The Quaker Campus

What would you do for an energy boost?

The Quaker Campus

Patrice Gomez


It’s not unusual to see Whittier College students with a can of Rockstar in hand , strolling through campus. It seems that the one thing students need is a boost of energy to pick them up during the middle of the day. For many Poets, caffeine is their lifeline, more specifically, energy drinks. Whether you study for that midterm and drink a Monster or down a Red Bull to finish up an essay, it seems that energy drinks are a popular beverage to get that boost of energy.

So why drink energy drinks? For one, they do not take any time to make, unlike coffee or tea, so they may be more convenient. There is also more variety among energy drinks, such as how much caffeine they have or how long the effects last. Some energy drinks can come with a crash afterward, but there are also other brands that prevent drinkers from feeling burnt out, such as 5-Hour Energy. 

“Energy drinks, unless sugarless, contain caffeine and sugar in high quantities depending on the drink,” said Professor of Chemistry Dr. Devin Iimoto. “The caffeine and sugar provide an extra boost of energy to the body by increasing the amount of adenosine triphosphote, also known as ATP (unit of energy), in our body’s cells.” The question is, how many energy drinks do the students actually drink?

 “Although I try to avoid energy drinks, sometimes I do drink them,” said third-year Manuel Chavez. “Energy drinks aren’t something I drink on a regular basis, but only when I need to stay up all night. There’s been times I have been super tired and had physiological changes (heart rate/breathing changes), but in the end, I do what I have to do sometimes.” 

Sometimes students will be consuming energy drinks in order to pull through and complete tasks, even if the side effects will take a toll on them. There are multiple side effects to energy drinks, such as an increase in heart rate and the body’s craving for more sugar. These side effects can be harmful to students.  In a worst-case scenario, drinkers may face death when mixing energy drinks or other substances that increase a person’s heart rate to dangerous levels. Consumption must be kept at a reasonable amount.

“I have been trying to cut back because of weight and health, but generally I maybe have one a day if I need a pick me up,” said third-year Garrett Spejcher. “They won’t affect me generally depending on the brand, like Red Bull [gives me] a boost but Rockstars affect me only enough to give me the ability not to sleep.” It seems that one of the many reasons why students drink energy drinks is to stay awake, or just to have that extra push of energy.

Although there are other alternatives like coffee or tea, which both contain caffeine, it seems that energy drinks are used for temporary boosts. If you do decide that you need help staying awake during class or trying to push through when studying for that huge exam, please drink with caution.