Friends With the Monster

College is hard and we all know why: papers pile up on top of quizzes and exams, you have organizations pulling you every which way, and there is that job to worry about, and not to mention trying to have a social life! With everything going on, it’s easy to understand why so many college students are struggling to find a way to get an adequate amount of sleep each night.  Some students just suck it up and sleep when they can but some students turn to taking illegal prescription drugs, which can lead to dependence or criminal charges if they are caught doing this. 

            I have found a way to cope with lack of sleep, though it’s not the healthiest way, it is at least legal.

Of course! Energy drinks are a great way to “borrow” some energy to help you get through those days where you have two exams, a presentation, three organization meetings, and an assignment due at midnight.  You know the days I’m talking about.  But what are the negative side effects of borrowing this energy?

Elevated heart rate is a side effect of consuming of energy drinks.  Normally this isn’t an issue for most people, but if you have heart problems or a family history of them, you may want to check with your doctor before consuming energy products.  According to a New York Times article written in 2012, Monster Energy has reportedly been responsible for multiple deaths, but that the teenager in question who had died had had an underlying heart problem. 

A few other side effects, according to Caffeine Informer, are headaches, jitters, and nervousness.  The headaches can come from caffeine withdrawals associated with caffeine dependency caused by consuming elevated levels of caffeine in coffee, soda, tea, or energy drinks.  Also, too much caffeine can cause anxiety, which can lead to shaking and nervousness.  These are just some things to consider when deciding whether you should buy an energy drink.

Which energy drink should you buy though? My personal preference is Monster Zero


It has zero calories, and zero sugar and a great refreshing taste.  Of course, Monster has an entire line of energy drinks, as well as other lines for working out and “recovery,” according to the Monster website.  The best way to find out your favorite flavor is to talk to friends and get their opinions about them or to try them for yourself when you need them.

Most people don’t think about this important question: how often is too often to consume energy drinks? I would suggest definitely not drinking them as needed because you could feel like you “need” some energy but it might be best to wait a while before you pop the next tab on your Monster.  Also, if you read the nutrition facts included on the can, a can of Monster is TWO servings, not just one.  You really shouldn’t drink more than one can of Monster or other energy drink in a twenty-four hour period due to the compounding effects of the ingredients.  If you can only drink one on the rare occasion where you really need a kick, then that’s even better.

All that being said, it’s incredibly understandable when I see students drinking energy drinks on campus.  “It’s just one of those days” I think to myself.  When you do drink them, be aware of how much you are consuming.  Since caffeine is a stimulant, you should not drink alcohol with energy drinks due to harmful interactions.  Midterms are approaching rapidly and so it may be necessary to pull an all-nighter and turn to an energy drink for some support especially when they are so easily accessible; they’re sold in Bear Necessities and the University Center.  Monsters can have harmful side effects when consumed improperly, but if you are careful, it will be easy for you to be friends with the Monster.