Energy drink take-over: Students reasoning behind this unhealthy trend


Photo by O. Jackson

Sophomore Todd Koehler has his daily Monster Energy before class. Many students drink Monster in preparation for their classes.

Olivia Jackson, Staff Writer

It seems like more and more of us have started to need some sort of extra help getting through the day. For some, that assistance has come in the form of an energy drink. Maybe it started as a once-in-a-while emergency boost, only now it’s an everyday habit, and even though we can recognize the minor discomfort it brings, the energetic high is too great to pass up. 

An increasing number of students have begun to experience this feeling as energy drinks are becoming a huge trend. How else are we supposed to pull all-nighters and cram last minute study sessions? It’s liquid fuel and when you get that “Wow, I could do anything right now!” feeling, the health concerns just don’t seem that… concerning. 

Yet, maybe they should be. When used by younger consumers, energy drinks have been proven to be linked to increased stress, risk-seeking behaviors, poor mental health, heart problems, and even contribute to poor sleep as found by Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

These effects are so much more threatening than the minor stomach irritation you’ll most likely feel. So why do energy drink sales keep increasing? Why are we still drinking them?

Because we can. 

After asking a few students like sophomore Todd Koehler why they continue to drink something they know is toxic, I discovered that the reasons they gave were almost identical to my own. It’s because most of us really just don’t care. We like the feeling it gives and, of course, the taste is immaculate. 

Then again, maybe not everyone does know about the scary effects energy drinks can leave behind, or at least not the full extent of it. This $21 billion industry is focusing marketing campaigns on younger consumers and energy drinks are being sold in places easily accessed by teens. Even on social media, people have begun promoting the drinks as creators show off their ‘Monster Can Candles’ and ‘Bang Earrings’. With this media surrounding us it makes sense that more and more of us are becoming energy drink drinkers without even knowing the unhealthy truth behind them.

I too will admit to disregarding the health concerns. My family and even teachers have warned me of their toxic effects. But once again I must mention that incredible high it brings. It’s like all day you’ve been wanting to fall asleep, causing a lack of motivation and a generally gloomy mood. Then BAM! You get half way through a Monster Energy and suddenly you can write four essays and give your friends an extensive presentation on why the show “Parks and Recreation” leaving Netflix is an insult to society.

It’s hard not to get swept up in the excitement of the trend. As long as different creators come up with new ways to display their proudly purchased cans, and even new ways to consume it (such as replacing your pasta water with Monster Energy and eating yummy “energy pasta”) the trend will continue to grow.

Energy drinks taste good and keep us awake and going, and as someone who also craves them, I’m not going to say we should just stop consuming them, but maybe stop and think about it first, try slowing down to two a week. Most of our generation doesn’t really care about our own health when purchasing the things we want. It’s not something we tend to think about. I guess it’s just hard to imagine that this life-saving, miracle juice, is really hurting us.