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Drink responsibly: Get your facts about caffeine

Welcome to dead week, the eve before final exams. Many students will take to energy drinks and large cups of coffee to fuel study nights. Before binging on sugary cans of confusing chemicals, it’s important to be educated on the facts.

Most doctors do not label energy drinks as inherently bad, but consumers should excercise caution. Overconsumption may provide an extra kick of energy for a study session, but it also causes the heart to race and induces vomiting.

Exercise moderation. Drink responsibly.


Doctors at Harvard say an 8-ounce cup of coffee is a healthy serving size, and five to six cups a day won’t pose long term health effects. It’s important to keep the serving sizes in check and go easy on sugar.


Each can contains about 160 mg of caffeine. However, the recommended serving size is half a can. Energy drinks draw much of their energy from other ingredients like B-vitamins, guarana and taurine.


Starbuck’s drinks typically have a high amount of caffeine compared to other brands. A 16-oz cup of coffee contains more caffeine (330 mg) than a can of double strength Rockstar Energy Drink.

Caffeine intoxication

According to the Encyclopedia of Psychopharmacology, caffeine intoxication is “a medical and mental health condition encompassing a variety of unpleasant mental and physical symptoms. All of them are associated with the consumption of excessive amounts of caffeine.” 

Too many caffeinated drinks exaggerate the desired effects, turning productivity into anxiety. Don’t ruin a study night or personal  well being with too much caffeine.

Secret Ingredients

Energy drinks contain a high concentration of sugar and caffeine, but they also contain many other energy-raising ingredients.

“The drinks can contain natural, caffeine-containing ingredients that are not separately listed,” according to the American Association of Poison Control.

Caffeine-containing ingredients like guarana are prevalent in many energy drinks. Guarana is a berry containing double the amount of caffeine of a common coffee bean.

Research validates the effictiveness of guarana but consumers should be aware of the high concentration of caffeine present.  Ingredients like guarana and taurine are considered dietary supplements and therefore are not regulated by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA).

Bar graph dimensions are based on caffeine content, not size of beverage.

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