The Dangers of All-Nighters and Energy Drinks

December will soon be here. The holiday season is full swing and December is when winter officially starts. For high school and college students, December marks finals season. Between studying test materials and rushing to get papers and final projects completed before the holiday break, students are sleep deprived and stressed trying to get everything done. To cope with late nights, there are many products on the market that offer “energy boosts.” However, these products are not healthy and in some situations can severely impact a person’s health.

Energy Drinks
They come in cans and bottles of every size and feature ingredients such as high levels of caffeine and sugar and herbs such as guarana, yerba mate, and ginseng. The high sugar content can spike blood sugar which leads to a “sugar crash,” which causes you do drink more to regain your energy and focus. Over-consumption of these types of drinks is known to cause elevated heart rate, fluctuations in blood pressure, and even changes to mental states.

Energy Shots
In more recent years, “energy shot” products have hit the market and are supported by multi-million dollar advertising campaign. They claim that these shots give you “the extra boost you need” and can fight “2 pm fatigue.” Not only are these shots loaded with artificial sweeteners and chemicals, but can potentially be fatal. The Food and Drug Administration is currently conducting an investigation into whether or not 13 deaths over the past 4 years can be blamed on the use of these energy shot products.

Coffee
Coffee is a natural source of caffeine. Many Americans drink at least a cup of coffee a day and coffee is one of the most popular beverages around the world. However, drinking too much coffee in one sitting is not good as it can cause anxiety, stomach problems, and elevated heart rate. Many students prefer to drink their coffee with lots of cream and sugar, which contains a lot of empty calories. Coffee should be consumed in moderation.

What You Should Do
To avoid having to stay up night after night to get everything done, students should schedule out their tests and assignments ahead of time and plan time to each project. Allotting specific times over the course of the week for studying or essay writing can help alleviate some stress as the tasks can be completed in stages, rather than in one night. Getting an adequate amount of sleep is also important. If pulling an all-nighter is unavoidable, students should use any free time they have to take a power nap.

Keeping a steady diet of foods including fruits and vegetables can provide a natural energy boost as well as vitamins and minerals that are needed to maintain a healthy mind and body. Coffee and tea can be enjoyed, but in moderation. Most importantly, students should stay well hydrated by drinking plenty of water when pulling late nights as dehydration of the body impacts productivity.

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