Crazed for Energy

Rosie Nash, Staff Reporter

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The tall black and lime green can sits in the cup holder of
the teenager’s car, the small orange bottle swooshes in the student’s lower
backpack pocket, and the thin blue checkered can lays chilled in the athlete’s
bag. Energy drinks: all waiting to be consumed by the next needing user. Many
of those consumers are students at GBS.

Whether it’s cramming for the next big test, or having that
boost of caffeine before the big game, some South students have turned to
energy supplements to help them get by in school, in sports, or in other
activities.

Although a can or two may not seem like a lot, according to
Energyfiend.com the most common energy drinks contain a high amount of caffeine
content. One 2 oz. shot of 5 Hour Energy contains 138 mg of caffeine, a 16 oz.
can of Amp Energy Drink has 143 mg, and the 16 oz. can of Monster Energy Drink
tops it off with 160 mg. Monster is the second most-sold energy drink
worldwide, right behind Red Bull.

“If you look at the can, [Monster] looks like something a
teenager would drink in general,” senior Jack Heneghan said.

Heneghan works long hours as a counselor over the summer and
mainly uses energy drinks to boost his awareness. Heneghan says from the leap
of summer to the school year, he feels the caffeine start to catch up with him.

“It was not great waking up that early and going to bed that
late,” Heneghan said.

Heneghan explained his initial reaction after first
consuming energy drinks and supplements.

“My first Red Bull, I felt like I ran into a vacuum, like
there was no more air or walls or anything, and I felt incredibly energetic,
and then I just got kind of tired after that,” Heneghan described. “The 5 Hour
came on slowly and went down pretty slow, it was a lot easier.”

Heneghan finds that energy drinks are more commonly seen
around school during the days of finals. However, he does not think the school
should sell or embolden them.

“[During] finals I can see it pretty consistently,” Heneghan
said. “I don’t think the school should encourage them because they can be
addictive.”

One of Heneghan’s most prominent experiences with energy
drinks was during finals last spring in 2011. After drinking three 16 oz.
Monsters in one day, Heneghan’s body resulted in sleeping a massive amount to
try and regain all of the energy he had burned.

“I think I slept 15 to 16 hours that day,” Heneghan said.
“During finals, [energy drinks] definitely could have a huge impact.”

Heneghan isn’t the only one turning to energy drinks when
time cuts close on schoolwork.

 

“[I use energy drinks] usually when I need to edit for TV. I
can’t sleep because stuff is due and I’m on a deadline. I’ll just pound down a
few energy drinks,” junior John O’Rourke said.

O’Rourke believes that having energy drinks around South is
used more as a fashion statement than for its actual purpose.

“I think it’s kind of stupid [when GBS students have energy
drinks], because it’s not like they sell energy drinks at school, so that
person thought ahead and went out and bought an energy drink, [to then] bring
it to school,” O’Rourke said. “If you really need a kick […] you should go with
coffee.”

Heneghan is aware of the impact energy drinks can have on a
person, but he also can tell the limits he needs when consuming them.

“They’re beneficial if you use them
right,” Heneghan said. “But like anything, you can’t overdo it.”

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