“Its name is Spike and once you take a sip you’ll never go back.” This slogan does not belong to some new liquor, but instead one of the most intense energy drinks on the market. Spike Energy shooters and numerous other energy drinks contain 300 mg of caffeine, which is twice as much as a cup of leading-brand coffee.
Small quantities of caffeine, such as a standard cup of coffee or tea, are not a problem. However, when people begin to drink specialty beverages, such as espresso or energy drinks, the caffeine will begin to linger. This level of caffeine stays in the average person’s system for nine hours, which leads to disrupted sleep. Four out of five students admit to having difficulty concentrating or sleeping after consuming these higher-end caffeine drinks. Even if someone falls asleep while caffeine is in his or her system, they will not reach deep sleep cycles and will wake up more exhausted than the average person.
Another less known effect of caffeine is its properties as a diuretic. Caffeine, unlike most beverages, dehydrates the user; in fact, 12 million people were hospitalized from dehydration last year. Caffeine addiction is also a common side effect. If someone drank two Spike Energy shooters for three days straight, they would begin to feel withdrawal effects if they stopped drinking. These effects can include, but are not limited, to severe headaches, unstable moods and flu-like symptoms.
This is not to say that caffeine is always harmful. In moderation, caffeine can even lead to positive effects such as preventing Alzheimer’s. Staying within a 300mg limit for an entire day will yield the most beneficial results.
Robert Granecki, junior, agreed to drink two energy drinks per day for a week and monitor his sleep habits and school work due to the increased caffeine intake. When asked about the effects he underwent, he shared interesting results. “Everything seems to slow down, I get real jittery and then just relax… energy drinks are the only thing that keep me going during the day.” During the course of the interview, his eyes were twitching, and he couldn’t stand still, likely due to the immense amounts of caffeine he drank.
“You have to start slow, man. I started too fast and suffered; I got dizzy and couldn’t feel my legs,” said Granecki. “Build a tolerance first, and then you’ll be set.”
As long as people stay within their own limits and stay away from caffeine beverages containing over 200mg per serving, there is no risk for health hazards. This is to say that caffeine, like many other things, is safe in moderation.