Energy Drink Research Papers

1. Reissig CJ, Strain EC, Griffiths RR. Caffeinated energy drinks—a growing problem. Drug and alcohol dependence. 2009;99(1):1–10.[PMC free article][PubMed]

2. Zucconi S, Volpato C, Adinolfi F, Gandini E, Gentile E, Loi A, et al. Gathering consumption data on specific consumer groups of energy drinks. External Scientific Report for European Food Safety Authority. 2013

3. Bailey RL, Saldanha LG, Gahche JJ, Dwyer JT. Estimating caffeine intake from energy drinks and dietary supplements in the United States. Nutrition reviews. 2014;72(suppl 1):9–13.[PMC free article][PubMed]

4. Mintel Energy Drink Report. 2012.

5. Simon M, Mosher J. Alcohol, energy drinks, and youth: a dangerous mix. San Rafael CA: Marin Institute; 2007.

6. Alsunni AA, Badar A. Energy drinks consumption pattern, perceived benefits and associated adverse effects amongst students of University of Dammam, Saudi Arabia. J Ayub Med Coll Abbottabad. 2011 Jul-Sep;23(3):3–9.[PubMed]

7. Alsunni AA. ARE ENERGY DRINKS PHYSIOLOGICAL? Pak J Physiol. 2011;7(1):44–49.

8. Goldfarb M, Tellier C, Thanassoulis G. Review of published cases of adverse cardiovascular events after ingestion of energy drinks. The American journal of cardiology. 2014;113(1):168–172.[PubMed]

9. Di Rocco JR, During A, Morelli PJ, Heyden M, Biancaniello TA. Atrial fibrillation in healthy adolescents after highly caffeinated beverage consumption: two case reports. J Med Case Reports. 2011;5(1):18.[PMC free article][PubMed]

10. Scott MJ, El-Hassan M, Khan AA. Myocardial infarction in a young adult following the consumption of a caffeinated energy drink. BMJ case reports. 2011;2011:bcr0220113854.[PMC free article][PubMed]

11. Wilson RE, Kado HS, Samson R, Miller AB. A case of caffeine-induced coronary artery vasospasm of a 17-year-old male. Cardiovascular toxicology. 2012;12(2):175–179.[PubMed]

12. Pommerening MJ, Cardenas JC, Radwan ZA, Wade CE, Holcomb JB, Cotton BA. Hypercoagulability after energy drink consumption. Journal of Surgical Research. 2015[PubMed]

13. González W, Altieri P, Alvarado E, Banchs H, Colón E, Escobales N, et al. Celiac trunk and branches dissection due to energy drink consumption and heavy resistance exercise: case report and review of literature. Boletin de la Asociacion Medica de Puerto Rico. 2014;107(1):38–40.[PubMed]

14. Bedi N, Dewan P, Gupta P. Energy drinks: Potions of illusion. Indian pediatrics. 2014;51(7):529–533.[PubMed]

15. Espinosa JC, Sobrino MF. Caffeine and headache: specific remarks. Neurologia (Barcelona, Spain) 2015[PubMed]

16. Juliano LM, Evatt DP, Richards BD, Griffiths RR. Characterization of individuals seeking treatment for caffeine dependence. Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. 2012;26(4):948.[PMC free article][PubMed]

17. Kristjansson AL, Sigfusdottir ID, Frost SS, James JE. Adolescent caffeine consumption and self-reported violence and conduct disorder. Journal of youth and adolescence. 2013;42(7):1053–1062.[PubMed]

18. Dikici S, Saritas A, Besir FH, Tasci AH, Kandis H. Do energy drinks cause epileptic seizure and ischemic stroke? The American journal of emergency medicine. 2013;31(1):274.e271–274.e274.[PubMed]

19. Jones SR, Fernyhough C. Caffeine, stress, and proneness to psychosis-like experiences: A preliminary investigation. Personality and Individual Differences. 2009;46(4):562–564.

