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. 2016 Jul 29;13(8):768.
doi: 10.3390/ijerph13080768.

Analysis of Consumption of Energy Drinks by a Group of Adolescent Athletes

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Free PMC article

Analysis of Consumption of Energy Drinks by a Group of Adolescent Athletes

Dariusz Nowak et al. Int J Environ Res Public Health. .
Free PMC article

Abstract

Background: Energy drinks (EDs) have become widely popular among young adults and, even more so, among adolescents. Increasingly, they are consumed by athletes, particularly those who have just begun their sporting career. Uncontrolled and high consumption of EDs, in addition to other sources of caffeine, may pose a threat to the health of young people. Hence, our objective was to analyze the consumption of EDs among teenagers engaged in sports, including quantity consumed, identification of factors influencing consumption, and risks associated with EDs and EDs mixed with alcohol (AmEDs).

Methods: The study involved a specially designed questionnaire, which was completed by 707 students, 14.3 years of age on average, attending secondary sports schools.

Results: EDs were consumed by 69% of the young athletes, 17% of whom drank EDs quite often: every day or 1-3 times a week. Most respondents felt no effects after drinking EDs, but some reported symptoms, including insomnia, anxiety, tachycardia, nervousness and irritability. The major determinant of the choice of EDs was taste (47%), followed by price (21%). One in ten respondents admitted to consumption of AmEDs. Among the consequences reported were: abdominal pains, nausea, vomiting, amnesia, headache, and hangover.

Conclusions: EDs consumption among adolescent athletes was relatively high. Considering the habit of AmEDs and literature data, it is worth emphasizing that it may lead to health problems in the near future, alcohol- or drug-dependence, as well as other types of risk behaviour.

Keywords: adolescent; athletes; caffeine; dependence; energy drinks.

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