The Rise — and Potential Dangers — of Celsius


The rising popularity of Celsius, a caffeine-packed energy drink, has swept the Williston campus and led to conversations about the health benefits of the controversial beverage.
Celsius is marketed to increase the consumer’s metabolism and help those who consume it to “live fit.” Despite this, one 12-ounce can of Celsius contains 200 mg of caffeine, half of the maximum daily amount recommended by the FDA.
Originally released in 2005 by Celsius Holdings Inc., the beverage has gained popularity over the last few years. While the drink is advertised as promoting health benefits, many community members are becoming aware of the negative qualities of the drink: the caffeine concentration, artificial sweeteners, and high acidity, to name a few.
Local stores such as 7-Eleven have started carrying Celsius, making it more readily available to Williston students. One 12-once can costs approximately $2; the accessibility and cost has led to Celsius’ increasing presence around campus.
According to Macrotrends, the net worth of Celsius Holdings Inc. hit an all-time high on Nov. 1, 2021, with a value of $8.6 billion. This is staggering compared to Nov. 2, 2020, when the company’s net worth was $1.67 billion.
Natalie Stott, a senior boarding student from Franklin, Mass., is a fan of the drink and feels it helps her prepare for athletic contests.
“I really like Celsius because I just think that they taste good, and I also don’t drink coffee, so I feel like it’s a good way to have a source of caffeine,” Natalie said. “I just started drinking it before games and it’s just kind of a tradition now.”
Caroline Aufiero, a sophomore boarding student from Belmont, Mass., started drinking Celsius for athletic benefits.
“My mom bought me one and [told me to] try it and then she really liked how I played after my hockey game, and she was like, ‘you have to drink these before every game now,’” she said.
Emma Merrill, a senior boarder from Portland, Maine, started drinking Celsius as an alternative to other sugary drinks.
Emma said her consumption of the drink has changed.
“I went through a phase where I drank one like every single morning, but now, I’m trying to do it every other day,” she said.
Natalie and Caroline acknowledged that they typically only drink Celsius before games now.
On the other hand, there are members of our community who do not support Celsius. Alex Tancrell-Fontaine, an English teacher and Girls’ Varsity Hockey and Field Hockey assistant coach, feels the drink has a negative impact.
“I am not a fan of when athletes on my teams drink Celsius,” Tancrell-Fontaine remarked. “There’s a noticeable difference in their behaviors. I have even seen students be unable to sit and just stand in place bouncing. I think the amount of caffeine in them leads to high highs and then large crashes
in energy. There also seems to be an obsession with making sure to have a Celsius on a game day.”
Lindsay Hanford, a registered nurse and one of the Health and Wellness staff at Williston agreed that Celsius has negative effects.
“It is concerning because too much caffeine can cause people to become addicted and requiring more to get the same effect,” Hanford said. “It can also cause side effects such as increase heart rate or irregular heartbeat, insomnia, and anxiety. It is not recommended for people under 18.”
The Celsius website corroborates this statement. It reads: “CELSIUS is not recommended for people sensitive to caffeine, children under the age of 18, or women who are pregnant or nursing.”
Natalie recognized that drinking Celsius has become almost a trend for athletes.
“I think Celsius has definitely caught on,” she said. “At the beginning of the year, I didn’t see a ton of people drinking it, and then I feel like it almost started as sort of a trend where everyone had to have one before a game or a practice.”
Tancrell-Fontaine agrees that the drink’s popularity for the drink has grown, and she thinks a lot is due to successful advertising.
“I know they are sold more widely now. I also think this has a lot to do with social media and the way they are marketed. They are popular on TikTok, and I have seen Celsius trying to target the high school, college-age demographic,” she said.
There also seems to be a discrepancy between the girls’ and boys’ athletic teams when it comes to drinking Celsius before games.
Members of the Girls’ Varsity Hockey, Field Hockey, Soccer, Volleyball, and Basketball teams all attested to seeing a recent rise in the popularity of drinking Celsius before games. On the other hand, members of the Boys’ Varsity Football, Hockey, Squash, Basketball, Water Polo, and Swim teams said they have not seen their teammates take a particular liking to the drink. Additionally, members of the Dance team and Theater department report that they have not seen members of their teams drinking Celsius before big events.
Nurse Hanford does not endorse Celsius, but has a recommendation for anyone set on drinking the beverage.
“If you are going to drink it consider only having 1 / day and not anytime near bedtime,” she said. “Too many students are already sleep deprived and have anxiety; this will only exacerbate those issues.”