What's Up with Uptime?

Natalie Wexler With a new food service provider this year, there came a plethora of new drink choices, one of which seems to have taken the student body by storm. You’ve seen it in the drink case, in your friend’s hands, and maybe even in your own. It’s name is Uptime and my mission was to find out what’s up with uptime. Uptime is an energy supplement drink meant to improve your mental and physical energy. It is sugar free, contains only 5 calories, and a 12 oz serving of it (1 bottle) has 142 mg of caffeine. To put that number into perspective, one shot of espresso has only 75 mg of caffeine. Before doing this experiment, I hadn’t tried Uptime, so I had no idea about its internal effects other than what I’d heard from classmates. After trying it, I personally hated it. I started this experiment before the black bottle Uptime was in stock, so it was conducted entirely with the sugar free white bottle Uptime. It tasted like a really watered down Red Bull and I didn’t feel the effects of the caffeine right away, so I would drink a ton of the bottle, get a caffeine high, and eventually crash. Also, I felt jittery during the days that I tried it. In addition, I spent the week talking to my classmates about what they thought of Uptime. A survey asking about the frequency of Uptime consumption posted in the class of 2019 Facebook page revealed the following results: Never- 17 people Every once in awhile- 7 people Everyday- 3 people A few times a week- 3 people What surprised me about the results was that more people didn’t drink Uptime than those who did. The problems with this data are that not everyone took the survey, only sophomores. So, I took to the halls and asked around. In a lot of the interviews that I conducted about the drink, people felt one of three ways: they loved Uptime, they hated Uptime, or they had no real opinion about Uptime. To protect anonymity, no names will be used. One sophomore boy who drinks an Uptime everyday because of the high caffeine content pointed out that “Latin offers other caffeinated beverages that have high caffeine counts like coffee and Vuka.” He also said that he doesn’t care about the drink not being FDA approved (the FDA typically doesn’t approve energy drinks and energy supplements). A junior boy who has tried Uptime said that he prefers Vuka to Uptime because “it tastes better and picks up your day.” His friend then pointed out that Vuka’s flavors are so much better than Uptimes. A group of sophomore girls who have never tired Uptime said that the reason why they haven’t tried it is because a student in one of their classes “shook for an entire class period after drinking a full bottle in a few minutes.” In a lot of the interviews, people mentioned that they would shake after drinking an Uptime, yet I had never seen it for myself. I sat next to a sophomore boy who tried Uptime for the first time and he felt “disgusting inside and is never, ever going to drink this thing ever again.” That’s what’s up with Uptime! Clearly, the school has had similar concerns. As of Monday, September 26th, Uptime is no longer being served in the cafeteria. ]]>