Don’t Drink and...Study?

Red Bull: where do the wings come from?
Lerenzo D. Tolbert-malcom

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We all need that extra something to get through reading period and finals. No, not drugs (not the illegal kind, anyway)—energy drinks (and caffeine pills, if you need an extra kick). But it’s hard to know which of the many options will really get you going, and which will lead to a break down à la Jessie’s infamous Saved By the Bell incident. So here’s FM’s guide to the good stuff.

First off, if you’re looking at an energy drink and it doesn’t have caffeine, put it back. You’re better off drinking water—it doesn’t have the calories. Look for an energy drink with taurine in it to help you deal with all the stress. Guaranine also helps, since it’s basically the same as caffeine (only from Brazil, so it’s cooler) and studies on rats have shown that it increases memory retention. And even if the rats fail to live up to their promise, it’ll serve as a stimulant—and you’re going to need all the stimulation you can get before that final tomorrow you haven’t started studying for.

All the vitamins that start with B-something are your best friend, because they’ll help that hangover you got “studying.” The other important stuff in your drink, like ginseng, and ginko, are basically there to make it sound healthy, but are otherwise pretty useless.

What about rest? Well, there’s sugar, sugar, some antioxidants and, if you’re lucky, more sugar.

But to stay on the safe side, if you get overly jittery or nervous, or start having heart palpitations (English majors: that’s the feeling like your heart’s going to burst out of your chest), stop drinking the liquid energy. It’ll wind up doing more harm than good. And just like with that booze you wish you were downing, don’t drink it on an empty stomach. Alternatively, you could always just try getting some sleep, but that’s what the flight home is for.