Redwood students often rely on an energy drink to wake up in the morning, but which one is the best?

Arjun Aujla

Dragging their feet, slumping in their sweatshirts and struggling to stay awake, students arrive at school sleep-deprived from late nights of studying, sports and other extracurriculars. Many students rely on some sort of energy boost to stay attentive and focused, usually in the form of a caffeinated beverage. Amongst these energy drinks, Celcius, Red Bull and Bang have become extremely popular amongst teens. Guyaki’s Yerba Mate drink is another favorite due to its South American Mate tea and unique flavor options. And of course, there is always a regular cup of black coffee from Starbucks. I decided to try all of these energy drinks to see which one made me the most focused and energized throughout my day.

Bang: 7/10

Bang is one of the biggest names in the energy drink industry. For a decent price of $2.49, Bang kept me energized throughout the day. Containing 300 mg of caffeine, the first four hours after I drank it I had an extreme, almost twitchy, level of energy. After the initial four hours, my energy levels dropped to a steady, moderate level. With a shocking zero grams of sugar, the “Blue Razz” flavored Bang is extremely sweet with a hint of sour, almost as if I was drinking a blue raspberry Jolly Rancher candy. Bang is a great option for a productive day, though the initial extreme energy levels were unpleasant and the flavor was too sweet for my liking. 

Celsius: 9/10

The Celsius energy drink is one rising in popularity. Containing 200 mg of caffeine and zero sugar, Celsius boasts an impressive mineral content, containing essential vitamins like vitamin C, B6 and B12. Also for $2.49, Celsius is a great drink that provides consistent levels of energy throughout the day. Celsius is an extremely pleasant and refreshing drink; the classic orange flavor resembles freshly squeezed, sparkling orange juice. Overall, Celsius provides great taste and consistent levels of energy. This is the way to go! 

Red Bull: 4/10

Red Bull is the biggest name in the energy drink business, selling 7.9 billion cans per year. Unfortunately, Red Bull contains 27 grams of sugar and is priced at $3.29 which makes it more expensive and more sugary than Celsius’ and Bang’s prices. Also, with only 111 mg of caffeine, Red Bull contains less caffeine than the previous drinks. The first few hours after drinking the Red Bull I had high energy, but a sudden and extreme energy crash shortly followed. Additionally, the metallic citrus taste of Red Bull was not appealing. For these reasons, it may be best to steer away from Red Bull. 

Cup of Coffee: 8/10

For $1.85, a tall cup (12 oz), containing 100 mg of caffeine, kept me energized and focused throughout the day. However, adding one packet of sugar and a splash of half-and-half milk is crucial to improve the taste. Without these add-ins, black coffee is quite bitter and does not have the most appealing taste. My energy levels were not as high as they were with the canned drinks, but I had a substantial amount of energy.

Yerba Mate: 7/10

The Yerba Mate is a Redwood classic. At a moderate price of $2.79, Yerbas are in the same price range as the Bang and Celsius drinks. Containing 14 grams of sugar and 80 mg of caffeine, a Yerba Mate has much lower caffeine levels than the other drinks. The Yerba Mate “Enlighten Mint” flavor was the best-tasting drink by far. My energy levels were lower than every other drink, but I did not feel tired. Instead, I sustained a consistent, moderate level of energy. Yerba Mate is a refreshing drink for a student looking for a little extra energy and some happiness. However, if you are in need of a big dose of energy, a Yerba Mate will not get the job done.