Health and Fitness: Energy Drinks


Photography, Dylan Felty

If you walk around any high school, you’re likely to see at least one teen with an energy drink. At Herrin High, you’ll see a variety of different drinks. Why are they so popular? Are they beneficial to our health? 


Studies show that energy drinks are one of the most dangerous beverages for teenagers to consume. Energy drinks contain roughly 100-300 milligrams of caffeine. The Tiger Journalists conducted a survey asking some of the Herrin High student body their opinions on energy drinks. A majority of the students said that they drink them for an energy buzz and for the taste. Others said they experience the opposite effect. One person said after drinking a Celsius, they experienced mood swings and developed acne. Others said that the drinks helped them focus, but they had an energy crash after a couple hours. 


Health professionals don’t recommend energy drinks to anyone. Sarai Yates, an SIH athletic trainer, says “I think they’re horrible. They aren’t regulated by the FDA, anything can be in them. With the overwhelming amount of caffeine, heart attacks are much more common than ever.” Ingredients like taurine, which is very dangerous for our health when consumed in high quantities, are found in many energy drinks. The average level of taurine we can consume a day is 3 grams. The unhealthiest energy drink is Reign energy drinks, which contain zero sugar and 300 milligrams of caffeine. That’s 3 times the amount of caffeine in a cup of coffee. A cup of coffee contains 95 milligrams of caffeine. When asked about the dangerousness of energy drinks, Sarai said “absolutely some are more dangerous than others. Now, there’s more ‘healthy’ options but those aren’t regulated still. The drinks themselves are always changing.”


Celsius and Bang Energy are currently in a lawsuit for falsely promoting their products. Celsius is falsely promoting saying that they have no preservatives in their products even though they contain citric acid. Monster Energy filed a case against Bang Energy for falsely promoting their drinks having ‘super creatine’ in Riverside, California. Bang Energy was ordered to pay Monster Energy $293 million.


There are many alternatives for energy drinks including carbonated sodas, coffee, and water. Eating protein, taking vitamins, and staying hydrated can decrease the craving for an energy drink.