Caffeine craving teenagers turn to new energy drink

Sophia Johnson | Staff Writer

While caffeine has always kept students going, a new energy drink is making a name for itself in the fight to avoid sleep.

Bang, from Vital Pharmaceuticals Inc. (VPX Sports), is an energy drink that contains no calories, no sugar and no carbohydrates. Labeled as a pre-workout supplement that contains 300mg of caffeine, Bang contains about three times the amount of an average cup of coffee according to Healthline.com.

Junior Lani Hensley said by having access to an energy drink with super creatine, a supplement that works to enhance the body’s muscles, she and other athletes are able to take Bang in place of other pre-workout drinks.

I take them every day in the morning because I sometimes will have trouble sleeping or I will just stay up late…

Lauren Miller, junior

“So they’re not exactly only for athletes, it’s just a super creatine drink,” Hensley said. “So there are protein powders that athletes put in their water before they work out that has creatine in them, but instead of making a pre-workout drink we all just grab a Bang and go to workout.”

While every Bang can is printed with a comment suggesting consumers of the drink be at least 18 years of age, the high levels of caffeine are reaching an audience that takes the drink as more of a supplement to boost energy. For junior Lauren Miller, Bang has replaced her daily cups of coffee; she said she relies on it to help her get through the day.

“I take them every day in the morning because I sometimes will have trouble sleeping or I will just stay up late, and if I don’t get enough sleep it’s the worst and I can’t stay up for the life of me,” Miller said. “So it helps to get that caffeine in me. I used to drink coffee and then I just got kind of use to it. I could have like five cups a day, and it wouldn’t do anything for me.”

While Sam Le Cras said he drinks energy drinks on a regular basis, he no longer drinks Bang after experiencing some of the side effects.

“I have had it before, but I try not to drink it because it has a lot of different effects than most energy drinks do,” Le Cras said. “Usually I’ll have a Monster every morning and it’s just kind of like drinking a coffee, wakes you up a little bit and makes you feel more alert. The first time I had a Bang, it was kind of crazy. I was sweating a whole lot, and really hot, and everything. I was freaking out a bit.”

The first time senior Anagh Kulkarni said he tried a Bang energy drink was on a trip for Speech and Debate: he said he continues to get the drink as a fun inside joke with the team.

“The whole team went to a mall and we just saw it in a little convenient store area in a fridge and we were in that mode of ‘we don’t want Monster or Redbull, we want something random,’” Kulkarni said. “So we looked at Bang and saw it had 300mg of caffeine, so it just started as a joke. It was pretty crazy, we started bouncing around everywhere and couldn’t stop moving.”

Even though Kulkarni said he does not drink Bang consistently, he has found himself using it to get through late nights of schoolwork. 

“I’ve definitely stayed up later than usual; there was one time I stayed up until like five A.M. after having drank it,” Kulkarni said. “I took it knowing I had to stay up because I had to do homework and stuff, but then I finished my homework and I still was doing random stuff because I couldn’t fall asleep.”

Graphic by Ryan D’Souza.

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