20. Crowe S, Barot J, Caldow S, d’Aspromonte J, Dell’Orso J, Di Clemente A, et al. The effect of caffeine and stress on auditory hallucinations in a non-clinical sample. Personality and Individual Differences. 2011;50(5):626–630.

21. Zeidán-Chuliá F, Gelain DP, Kolling EA, Rybarczyk-Filho JL, Ambrosi P, Resende Terra S, et al. Major components of energy drinks (caffeine, taurine, and guarana) exert cytotoxic effects on human neuronal SH-SY5Y cells by decreasing reactive oxygen species production. Oxidative medicine and cellular longevity. 2013;2013[PMC free article][PubMed]

22. Greenblum S, Turnbaugh PJ, Borenstein E. Metagenomic systems biology of the human gut microbiome reveals topological shifts associated with obesity and inflammatory bowel disease. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2012;109(2):594–599.[PMC free article][PubMed]

23. Lee S, Hudson R, Kilpatrick K, Graham TE, Ross R. Caffeine ingestion is associated with reductions in glucose uptake independent of obesity and type 2 diabetes before and after exercise training. Diabetes Care. 2005 Mar;28(3):566–572.[PubMed]

24. Ragsdale FR, Gronli TD, Batool N, Haight N, Mehaffey A, McMahon EC, et al. Effect of Red Bull energy drink on cardiovascular and renal function. Amino Acids. 2010;38(4):1193–1200.[PubMed]

25. Beaudoin M-S, Allen B, Mazzetti G, Sullivan PJ, Graham TE. Caffeine ingestion impairs insulin sensitivity in a dose-dependent manner in both men and women. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. 2012;38(2):140–147.[PubMed]

26. Vivekanandarajah A, Ni S, Waked A. Acute hepatitis in a woman following excessive ingestion of an energy drink: a case report. J Med Case Rep. 2011;5(227):8.[PMC free article][PubMed]

27. Huang B, Kunkel D, El Kabany M. Acute Liver Failure Following One Year of Daily Consumption of a Sugar-Free Energy Drink. ACG case reports journal. 2014;1(4):214.[PMC free article][PubMed]

28. Riesenhuber A, Boehm M, Posch M, Aufricht C. Diuretic potential of energy drinks. Amino Acids. 2006 Jul;31(1):81–83.[PubMed]

29. Montain SJ, Coyle EF. Influence of graded dehydration on hyperthermia and cardiovascular drift during exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology. 1992;73(4):1340–1350.[PubMed]

30. Mora-Rodriguez R, Pallarés JG. Performance outcomes and unwanted side effects associated with energy drinks. Nutrition reviews. 2014;72(suppl 1):108–120.[PubMed]

31. Coso JD, Estevez E, Baquero RA, Mora-Rodriguez R. Anaerobic performance when rehydrating with water or commercially available sports drinks during prolonged exercise in the heat. Applied Physiology, Nutrition, and Metabolism. 2008;33(2):290–298.[PubMed]

32. Greene E, Oman K, Lefler M. Energy Drink–Induced Acute Kidney Injury. Annals of Pharmacotherapy. 2014;48(10):1366–1370.[PubMed]

33. Hasselkvist A, Johansson A, Johansson A-K. Dental erosion and soft drink consumption in Swedish children and adolescents and the development of a simplified erosion partial recording system. Swedish dental journal. 2009;34(4):187–195.[PubMed]

34. Marshall TA, Levy SM, Broffitt B, Warren JJ, Eichenberger-Gilmore JM, Burns TL, et al. Dental caries and beverage consumption in young children. Pediatrics. 2003;112(3):e184–e191.[PubMed]

35. Li H, Zou Y, Ding G. Dietary factors associated with dental erosion: a meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2012;7(8):e42626.[PMC free article][PubMed]

36. Pinto SC, Bandeca MC, Silva CN, Cavassim R, Borges AH, Sampaio JE. Erosive potential of energy drinks on the dentine surface. BMC research notes. 2013;6(1):67.[PMC free article][PubMed]

