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What are you actually putting into your body?

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What are you actually putting into your body?

Freshman, Ava Hahn, enjoys her atomic energy drink for the day.

Freshman, Ava Hahn, enjoys her atomic energy drink for the day.

Maya McClain

Freshman, Ava Hahn, enjoys her atomic energy drink for the day.

Maya McClain

Maya McClain

Freshman, Ava Hahn, enjoys her atomic energy drink for the day.

Maya McClain, Photo Manager

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With most coffee shops around the area catching on to the fad of energy drinks, it’s not uncommon to see students walking down the halls or into school with one in hand. As this trend continues to become more popular and widespread, it’s important to look at the health side of this drink epidemic.  

Between the Atomic right next to the high school, the drinks sold in the cafeteria, and the many energy drinks sold at coffee shops all around the QC, it’s not hard for students to get their hands on the drinks. For many students, energy drinks are a part of their daily schedule.

Almost one-third of teens between 12 and 17 years regularly drink energy drinks. Students drink them in order to do better in school and stay alert. While drinking something to help yourself stay awake might seem like a good option now, there are many health risks to be concerned about both now and for the future.

Large amounts of caffeine can lead to heart and blood vessel problems such as heart rhythm disturbances and increases in blood pressure or heart rate. It can also lead to anxiety, sleep and digestive problems, as well as dehydration. The sugar consumption that goes along with energy drinks also poses a threat as often times one energy drink exceeds the recommended sugar intake for the whole day.

Freshman, Ava Hahn, has gotten into the habit of buying Atomic every other day at least. “They taste good and help keep me awake and give me energy,” she said. With classes starting at 8:10 and ending at 3:30 for freshman, the extra energy is useful to get through the school day. She does admit to becoming shaky and anxious due to the excess caffeine in her system, but it’s something she’s willing to deal with if it helps her endure her classes.

The practice of mixing energy drinks with alcohol is becoming increasingly popular and poses more risks of its own. The act of mixing the two drinks together elevates the likelihood of binge drinking. The caffeine takes away drowsiness, without taking away any of the effects of alcohol leading to “wide awake drunkenness” which can lead to disastrous side effects.

Trainer, Jason Veil, warned against the use of energy drinks, especially for athletes. “Drinking them is just setting yourself up for bad things to happen,” he warned. He offered healthy alternatives in order to stay awake and alert throughout the day. His top suggestion was starting off the day with a better breakfast. He suggested scrambled eggs, and english muffin, nuts, or even meal replacement shakes. “You’ll be surprised how much that wakes you up and prepares you for the day,” he said.

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What are you actually putting into your body?