Energy Drinks: Time Savers or Wasters?

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How is it possible to manage everything that accompanies college like classes, homework, clubs, intramurals and a social life?  Many college students ask themselves this very question. The consensus? There just aren’t enough hours in the day.

So they start cutting into the night hours.

Instead of sleep, students end up cracking open the energy drinks thinking they found the perfect answer.

I know that you may have heard of Red Bull, Monster, Rockstar, or Amp, just to name a few. That’s probably because the companies that produce energy drinks spend much of their advertising budget trying to reach college students. Don’t get me wrong, I love energy drinks, more specifically Red Bull and Monster.

…But now I am starting to have second thoughts before I open another one.

Here is the reason why: Basically caffeine tricks your brain into believing that you are not tired when you really are. Your body responds by raising your heart rate, tightening and increasing blood flow to the muscles.  This reaction is not too harmful if it occurs once in a while.

But you never just have one! After you drink a Red Bull you might end up going to bed later so you get less sleep and wake up tired. Makes sense, right? Because you’re tired, you’ll need an extra kick in the morning and crack open another energy drink and the process starts all over again.  Experiencing this on a continuous basis can’t be good.

So, what is the solution? We still have a lot of stuff to accomplish and not enough hours to do it. However, I’ve found that you can add a few hours back to your day by eliminating time wasters.

Classic time wasters are TV, videogames and – dare I say – Facebook. I found at least two hours in my daily schedule that I couldn’t account for. This is the type of “extra time” you can use for homework, studying and even going to bed earlier.

And when you get more sleep, you’re more productive. Being productive gets stuff done faster, which allows you to have more free time.

That’s a cycle I think we can all be happy with.

But before you mourn the loss of energy drinks, I’m not saying that energy drinks are bad if you drink them with moderation.

Just remember that a can a Red Bull contains about 100mg of caffeine and the average soda contains about 50mg. That’s a lot of caffeine. Be smart, and keep this in mind when reaching for your next can of energy. There are other ways to maximize your time at college.

Anyone else have any energy drink alternatives or techniques for being productive?

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