37. Alford C, Cox H, Wescott R. The effects of red bull energy drink on human performance and mood. Amino Acids. 2001;21(2):139–150.[PubMed]

38. Forbes SC, Candow DG, Little JP, Magnus C, Chilibeck PD. Effect of Red Bull energy drink on repeated Wingate cycle performance and bench-press muscle endurance. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2007 Oct;17(5):433–444.[PubMed]

39. Hoffman JR, Kang J, Ratamess NA, Hoffman MW, Tranchina CP, Faigenbaum AD. Examination of a pre-exercise, high energy supplement on exercise performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2009;6:2.[PMC free article][PubMed]

40. Ivy JL, Kammer L, Ding Z, Wang B, Bernard JR, Liao YH, et al. Improved cycling time-trial performance after ingestion of a caffeine energy drink. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2009 Feb;19(1):61–78.[PubMed]

41. Walsh AL, Gonzalez AM, Ratamess NA, Kang J, Hoffman JR. Research article Improved time to exhaustion following ingestion of the energy drink. Amino Impact™ 2010[PMC free article][PubMed]

42. Walker TB, Balldin U, Fischer J, Storm W, Warren GL. Acceleration tolerance after ingestion of a commercial energy drink. Aviation, space, and environmental medicine. 2010;81(12):1100–1106.[PubMed]

43. Perez-Lopez A, Salinero JJ, Abian-Vicen J, Valades D, Lara B, Hernandez C, et al. Caffeinated Energy Drinks Improve Volleyball Performance in Elite Female Players. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2014 Jul 18;[PubMed]

44. Wesnes KA, Barrett ML, Udani JK. An evaluation of the cognitive and mood effects of an energy shot over a 6h period in volunteers. A randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled, cross-over study. Appetite. 2013;67:105–113.[PubMed]

45. Warburton DM, Bersellini E, Sweeney E. An evaluation of a caffeinated taurine drink on mood, memory and information processing in healthy volunteers without caffeine abstinence. Psychopharmacology. 2001;158(3):322–328.[PubMed]

46. Reyner L, Horne J. Efficacy of a ‘functional energy drink’ in counteracting driver sleepiness. Physiology & behavior. 2002;75(3):331–335.[PubMed]

47. Smit HJ, Rogers PJ. Effects of ‘energy’ drinks on mood and mental performance: critical methodology. Food quality and preference. 2002;13(5):317–326.

48. Smit HJ, Grady ML, Finnegan YE, Hughes S-AC, Cotton JR, Rogers PJ. Role of familiarity on effects of caffeine-and glucose-containing soft drinks. Physiology & behavior. 2006;87(2):287–297.[PubMed]

49. Horne J, Reyner L. Beneficial effects of an “energy drink” given to sleepy drivers. Amino Acids. 2001;20(1):83–89.[PubMed]

50. Howard MA, Marczinski CA. Acute effects of a glucose energy drink on behavioral control. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. 2010;18(6):553.[PubMed]

51. Al-Fares MN, Alsunni AA, Majeed F, Badar A. Effect of energy drink intake before exercise on indices of physical performance in untrained females. Saudi medical journal. 2015;36(5):580.[PMC free article][PubMed]

52. Nelson MT, Biltz GR, Dengel DR. Cardiovascular and ride time-to-exhaustion effects of an energy drink. J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2014;11(1):2.[PMC free article][PubMed]

53. Fernandez-Campos C, Dengo AL, Moncada-Jimenez J. Acute Consumption of an Energy Drink Does Not Improve Physical Performance of Female Volleyball Players. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2014 Nov 11;[PubMed]

Research led by Newcastle University shows that around one in three young people say that they regularly consume energy drinks, which typically contain high levels of caffeine and sugar.

The dangers of energy drinks are well documented with evidence indicating that regular or heavy use by under-18s is likely to be detrimental to their health. 

