consumption. I drink energy drinks, I have for a long time, but that doesn’t mean I’m oblivious to the effects of it.

The U.S National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health states that “…high energy drink intake may increase the risk of obesity and type 2 diabetes. In addition, the high sugar content in energy drinks may reduce the activity, diversity and gene expression of intestinal bacteria resulting in increased risk of obesity and metabolic syndrome.”

The other obvious downside is the amount of caffeine, the average energy drink containing 90-160 milligrams per serving. The average cup of coffee has around 100. Caffeine is linked to shakiness, restlessness, (in large quantities) headaches, and in extended use increased anxiety.

Red Bull is the most popular energy drink on the planet. At initial conception, it was a pharmaceutical product made in Thailand. It was pitched towards students and workers who sought to increase productivity.

Co-founder Dietrich Mateschitz purchased a can during a trip to Thailand and said it cured his jet-lag.  It was bought out in 1984 and reworked to fit a western demographic.

So this leads to the question : are energy drinks suitable to be sold in schools? With so many negative effects why are they being sold?

There’s health risks that can be increased by the consumption of energy drinks but students can also utilize their effects for academic purposes.

I believe that there’s alternatives that could be better choices for being sold at school.

CELSIUS Energy Drink could be one of those alternatives. Their “about” page states that their energizing ingredients are “ginger, guarana, green tea and 7 essential vitamins”.

I think the best path for selling energy drinks in school would be to focus on a healthier or less-damaging alternative to support students.