The Quaker Campus

Caffeinated Energy drinks meet natural power drinks

The Quaker Campus

Lightmary Flores

With finals season in full swing this month, weary students are looking for anything that can help them endure late-night study sessions. We now see college students opting out of preparing nutrient-rich smoothies by swapping one-dollar bills for energy drinks like Monster and Red Bull.

Filled with FDA non-regulated ingredients like taurine (an essential amino acid), glucuronolactone (a carbohydrate) and caffeine, Red Bull claims to “give you wings” by improving concentration and alertness. However, Consumer Reports found that energy drinks like Monster Energy contained 92 milligrams of caffeine per 8-ounce serving. With this high amount, students should be mindful of not giving in to their sugar craze. Excessive caffeine — meaning more than 400 milligrams — can cause insomnia, anxiety, irritability, upset stomach, increased blood pressure or muscle tremors.

While these “stamina boosters” increase alertness during the first 15 to 45 minutes, once it’s been fully absorbed after an hour, you are likely to experience that dreaded “sugar crash.”

Among regular drinkers, you’ll find that after 12 to 24 hours from their last picker-upper, they will start to feel symptoms of withdrawal, such as headaches, irritability and constipation, along with the urge for more caffeine.

Everyone may have their own preferred “poison of choice,” but your energy boosting drinks of choice don’t have to be hazardous to your health. Why not try opting for these ready-made, non-caffeinated drinks for all of the energy-boosting benefits without the potential crash?

1. Kvass

This popular fermented drink has been popular in Russia and Eastern Europe for hundreds of years and can be found in natural food stores. It is a healthy way to get your energy levels up without using caffeine. Its probiotics formula has been found to enhance your immune system, aid your digestive tract and even protect against cancer. The tastiest kinds of Kvass to boost your energy level are those infused with fruits and veggies.

2. Coconut Water

It’s not just any water — It’s coconut water that is filled with high levels of minerals and potassium. Drink the water by itself or blend it with bananas and strawberries for a tasty smoothie.

3. Ito En Oi Ocha

Oi Ocha, is a calorie-free, sugar-free green tea which means “Tea, please!”in Japanese. Not only does it have detoxifying properties and is an energy booster, but it is waist-friendly with antioxidants called catechin. These blast adipose tissue by revving the metabolism and increasing the release of fat from fat cells (particularly in the belly) and then speeding up the liver’s fat burning capacity.

4. Alo Awaken

Alo Awaken is like a bottle of fresh air! The boost you get comes from a one-ounce shot of wheatgrass — a plant rich in chlorophyll that oxygenates your body by amping up red blood-cell production. A study in The Journal of Surgery found supplementing with chlorophyll may also serve as a powerful immunity boost, able to increase wound healing time by up to 25 percent.

5. XS Energy Drink

This energy drink is effective at boosting energy levels from added vitamin C and vitamin B while delivering herbs, vitamins, key amino acids and folic acids.

So choose your poison — I mean energy kicker — to accompany your finals.