This is the first study to explore in-depth the views of children, as young as 10-years-old, on energy drinks and the research was published in the academic journal, PLOS ONE.

Study’s findings

Researchers spoke to children and young people, aged 10-14 years old, from primary and secondary schools in Country Durham, North East England, and visited shops in the local area. 

The experts discovered that energy drinks were:

  • Easily available to children and young people in local shops.  The children were well aware of the different brands, key ingredients and some of the risks linked to drinking them.  However, they were less certain about the amount of sugar and caffeine contained in the drinks.
  • Sold for as little as 25p (single cans are often on promotion, for example, four for £1) with some of the young people taking advantage of the offers by pooling their money and sharing the drinks.
  • Targeted at children online in pop-up adverts, on television, in computer games for over-18s, and through sports sponsorship.  Some of the young people said that they chose energy drinks to ‘fit in’ or ‘look tough’ but others had made the decision, as a friendship group, to stop drinking them.
  • Linked to activities that could be considered attractive to young people, including music, extreme sports, sexuality (both masculinity and femininity), gaming, drinking alcohol and general risk-taking.

Health dangers

Dr Shelina Visram, from Newcastle University’s Institute of Health and Society, led the study in collaboration with Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health.

She said: “This study looked at the complex mix of factors that impact on children and young people's attitudes in relation to energy drinks.

“Our participants were generally aware of the main energy drink brands, ingredients and potential health risks. But they were also confused by the mixed messages from the soft drinks industry.

“By law, energy drink labels must include the warning 'not recommended for children' and yet participants as young as 10 years of age told us they could purchase these products in almost any shop, at affordable prices.

“This study provides important insights into the consumption choices of children and young people, and highlights the key role played by the marketing activities of energy drink companies. The findings should be used to inform policies and interventions that address the behaviours of manufacturers and retailers as well as children and parents."

Existing research cited in the paper shows that use of energy drinks by under-18s is associated with a range of negative effects and unhealthy behaviours, including physical health complaints, such as headaches, palpitations and insomnia, and higher rates of alcohol, smoking and drug use.

The children and young people in the study were aware of the potential risks involved in drinking energy drinks.

During focus groups many of the participants suggested putting age restrictions on energy drinks, similar to those on cigarettes and alcohol.

Proposals were also put forward  to position drinks away from children and young people in shops, and study participants wanted the labelling on energy drinks to be clear and understandable, for example by showing sugar content per spoonful.

The UK government has already announced a tax on sugary drinks as a step towards tackling childhood obesity, but energy drinks usually contain high amounts of both sugar and caffeine.  The authors would now like the government to go a step further.

Dr Amelia Lake, Fuse Associate Director, said: “While this is a small study in one part of England it gives us a huge amount of insight.

“What’s interesting is the young people are essentially asking why these drinks are being sold and marketed to them when we know they are not good for them.

“They are telling us that energy drinks cost less than water or pop!

“They are asking, why aren’t energy drinks age restricted like cigarettes? Why can they get them so easily?  But they are also well aware there isn’t a simple solution.

“Schools have tried restricting these drinks - now it’s time to try and do something more central.  These drinks are a problem and a government solution is needed.”

Energy drink sales

On average, young people in the UK consume more energy drinks than those in other European countries.  Sales of energy drinks in the UK increased by 185% between 2006 and 2015, with 672 million litres drunk in 2015 and a total market value of over £2 billion.

A single can of popular brands on the market can contain around 160mg of caffeine, while the European Food Safety Authority recommends an intake of no more than 105mg caffeine per day for an average 11-year-old.

The work was supported by The Children's Foundation Child Health Research Programme and led by Dr Shelina Visram who is at Newcastle University, in collaboration with academics from Durham, Northumbria, and Teesside Universities through Fuse, the Centre for Translational Research in Public Health.

Reference: Children and young people’s perceptions of energy drinks: A qualitative study. 

Shelina Visram et al. PLOS ONE.

 Doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0188668





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