We’ve all been there: the night before the assignment is due. The feeling of panic, the terror at only having completed a quarter of your project. There’s only one thing for it, and that’s the all-nighter. When intense procrastination (unbelievably) doesn’t finish your work for you, it’s time for a study session until 5am.
But, if you’re anything like me, staying awake until 5am is pretty rough. So, the energy drink comes to the rescue. A couple of these leaves me buzzing until the sun starts to rise and I am able to smash out that 3,000 word essay with time to spare.
However, energy drinks are notoriously harmful. Many regular drinkers can get addicted and the high caffeine level in them will affect your body hugely. Within 10 minutes of drinking, blood pressure and heart rate can rise significantly. A 500ml can of Monster Energy drink contains 160mg of caffeine, and according to a 2015 survey by Action on Sugar, each can contains 55g of sugar.
Even many supermarkets now are recognising the dangers of energy drinks. To buy one, the customer must be 16 years or older and provide identification if they look younger. This ban demonstrates the rising awareness of the dangers they can pose.
Of course, the real answer for the university student is to do your assignment the week before, during normal waking hours. But let’s face it, that’ll never happen. Instead, here are some good alternatives to the energy drink.
Protein shakes give you the nutrients you need and eating carbohydrates allows the protein you intake to be converted into energy. Plus, you can get some tasty flavours which are always going to be better than the artificiality of energy drinks.
Another great substitute is to have a smoothie with yoghurt. Putting whatever fruit you would prefer in allows you to tailor the taste to your preference and the yoghurt will add some good biotics to your body. Fuelling yourself the right way will help you stay awake and fresh for longer.
Once you start to really feel the fatigue kicking in, having a very cold glass of water will help to perk you up. This will not only be refreshing but give your body a chance to flush out any other toxins. Plus, drinking lots of water is great for your skin, so there’s a bonus!
The only real substitute for energy drinks though is another sort of caffeine. While coffee emulates the effects of energy drinks very well, it can cause many of the same problems as it has 100-200 mg of caffeine per mug. Tea is the best alternative as it contains 20-80mg of caffeine. Green tea is especially beneficial as it works to detoxify your body.