Mental and physical effects of energy drinks consumption in an Italian young people group: a pilot study.
J Prev Med Hyg. 2018 Mar ;59(1):E80-E87. Epub 2018 Mar 30. PMID: 29938242
Introduction: The primary consumers of energy drinks were athletes, to combat fatigue, but in reality, thanks to their fast expansion and economic growth, young adults and teenagers represent the new target market. Consumption of energy drinks by both recreational and competitive athletes has increased dramatically in recent years, though they are often unaware of what is being ingested, believing to improve their physical and psychological performance. The literature shows contradictions about the capacity of energy drinks to enhance psychophysical results. In relation to probable adverse effects induced by the irregular consumption of energy drinks, which in several cases are not so clear, we decided to investigate the possible relationship between the intake of energy drinks and the presence of mental and physical stress in young people and athletes.
Methods: Two experimental sessions, separated at least by 1 week, according to a randomized cross-over design, following this protocol were conducted: in the first session a mental and physical stress was conducted without the consumption of energy drinks, the second after energy drinks consumption. BAI (Beck Anxiety Inventory) and BDI (Beck Depression Inventory II) test have been used to test the mental stress, and a"cycle ergometer test"to test the physical stress.
Results: BAI and BDI tests results showed that before the consumption of energy drinks, subjects are considered in the range of"minimal level of anxiety", (10 and 60 percentiles) and do not report a level of depression. After the energy drinks consumption, a"mild level of anxiety"has been recorded, and the BDI showed a case with a pathological profile. The physical test recorded a small increase in the maximum heart rate was verified with the intake of an energetic beverage.
Conclusions: The stimulating effect of Energy Drinks EDs on nervous system and cardiovascular system, must be checked and studied in deeper detail, because it may represent a risk for the health of young athletes.