Too Schooled For Cool

Redbull, Monster, Rockstar, 5-hour Energy, Full Throttle, SK Energy, the list for energy drinks has expanded overwhelmingly over the last past decade. With America’s busy, fast-paced lifestyle, energy drinks are seen as an essential to keep our bodies going. I personally plead guilty to consuming more energy drinks than the label stated to help me keep going during finals week and I’m a health freak. I see energy drinks as more of a drug than a “supplement” in which they claim but it’s hard to ignore that “redbulls gives you wings” phrase every time I’m desperate to keep my eyes open. The marketing strategy for these energy drinks have significantly impacted the youth generation more than anybody else and just like cigarettes and alcohol corporations, energy drinks companies target the youth population as their main strategic market.

ABC News claim that studies have shown that more than 20,000 emergency room visits in the past year are linked to energy drinks directly. Out of those people who are most likely to be students, 42% mixed the energy drink with another stimulant such as Adderal or alcohol while 58% of the consumers just took the drink itself. Despite all the glamour energy drinks companies put in their commercials, they purposely leave out the facts about the harmful ingredients in their products. For example, an average adult consumes a cup of coffee a day and that’s about 80g of caffeine. Just one can of red bull outweighs that with 100g of caffeine. During finals week, we all know the average college students consumes at least 2 cans of red bull and with excess consumption of caffeine, we’re prone to caffeine intoxication which is a condition that can cause nervousness, heart irregularities, increased blood pressure, insomnia, neurological symptoms and anxiety.

What is it about energy drinks that make them so appealing to teenagers? One out of three teenagers drink energy drinks and this is becoming a new trend. The drinks were definitely not bought in school because most schools have banned soda and beverage machines. So to answer that,we have to examine the issue from the eyes of a teenager like myself. First off, imagine a typical energy drinks commercial.

Is this what popped up in your mind? Because these are the typical models used to attract the younger audiences. Energy drink companies associate themselves with “in” fabs such as monster trucks, young and attractive models that teenagers get worked up upon to create a sense of familiarity and to establish a relationship between the brand and people. With the amount of stress and pressure nowadays to get good grades in school, staying up late to finish homework and study is nothing out of the ordinary. With horrible sleep cycles and time management skills, we as teens are put in a vicious cycle and since there is always a paper due or a test to study for, procrastination is nothing new. We as human beings are not built to function on 4 hours of sleep and because of this trend, energy drink companies have grasped that concept and they market towards the youth population.

Though I may compliment on the energy drink companies on such ingenious marketing skills, let us not forget we have lived 2 million years as homo sapiens to not need these extra supplements and we do NOT need it now. If you feel the need to grab that red bull to feel “in” on this trend and to boost your confidence, you’re doing it at your own expense. I know, our parents tell us all the time that when we grow to be 40, we’re going to regret how we neglected our body for all that time and you know what? with these new trends, I think they’re going to be right.

Be an exception and be too schooled for cool.

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