We’ve all seen those hard-core energy drinks in the convenience store. From Monster Energy to Starbucks cans of Cappuccinos, these special drinks are everywhere for those overnight road trips. But do they really make you hyped up? Or are they not as energetic as they seem?

To figure out the truth behind these caffeinated drinks, we have to look at the ingredients. According to the Caffeine Informer, “Energy drinks contain supplements,¬†herbs,¬†and vitamins and are required to list warnings on the label about consuming more than the recommended serving.” Now if something comes with a warning label, typically it’s not very safe to consume. But what’s so bad about some vitamins and minerals?

We turn to the main ingredient, of course: caffeine. Caffeine acts as a mild stimulant that perks up the consumer. However, that energy rush doesn’t last long. When you drink an energy drink or coffee-related item, your energy begins to increase dramatically. The person’s energy (and their blood pressure, mind you) spikes upward, until it peaks. This period of time is when the consumer is the most energized. However, this rush doesn’t last too long. Eventually, the energy level starts to decrease. When the caffeine starts to wear off of the user, their energy starts to spike: but in the opposite direction. In the end, the consumer feels even more exhausted than before.

This, actually, can have some long-term effects. According to Treatment Solutions, “…any kind of dependence on a substance, even if it is caffeine, is unhealthy. Energy drinks, and caffeine in general, can become addicting and people can suffer withdrawal symptoms and develop a tolerance for it.” When someone has coffee, and the effects wear off, they want to feel energized again. By drinking an excess of caffeinated drinks, people can cause some unhealthy and dissatisfying effects (such as headaches, fatigue, insomnia, and anxiety).

However, don’t let this stop you from drinking some caffeine every now and then. From Monster Energy to Pumpkin Spice Lattes (yes, I have dabbled in the area), it’s important to have moderation.