Buzz or Bust: Caffeine Drinks Reviewed

A review of the popular drinks of our generation and a description of the dangers of caffeine addictions.


Amia Carrillo Ramanathan & Will Klatt-Breed, Contributors

We know that almost all high school students at one time or another have tried an energy drink. To wake up, get through class or finish that last assignment, we rely on caffeine. With the energy drink industry booming, there are so many options out there. So we decided to get to the bottom of which drink is the best. We chose five of the most popular drinks and posed the question: Which energy drink tastes the best?

Bang, a banger? (300mg of caffeine)

Bang has an extremely fruity smell and this gave us a preview of the flavors that would follow. The drink caters to people with sweet tooths and tasted similar to a jolly rancher or other hard candies. Overall, our rating is lower, as we both favor less sweet energy drinks. Therefore, our official opinion is that bang is not a banger. 

Monster, does it conquer? Is it really the monster? (86mg of caffeine)

The monster drink had a very strong, tangy taste and a very artificial smell. When we smelled the drink, we felt like it scratched our nostrils with its potency. The original flavor was not to our liking so, in our opinion, monster did not conquer.

Yerba Mate, Is it Yer(bae) or your ex? (120mg of caffeine)

The Yerba Mate was very earthy and it hit the spot for both of us. The best way to describe it is as a simple, refreshing herbal tea. We noticed that the drink had a good aftertaste, not too overpowering, but subtly sweet. We highly highly recommend it and it seems like the perfect California drink. In our opinion, this drink is YerBAE.

Redbull-classic, but does it actually give you wings or is that just bull? (111mg of caffeine)

The Redbull was tangy but not as overpowering as some of the other drinks. It woke both of us up almost immediately and got us focused. Though the taste is strong, it’s perfect for an energy drink and gets the job done. So Redbull, as we decided, does give you wings. 

Rockstar: is it the best of both worlds? (72mg of caffeine)

The rockstar was powerful, sweet, and tart. With an immensely strong scent, we felt like it sometimes overpowered even the taste of the drink at times. It was a very artificial-tasting drink with no undertones other than sweetness. However, in our opinion, it was not the best of both worlds. 

However, since this is just the opinion of two particular students, how could it be trustworthy? To combat this argument we asked the student body which drinks they liked the most and posed the question, how reliant are O’Dowd students on caffeine? 380 votes poured in and the drink that emerged on top was…. Yerba Mate, unsurprisingly. 

Surprisingly though, on a scale from one to ten, most students rated their reliance on caffeine at a 1. 28.7% of the students that submitted a response reported essentially zero reliance on caffeine while 10% of students reported a complete reliance on caffeine. This provides some hope, as we discovered that fewer students rely on unhealthy amounts of caffeine than we initially thought. 

Despite the delicious and good aspects of these caffeinated drinks, we do recognize that caffeine, and the addiction that comes with it, is an issue. Caffeine is one of the most socially acceptable drugs on the market, so often, the public overlooks its negative effects. While there are many benefits to caffeine including, boosting your mood, waking you up, and heightening your senses, there are also serious side effects. Some of the most common ones we researched were, insomnia, restlessness, amplified anxiety, an upset stomach, and more seriously, cardiac arrhythmia, which are irregular heart rhythms. 

While caffeine has positive effects, they are short-lived and leave the consumer in a worse condition than before. According to Medical News Today, “Even moderate doses of 100-400 mg can cause symptoms in children and adolescents.” Most energy drinks, including the ones we chose to try, contain caffeine levels of well over 100mg, making it clear that these drinks do not possess healthy levels of caffeine. We’ve made it clear that a lot of the negative aspects of caffeine outweigh the positive effects, however, how then do we combat the caffeine epidemic? The bottom line is that caffeine in large amounts can be bad for you. So to wane off of these large amounts of caffeine, here are some easy solutions. According to the Cleveland Clinic, drinking more water is a huge help as it energizes the body as well as combats withdrawal headaches. Furthermore, eating foods that energize the body, and consuming drinks that contain less caffeine are all great ways to help us overcome caffeine addiction. Stay healthy out there O’Dowd!