Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Student opinion on energy drinks mixed

It’s a common sight on campus: students looking for a quick energy boost stop by the Ferguson Center Food Court to pick up their energy drink of choice.

Though many students once turned to coffee for their energy surge, more turn to the caffeine, taurine and sugar concoction known as the energy drink.

In a study published in Nutrition Journal, college students asked undergraduates what their main reason was for consuming energy drinks. More than two-thirds of undergraduate participants said they drank because of insufficient sleep, while 65 percent said to increase their energy. More than half, or 54 percent, drank energy drinks with alcohol while partying. And 51 percent of participants reported they consumed more than one energy drink each month in an average month.

Bryan Hill, a junior majoring in New College and a consumer of energy drinks, said he first started drinking Red Bull when he began his freshman year.

“I was already tired from studying all night,” he said. “I woke right up after I drank it. I never liked coffee, and energy drinks are easily accessible and they work.”

Hill said he thinks the reason energy drinks are popular is because of the few hours of sleep students are getting each night.

“The main reason why it is so popular is the growing trend of sleep deprivation. People are doing a lot more now than in the past and the energy required by them has grown,” he said.

Others students like Matt Hurtubise, a senior majoring in engineering, confirmed Hill’s predictions.

“Most friends I have, use them in the morning because of lack of sleep,” Hurtubise said. “Sort of how people use coffee in the morning as a perk-me-up. “

Hurtubise said he sees energy drink as another aid to help students cram for tests.

“College students spend most of their days cramming and staying up all night studying,” he said. “They are a good market for the energy drink because students believe they work.”

Besides the extra study boost students receive from the energy drink, students also see the caffeine in energy drinks as combating sleep deprivation. However, the Nutrition Journal reported that “the amount of caffeine provided in energy drinks can easily far exceed the amount necessary to promote cognitive functioning.”

Daryl Wing, a junior majoring in Japanese, said he thought large consumption of energy drinks was a bad habit to pick up.

“They use it as a substitute to get through the day, which doesn’t make it good for your health,” he said. “It’s an easy way or a misuse, but they see it as an easy way to make up for lack of sleep.”

For Wing, it can be the beginning of an addiction.

“It’s a fix, less harmful than most drugs, but caffeine is a drug,” he said.

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