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Observational Study
, 19 (1), 1539

Energy Drinks and Population Health: Consumption Pattern and Adverse Effects Among Saudi Population

Observational Study

Energy Drinks and Population Health: Consumption Pattern and Adverse Effects Among Saudi Population

Gehad M Subaiea et al. BMC Public Health.


Background: Caffeine containing energy drinks (EDs) are heavily consumed, particularly among young adults. The number of reports of caffeine intoxication from caffeinated EDs and problems related to caffeine dependence and withdrawal is increasing. The objective was to assess the knowledge and perceived beneficial effects of EDs consumers, to assess consumption patterns and determine the adverse effects experienced by different EDs consumer groups residing in Saudi Arabia.

Methods: An observational cross-sectional study with data from a randomly selected Saudi population was conducted during the period of January 15th, 2015, to April 15th, 2015, using a pre-tested 43-item questionnaire. The data were obtained and collected using interview questionnaires. Sociodemographic characteristics and data on EDs consumption patterns, the level of awareness among study subjects, and the purported benefits and reported adverse effects of EDs were collected. Frequency, percentage, and arithmetic means were calculated using Chi-square and ANOVA tests, and data with p < 0.05 were considered significant.

Results: Of the 816 individuals invited to participate in the study, 783 participants responded and completed interviews, response rate was 96%. Consumers attributed the popularity of EDs to massive advertising media (46.7%) and their stimulating and invigorating effects (37.5%). EDs are consumed by subjects for their effects on fatigue reduction (64.6%), increased alertness and focus (75.8%), and assistance during long driving trips (75.7%). Study subjects reported suffering from adverse effects, including mainly diuresis (53.7%), palpitations (50.7%), insomnia (50.7%). Importantly, an inverse association was identified between knowledge of EDs and consumption rate, and a proportional association was identified between experienced adverse effects and consumption frequency. Lower knowledge scores were identified in daily consumers than in 1-3 times monthly consumers; higher adverse events were experienced by daily consumers than by 1-3 times monthly consumers. The majority of consumers (84.6%) recommended that authorities should regulate EDs consumption.

Conclusions: Excessive EDs consumption is associated with an increased risk of experiencing several adverse events, which is commensurate with published studies. Increasing knowledge about EDs and their possible risks could decrease their consumption by the general public.

Keywords: Adverse effects; Awareness; Consumption; Energy drinks (EDs); Population; Saudi Arabia.

Conflict of interest statement

The authors declare that they have no competing interests.


Fig. 1
Fig. 1
Association between Consumption Frequency and the Total Scores of Knowledge, Perceived Effects, and Experienced Side Effects of Energy Drinks
Fig. 2
Fig. 2
Comparison of the Knowledge about Energy Drinks between Daily and 1–3 Times per month Consumers of Energy Drinks
Fig. 3
Fig. 3
Analysis of the side effects experienced by daily energy drinks consumers versus 1–3 monthly consumers
Fig. 4
Fig. 4
Pattern of consumption of energy drinks between smokers and non-smokers

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