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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Students chugging energy with power drinks

Photo by Clint Perkins/The Collegian
Photo by Clint Perkins/The Collegian

By Angelica Sandoval/reporter

Photo by Clint Perkins/The Collegian
Photo by Clint Perkins/The Collegian

When long hours of work or play encroach on school time energy, many students don’t reach for the bed covers, they reach for an energy drink.

Phillip Chandler, full-time TCC student and full-time worker, has been a long-time Red Bull drinker.

“ I work the graveyard night shift,” he said. “Then I have 9 a.m. classes, so I drink a Red Bull just to stay awake.”

The 19-year-old pioneer of energy drinks, Red Bull lists its four key benefits on every can: improves performance, increases concentration and reaction speed, increases endurance and stimulates the metabolism.

In short, energy drinks typically are drunk neither alongside a hamburger nor for thirst quenching, but consumed when energy is needed.

“ To feel its effects at best, you should drink it in times like … long sleep-inducing working days, prior to demanding athletic activities or before tests,” Redbull.com advises.

No wonder the benefits-based drink is especially popular with the demanding schedules and activities of college students.

One common notion is energy drinks are bad, but Red Bull’s most active ingredients include amino acids, detoxifiers and B-complex vitamins.

Taurine, one of Red Bull’s key ingredients, is an amino acid naturally occurring in the human body. 

“ In situations of high stress or physical exertion, increased amounts of taurine are eliminated from the body and cannot be replaced by the body,” according to redbull.com.

Esmeralda Duran, a recent TCC honors graduate, likes to drink Red Bull whenever she is studying for an exam.

“ I think my stress level is at its peak when I have a major test coming up,” she said.

Taurine is made synthetically and added in such foodstuff as baby food, according to redbull.com.

Although popular opinion claims energy drinks are full of caffeine, the caffeine in Red Bull, which is the only ingredient not naturally occurring in the human body, “is equivalent to one cup of filtered coffee,” according to redbull.com.

Therefore, someone who drinks coffee or soda would get about the same amount of caffeine in a Red Bull, along with vitamins and other beneficial ingredients.

Redbull.com recommends consuming a Red Bull 30 minutes before a concentration task or sport.

The simple sugars, glucose and sucrose, in Red Bull break down easily in the body, unlike those found in sodas.

For diabetics or others not wanting sugars in their drink, Red Bull Sugarfree has only 10 calories and the same functional benefits as regular Red Bull, according to redbull.com.

Ruth Mauppin, TCC student, drinks only Red Bull Sugarfree.

“ I would rather eat my calories,” she said.

Although considered a craze, energy drinks may be around for a while.

“ [Red Bull] is appreciated by a wide range of people. [It’s] more than just a hot secret for the night owl … [it’s also for] the stressed manager, exam-anxious student and the pressured journalist,” Redbull.com claims.

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