Are energy drinks effective?


  • Specializes in CCU, Geriatrics, Critical Care, Tele. Has 29 years experience.

There's this craze going on about energy drinks - All it is is sugar and caffeine. Students, athletes, professionals of all ages are drinking this stuff. Are these drinks as effective as they say it is? How healthy is it? Pros? Cons? Please share your thoughts...

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kbrn2002, ADN, RN

3,749 Posts

Specializes in Geriatrics, Dialysis. Has 21 years experience.

I work nights and have unfortunately become a little addicted! I really like the coffee energy drinks, JAVA Monster being my favorite. I will drink one with a lot of ice over an 8 hour shift. I always keep a spare in case I get stuck on a double, I would be a zombie after 16 hours without it.


156 Posts

I have yet to take an energy drink so far in my program, even with clinical!


35 Posts

I am not a fan of energy drinks. Once in a while I'll have a Monster Rehab but I try to stay away from them as much as possible. The one time I drank a 5 Hour Energy, I literally took a nap for a few hours. It in no way made me feel like I was pushing past that "2:30 feeling."

My husband was drinking a can of the Monster BFC (big ******* can, something like 32 oz) for a while everyday before work. He started to feel "funny" so he went to the doctor and his blood pressure was through the roof. He stopped drinking them, went back to the doctor a few weeks later and it was back in the normal range.

So I pretty much just stick to coffee.

KelRN215, BSN, RN

1 Article; 7,349 Posts

Specializes in Pedi. Has 16 years experience.

Last year when I was working as a per diem school nurse, I had a student come up and beg me to be part of her experiment. This "experiment" was something like testing the effects of caffeine and the effects of exercise on heart rate. I tried to explain to her that neither were really independent variables as someone like me (who consumes NO caffeine- EVER) will obviously be more affected by a 5 hour energy drink than someone who drinks several caffeinated beverages per day. That evidently wasn't a concern as far as the experiment went and I caved and drank the 5 hour energy. Fortunately I was also working a night shift at my hospital job so I didn't have to worry that it would keep me up all night because I needed to be up all night anyway. I do remember that I had an episode of acute onset dizziness/nausea sometime in the middle of the night/while doing an admission assessment and I had to excuse myself and run to the back room before I passed out. It ended up passing but one of those drinks in my lifetime was more than enough.

TheCommuter, BSN, RN

226 Articles; 27,608 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych. Has 17 years experience.

I work 12-hour night shifts and occasionally consume a can of Rockstar energy drink.

With 240 milligrams of caffeine, it certainly does a good job at keeping me wakeful at night. I drink the blueberry/acai flavored ones that are sugar-free and 20 calories per can.

vamedic4, EMT-P

1,060 Posts

Specializes in Peds Cardiology, Peds Neuro, PICU, IV Jedi. Has 23 years experience.

I have used energy drinks sparingly, as in...maybe ten times in as many years. And I don't do the "drinks" like Monster or Rockstar, I do the energy shots...12 Hour Energy. It's much less to consume for me. I can't be drinking 20 ounces of something that feels like bees buzzing around in my mouth. The 12 Hour Energy does help me focus and concentrate though.


366 Posts

Specializes in psych/dementia.

The only thing with caffeine in it I consume would be caffeine pills, and only if I know I will have trouble staying awake. Like others, I worked night shift, three 12's, now only one 12 every other week with school starting. I didn't use caffeine of any sort in undergrad for my first degree and I can't really say I like the effects of it. I guess since I'm not used to it. I use it sparingly.


111 Posts

I sat for 4 hours in an ER with my returning vet son, age 25, who drank a "tall boy" MONSTER drink. Heart rate at 135. I would never tell any one to drink anything of the sort.


311 Posts

Has 1 years experience.

I'm pretty sure I might have to donate my degree to the Dunkin Donuts around the corner - I sometimes see them more than I see my family on a given day. They should just run a pipeline of iced coffee to the nursing labs.

When I was a over the road truck driving trainer (drivers brand new to the business would drive with me for 6-8 weeks to learn the ropes) and I told every newbie that nothing stronger than a three shot venti mocha latte was allowed in my truck. I told them if I found a single "energy drink" in their possession that they were off of my truck.


67 Posts

Those 5 hour energy things are a joke. They are all advertising and no "energy".

I drink a sugar free rockstar on some overnight shifts around 0300. I personally prefer its wakefulness properties to coffee, which I drink daily. I'm usually busy enough to not need something to pep me up, but rockstars do the trick.