Wired: energy drinks, jock identity, masculine norms, and risk taking

J Am Coll Health. 2008 Mar-Apr;56(5):481-9. doi: 10.3200/JACH.56.5.481-490.


Objective: The author examined gendered links among sport-related identity, endorsement of conventional masculine norms, risk taking, and energy-drink consumption.

Participants: The author surveyed 795 undergraduate students enrolled in introductory-level courses at a public university.

Methods: The author conducted linear regression analyses of energy-drink consumption frequencies on sociodemographic characteristics, jock identity, masculine norms, and risk-taking behavior.

Results: Of participants, 39% consumed an energy drink in the past month, with more frequent use by men (2.49 d/month) than by women (1.22 d/month). Strength of jock identity was positively associated with frequency of energy-drink consumption; this relationship was mediated by both masculine norms and risk-taking behavior.

Conclusions: Sport-related identity, masculinity, and risk taking are components of the emerging portrait of a toxic jock identity, which may signal an elevated risk for health-compromising behaviors. College undergraduates' frequent consumption of Red Bull and comparable energy drinks should be recognized as a potential predictor of toxic jock identity.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Beverages*
  • Caffeine / administration & dosage*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / administration & dosage*
  • Female
  • Gender Identity*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Risk-Taking*
  • Sex Factors
  • Social Conformity
  • Social Environment
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Sports / psychology*


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Caffeine