We students need to ditch our addiction to energy drinks

They're gross, says Eleanor Doughty, and they make you feel bad

If you’ve been reading this column religiously, you will know that I am irritated by fairly niche things.

The never-ending list includes people that walk around with their mouths open, loud people in the quiet carriage and those insistent pavement cyclists. All of this needs to stop. It won’t come as a surprise to you that this week’s sermon targets one of my pet hates directly, and at full throttle. According to the small public opinion poll I conducted, this one is less niche-y.

Energy drinks. I could write a book about all those things misappropriated in the morning, but I’ll save that for another week. Energy drinks rank highly in my systemically arranged collective of things I hate first thing in the morning. They’re joined by post offices with no post boxes – why is this allowed to happen? – skirts with no pockets and leering men. Let’s send them all to Room 101. 

Almost everyone with a television has seen that Inbetweeners episode where Wills defecates in the exam. The scenario is indelibly marked on the silver screen’s representation of school life. And why? Because of the energy drink overdose he willingly wandered into, the night before.

Every Thursday morning of the last academic year, I have felt nauseous in a way that transcends a post-Wednesday night sports hangover. Side note: I am certain this can only have accentuated the problem. But because a dear friend is also hungover, she fights her lethargy with a cylinder of aluminum full of what I can only assume to be bleach. Or at least that’s what my nose has reported. It’s actually Red Bull – sugar free, if you must know. That suffix just adds to the suffering – if you’re going to mash up your innards, do it properly. Either way, I am lost in incomprehension concerning the appeal of the yellow fizzy liquid that seems in every way to resemble feline urine.

From my higher educational experience thus far, Red Bull seems the popular morning tipple. Sadly, they are not limited to confined spaces of gentle learning. I was writing this on a cranky Hammersmith and City line rush hour train where not just one sniveling hungover carcass was deposited next to me, but two. Both with Red Bull in hand. It was a most unpleasant coincidence, complete with putrid smell. All the way from Farringdon to Paddington, it was me feeling nauseous. And the night before, all I’d done was watch a series of Scott & Bailey with two pots of Rowntree’s jelly. Before you finger point, I couldn’t have moved: it was rammed, as ever.

But for all this – and for all the people I seem to encounter drinking from the carbonated cans of horror – the general consensus amongst my Twitter followers – a veritable source if ever I needed one – seems not to be in favour. I appreciate the merits of an addiction and the difficulties this may present. After all, my three year magnetism to chicken Caesar wraps – Waitrose and M&S are best, FYI – has been thoroughly indulgent, almost outstripping the need to eat anything else. I’ve never smoked, but my wrap attachment seems as unduly pronounced as anything more scientifically damaging. I am informed that the taste is the clincher, for Red Bull. For a substance that resembles the unpleasantries of a domestic animal’s business, I am surprised. A rational friend – and someone with whom I share cynical views with about almost everything important – is adamant that there are merits to this madness.

The oracle of everything ever – my mother, ladies and gentlemen – describes such substances as 'poison', informing me that they are banned in several European countries. The ever reliable Wikipedia supports this claim, stating that Red Bull’s synthetically produced ingredient Taurine – an amino acid found naturally in the body – is banned in Denmark and Norway.

I finished this piece on a train to ye olde countrye where a train guard made regular announcements about suspicious behaviour. The only suspicious behaviour I noticed was the keeping sealed of my M&S wrap, thanks to the Red Bull swigger across the aisle. Cheers pal, although it might be for the best.

Eleanor Doughty is a second-year student at Queen Mary, University of London. Follow her on Twitter here. She probably won't follow you back.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
video
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Southern charm: Nicolas Cage and Tye Sheridan in ‘Joe’
filmReview: Actor delivers astonishing performance in low budget drama
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Up my street: The residents of the elegant Moray Place in Edinburgh's Georgian New Town
tvBBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past
Extras
indybest
News
Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry has been the teaching profession's favourite teacher
education
Sport
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
sport
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
News
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sport
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Sport
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Primary Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: Randstad Education Ltd are seeking KS...

Foundation Teacher

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: Randstad Education Ltd are seeking EY...

NQT's needed

£100 - £120 per day + Paying from £100 to £120 per day: Randstad Education Lee...

Year 6 Teacher

£21000 - £31000 per annum: Randstad Education Leeds: Full time Year 6 class te...

Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform