Sports and energy drink consumption linked with negative behaviors


May 6, 2014
Brain & Behavior, Health

Weekly consumption of sports drinks and energy drinks among adolescents is significantly associated with higher consumption of other sugar-sweetened beverages, cigarette smoking, and screen media use, according to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Minnesota and Duke University.

The study was undertaken to build understanding of health behavior patterns related to adolescent consumption of sports and energy drinks and inform intervention strategies to reduce consumption of these sugar-sweetened beverages. Although national data have shown a decline in the prevalence of soft drink and fruit drink consumption, sports and energy drink consumption has tripled among adolescents in recent years. The high caffeine content of energy drinks, as well as the high sugar and calorie content of many sports and energy drinks, has drawn much concern from health professionals

Data for the study were gathered from 20 public middle schools and high schools in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area of Minnesota as part of the population-based study, Eating and Activity in Teens (EAT 2010). Surveys and anthropometric measures were completed by 2,793 adolescents during the 2009–2010 school year. Mean age of the participants was 14.4 years, participants were equally divided by gender, and 81 percent identified as a racial/ethnic background other than non-Hispanic white.

Among the measured variables in this study were height and weight; consumption frequency for sports drinks, energy drinks, and breakfast; time spent engaged in physical activity, playing video games, and watching television; and smoking status. Although sports drink consumption was linked to higher levels of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and sport participation, the overall pattern of associations indicated that sports and energy drink consumption should be addressed as part of a clustering of unhealthy behaviors among some adolescents.

Of note, “among boys, weekly sports drink consumption was significantly associated with higher TV viewing; boys who regularly consumed sports drinks spent about one additional hour per week watching TV compared with boys who consumed sports drinks less than once per week,” said lead author Nicole Larson, PhD, MPH, RDN, Division of Epidemiology and Community Health, School of Public Health, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis. As another example, “boys who consumed energy drinks at least weekly spent approximately four additional hours per week playing video games compared to those who consumed energy drinks less than once per week.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that sports drinks should be consumed by adolescents only after vigorous, prolonged activity, and that energy drinks should not be consumed because they offer no benefit and increase risks for overstimulation of the nervous system. Future research and interventions should target the clustering of related health risk behaviors and pursue more education to promote healthy hydration habits among youth.


5 Responses to Sports and energy drink consumption linked with negative behaviors

  1. Divan G May 7, 2014 at 12:06 pm #

    Energy drinks contain a lot of Caffeine and people underlying heart conditions have gone into cardiac arrest after just a few energy drinks. Insomnia is also a big issue among adolescence. Energy drinks do a good job of keeping people awake, but when abused, they can cause some people to miss sleep all together. People can also become addicted to caffeine and energy drinks. Energy drinks are more dangerous than people think and are a serious addiction.

  2. Esta Stoop May 7, 2014 at 12:39 am #

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    Even though sports drinks hold electrolytes, the sugar index often cancels out their benefits. The electrolytes you require will be replaced after exercise if you eat a healthy diet. Electrolytes in sports drinks don’t have enough of an effect to pay off for the other negative effects they carry. Another negative effect is that you are also consuming more calories than what you wished for. The way this happens is that sports drinks don’t truly satisfy your thirst as promoted. The reason that energy drinks will keep you more hydrated than water is because you will actually end up drinking more. A study in the Journal of Applied Physiology discover that the taste of the drinks along with salt and other ingredients originate in them cause people to consume more. While you are keeping yourself hydrated, you are also taking in more calories than likely intended. The acid in sports drinks erodes the teeth. This damage is irreversible. A study published in the journal General Dentistry, showed that after five days of regular consumption, the acid starts destroying tooth enamel. This energy drinks damage your teeth even more than soda. I feel that energy drinks must only be consumed by professional athletes.

  3. Casey May 6, 2014 at 10:09 am #

    I totally agree with the above comment. I think another huge problem related to energy drinks is the fact that they (energy drinks) are often promoted in conjunction with alcoholic beverages. Combining those two ingredients together can only cause even more problems than those mentioned in the article. When consumed along with alcohol, much larger volumes of the energy drink are consumed and often people will not even realise how much they are ingesting.

  4. NKULULEKO 14080649 May 6, 2014 at 7:37 am #

    It is well known that caffeine is the best ‘pill’ to prevent sleep & it is usually used as a energy booster in the mornings by people who drink coffee,although they use it at relatively small amounts when compared to those who drink energy drinks.Putting in energy to the body is a good thing,but can be very bad if the body gets a lot of it,just like when you give a child a lot of sugar they tend to become hyperactive.The high intake of energy drinks is highly influenced by the way these drinks are portrayed to the people e.g it is said that ” …Red Bull gives you wings”,”…unleash the monster in you”,e.t.c it is things like these that persuade people into believing that energy drinks are good for them.It is known that these supplements have got negative side effects to the human body,but yet people still choose to turn a blind eye to all these facts.Cells essential for growth during the night when the body is at rest can be permanently damaged by the disorders caused by these supplements in the bodies system and sleeping patterns.

  5. Chiloane K 14098530 May 6, 2014 at 6:33 am #

    I personally believe that the problem is initiated from advertisers ,in advertising energy drinks are portrayed in a way that suggests superficial nature and endurance. Young adults and children view consuming these drinks as reputable and a good status since they are advertised using heroic sportsman figures.The mentality of performance beyond human nature regarding energy drinks comes before the side effects. And indeed the high caffeine levels will definitely keep you going longer at your own `expense` of-course.

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