Friday Faves: The Surprising Effects of Energy Drinks, Teens' Inspiring College Essays About Money, and More!

shutterstock_156449606TGIF! The weekend is finally here and the Choices magazine/TeenBeing team rounded up our picks for the best of this week’s web. Check out our Friday Faves!

1. Despite their name, energy drinks may be having the opposite effect as promised. A new study found that instead of making teens feel energized and focused, these sugary, caffeinated beverages actually create feelings of laziness and tiredness. The might even be true for sports drinks. To learn more about the side effects of energy drinks, check out the "Deadly Drinks?" story from the February 2013 issue of Choices.

2. Talk about impressive! Grace Bush, a 16-year-old from Florida, is graduating from high school and college in the same week. According to Huffington Post, the teenager has been taking college courses ever since she was 13. Her high school, Florida Atlantic University High School, allows students to dual enroll in college courses. Congrats, Grace!

3. It's time to up your fruit and veggie intake! A study from University College London found that we need at least seven fruits or vegetables a day, instead of five. Luckily, Erin Palinski-Wade created a list of tips and tricks to add fruits and vegetables to everyday meals. These include mixing spinach into omlettes or mushrooms into burgers. Speaking of healthy eating, have you read about the awesome program HealthCorps and Teen Battle Chefs cooked up for teens? If not, this TeenBeing post is a must-read!

4. SAT scores aside, the essay is one of the most important parts of the college application process. This week, the New York Times featured four of the best college essays they could find about the topics of money and financial struggles. From a teen who shopped at thrift stores with her mother — first out of necessity and then as a hobby — to a teen working at McDonalds, these essays are insightful and inspiring.

5. The teen pregnancy rate may be at a historic low, according to statistics released this week. Based on data from 2010, approximately 6 percent of teens became pregnant, which was the lowest rate in more than 30 years. TV shows like "16 and Pregnant" may be a factor in this decrease, but greater access to contraceptives and health services also deserve credit. This is especially great news to kick off May's Teen Pregnancy Prevention Month. Share this TeenBeing post with your teens! It features an interactive quiz from StayTeen.org that can help them make informed decisions about sex.

Did we miss anything big from this week? Share your faves in the comments below!