Last week, the University of New Hampshire instituted a campus-wide ban on sales of all energy drinks. Though the ban was repealed within hours by UNH President MarkHuddleston, the policy has sparked conversation about college students’ dependence on these products.
“In this case, I am personally aware of conflicting reports about the caffeine and sugar content of some of these beverages, and I want to be sure we respect our students’ ability to make informed choices about what they consume,” Huddleston said.
At Georgetown, the sale and consumption of energy drinks at Hoya Snaxa and Vital Vittles remains sizeable.
According to figures provided by The Corp management, the organization sold 301 total energy drinks in the week of Sept. 16 through Sept. 22. Friday and Thursday ranked as the highest-selling days, with 23 and 19 percent of the week’s total sold on these days, respectively.
Of the five brands sold by The Corp, Red Bull and Monster are the most popular, representing 45 and 31 percent of the total number of energy drinks sold.
Richard Weiner (MSB ’15) said he uses “5-Hour ENERGY” drinks four to five nights per month.
“I tend to procrastinate, which creates the need for last-minute work and all-nighters,” he said. Weiner prefers 5-Hour ENERGY over other brands because the “crash” following consumption is not as severe as with other brands.
In November of last year, a research team led by John Higgins at the University of Texas Health Science Center warned that certain susceptible people who drink these caffeine-rich drinks risk dangerous and even life-threatening effects on blood pressure, heart rate and brain function.
The researchers explained that the caffeinated drinks were linked to four instances of death and five of seizures.
Brands like 5-Hour ENERGY refute the arguments against their products.
“While some studies show that caffeine may result in a short-term increase of blood pressure, 5-Hour ENERGY has not been proven to increase blood pressure, let alone to dangerous levels,” the company wrote on its++ website.
Mark Stern (COL ’13) drinks four cups of coffee each day but said that he avoids energy drinks because of their dubious health effects.
“Energy drinks are filled with sugar, artificial sweeteners and weird chemicals. I don’t want to drink that stuff,” he said.