The Best and the Worst: The Benefits and Dangers of Different Energy Drinks
As a college student, I have had countless encounters with canned energy. Energy drinks have gotten me through many a sleepless night. Here I will attempt to outline the perks and drawbacks of the different energy drinks on the market and help you find one that best fits your busy schedule. This list is not meant to endorse any particular drink, but to give my opinion on which ones taste the best and provide the best energy sources in different situations. Please note that these drinks all have high caffeine contents, and should not be used regularly.
Caffeine Content: 80 mg
I'll start with the one I know best. They say Red Bull gives you wings, and while I don't know that this has ever actually happened, it does give you a nice boost and tastes pretty good too. It's also really small, and easy to drink quickly. There is, of course, a good and bad side to this. On one hand, you get quick energy that's relatively easy to consume. On the other hand, you drink it pretty quickly and the energy comes on faster than a cup of coffee would. This is true of most energy drinks, leading to the jittery anxious feeling they often entail.
Caffeine Content: 135-240 mg
Monster is, in my opinion, one of the worst energy drinks out there. For one, there is a massive amount of caffeine in these drinks. They're supposed to be multiple servings, but the danger lies in the fact that most people will drink the whole thing or, at least, more than they should. That massive dose of caffeine is what has made such a bad name for monster, as such high caffeine can cause health problems including death. Also, they taste terrible. Some of the flavors are better than others, but on the whole Monster just doesn't stand up against other similar drinks.
Caffeine Content: 120-330 mg
Rockstar is another dangerous one. The 12 oz. Rockstar 2x has 250 mg in a relatively small amount of drink. It would be easy to consume that in one go, and the results might not be so pretty. The taste of Rockstar is much better than Monster though, so at least it has that going for it. Also, Rockstar has branched out significantly, with a 22 oz. juice drink that contains 330 mg of caffeine per bottle. This might be a healthier alternative, but only if you can keep the serving sizes low.
Bawls Energy Drink:
Caffeine Content: 67-150
Bawls is a relative underdog in the energy drink world. It's classier, coming in 10 and 16 oz. blue glass bottles. And it tastes better. It doesn't have so much of that energy drink taste, but it also doesn't have that same kick. It does give a boost though, just not an immediately discernible one.
Caffeine Content: 250-350 mg
Redline is a beast as far as energy drinks go. I remember a friend telling me about her first experience with the drink. She said it made her crazy jittery and incredibly hyped up, but really unproductive. She said she couldn't focus long enough to actually do anything. Of course I had to try it, so I grabbed a Watermelon flavored one and went to it. First of all, she was not exaggerating her claims. This drink made me feel wired with no productive energy. I spent about three hours in a frenzy cleaning my room but couldn't do much in the way of schoolwork. So while this one isn't the best for brain-work, it can help with other stuff. But it also has a ridiculously high caffeine content, so I wouldn't advise it be used often.
5 Hour Energy
Caffeine Content: 138
The label, and the commercials, warn not to drink a whole one of these in one go. And boy did I learn that the hard way. I drank one of these for the first time on a long drive. It woke me up, but since I had consumed the whole thing I felt the worst sense of anxiety and an almost compulsive need to do some work. Being stuck behind the wheel for 8 hours when combined with this made for one long trip. However, this drink is effective when used correctly and in the right setting. Drinking a half of one bottle, I have had pretty lasting energy to complete coursework and do some chores.
Redline Power Rush
Caffeine Content: 350 mg
Okay, back to Redline. This one is similar to the 5 Hour Energy drink, with a 2.5 oz shot of drink. But this one has a ridiculous amount of caffeine in it. 350 mg in one small bottle of this stuff? Sounds like a recipe for disaster, and while I wouldn't tell you not to try it out, I would say exercise caution when drinking something like this.
Starbucks Double Shot
Caffeine Content: 130 mg
Okay, this one is the most delicious energy supplement out there. It's creamy and full-flavored, with no chalkiness whatsoever. It also delivers pretty smooth energy, with less jitter and anxiety than the other drinks listed here. And who can deny the wonder that is Starbucks?
I hope this small selection has helped you decide which Energy drinks are best fit to your lifestyle, schedule, and body. Always be safe when drinking such drinks, as they can be addictive and can cause both short-term and long-term health problems. Exercise caution, and have an energetic day!