When our son was brand-new, my husband and I agreed I would take the night shift because A) I did not have to work the next day, B) I’m a lighter sleeper and C) [most importantly] I can handle my caffeine. The poor guy (husband, not baby) can hardly function on lack of sleep but also runs around like a crazy person on acid when he has an amount of caffeine I’d consider “weak sauce”. Do not give this man a Red Bull – it’s only 80 mg caffeine (half the caffeine in a Grande PSL) but he will be as hyper as a puppy golden retriever.
Turns out not a lot of college students in Quebec drink energy drinks, but watch out for how the news will spin concern about those who do.
Here’s the journal article (via capture because there’s no link to read the full thing):
This study involves over TEN THOUSAND college students across THIRTY-SIX different public colleges in Quebec.
Out of the 10,283 people who participated in the survey, only ~9.1% reported consuming an energy drink at least once a week in the previous month.
This means 9,348 out of 10,283 college students surveyed do not have an energy drink every week (like, zero energy drinks at all? For the whole week? In college?)
SPIN – ALERT
Because this is college, the study also looked at alcohol consumption and use of cannabis, glues/solvents, and amphetamines.
FACT – Mixing energy drinks and alcohol is a baaaaaaaaadddd idea. This study properly suggests that combination of alcohol and energy drinks poses a risk for serious adverse effects.
FALSE – Any statements like “college students who use energy drinks are more likely to abuse psychoactive substances…more likely to demonstrate excessive use of alcohol”
Approximately 1-in-4 people (247 out of 935, ~26%) who said they drink at least one energy drink said they also use psychoactive substances. This finding is not proof that energy drinks were a gateway to psychoactive substances for these people. How many people use psychoactive substances but not energy drinks?
There were even fewer people who reported consuming alcohol-energy drink combos (109 out of 935 people. 1.1%).
That means I have at least 109 more people to convince that this combo is a waste of booze (because you won’t feel it/can’t enjoy it) and a dangerous idea (because you won’t feel drunk, but you ARE in fact impaired).
The journal article conclusion reads
“A majority of respondents are not heavy users of ED (energy drinks), AED (alcohol+energy drinks), or ED with drugs.”
Can we just stop there and celebrate that for a minute before we give fodder to the “Energy Drinks are Poison” camp?
“Yet, the profiles of ED consumption potentially harmful to health that characterize some participants indicate that the potential health consequences of such behaviour are of concern.”
I am worried this last line will get translated as, “some participants who consume energy drinks exhibit behavior that is potentially harmful to health, so we should probably be worried about all energy drink consumers.”
WATCH OUT FOR SPINS!!!
- Science of Energy Drinks: Facebook.com/energydrinkguide
- Fitness + Caffeine: Facebook.com/greeneyedguide
- Energy Drinks + Fitness/Bodybuilding: Instagram
- 10 Second Label Reviews (and a few nerdy food scientist rants): Twitter
HOW QUICKLY you consume caffeine is JUST AS IMPORTANT as HOW MUCH caffeine you consume.
❎This is why I don’t like energy shots! If it’s more caffeine than you can handle, it’s too late because you’ve consumed the whole thing in one gulp.❎
Sipping your caffeine and even breaking the 1 can = 1 serving suggestion (treating 1 can = 4 servings) you can decrease the total amount of caffeine you consume in one day and ultimately teach your body to work just as well with slightly smaller doses.
Consider the Book Excerpt of the Week from PART TWO: Do They Work Energy – Synergy and the WHO, HOW, and WHEN
Mr. Thrift sips his caffeine throughout the day to make it last. Mr. Swift makes sure to drink every last drop of a 16 ounce can containing 160 mg caffeine on his way to work. By the end of his shift, he feels like he needs another can. With caffeine’s half-life of ~4 hours, there is still ~80 mg in Mr. Swift’s system. However, with his consumption habits, this won’t feel like enough.
When I was in grad school I would drink a full bottle of water, then pour half my energy drink in that empty bottle and save it for the next day. The carbonated energy drinks would lose all the carbonation overnight, but I didn’t care. The caffeine still worked. To this day, I rarely finish a whole energy drink in one day. Those days that I do, it’s a long drawn out consumption, to ensure I don’t consume more caffeine than I absolutely need.
Get your copy of my book, “Are You a Monster or a Rock Star-A Guide to Energy Drinks: How They Work, Why They Work, How to Use Them Safely” on Amazon and wherever books are sold.
Here at GreenEyedGuide one of the top three overarching themes to almost every post is “Matching your choice of caffeinated beverage with your Level of Fatigue is essential to mitigating caffeine dependence and tolerance.” But what if you struggle with caffeine intake?