Examination Of The Safety And Efficiency Of Energy Drinks

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Energy drinks are essentially carbonated drinks with various ingredients such as carbohydrates, caffeine, and taurine to name a few. They are popular mainly among college students, athletes, and even people in the military. Marketing tactics often claim that energy drinks have various benefits such as an improved reaction rate, higher concentration, an increase in physical performance and so forth. Many people thrive off energy drinks and claim that they help with the items listed above. Yet, how safe and effective are energy drinks? A study done by Maximiliano Kammerer, Jaime A Jaramillo, and et al, will assess the safety and efficiency of energy drinks by looking at the involvement of taurine and caffeine and seeing the effects they have on an individual’s physical and cognitive skills.

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The study excluded smokers and made sure everyone underwent a physical exam and an electrocardiogram and that they were marked healthy before the experiment. They use 14 male soldiers. The study used placebo-controlled, randomized, crossover design and double-bind with every individual and they had to visit the lab a total of 6 times. Every session was separated between 48 and 72 hours and there were only 3 participants at a time. The first experiment by Kammerer and Jaramillo was done without any drink consumption in a controlled setting of 2-5 pm and a temperature of 25 degrees celsius. They all continued their normal routines with eating and exercise. The first four drinks had a similar flavor profile to that of Redbull. The acidity, smell, ph, taste, and color were all examined to keep the double-blind design.

All five beverages including the Red bull were pasteurized to 80 degrees celsius for 15 seconds. Each beverage was put into a 250 ml of polyethylene terephthalate bottle. The day the study was conducted the participants had to drink the 250ml beverage in 15 minutes or less. The first drink was a placebo drink, the second was a caffeinated drink with 80mg of caffeine, the third drink contained caffeine(80mg) and taurine (1,000mg). The fourth drink contained only 1,000mg of taurine, and the final drink of Redbull had 80mg of Caffeine and 1,000mg of taurine. The amount of food consumed by the soldiers was recorded as well as physical activity. All individuals were tested for their cardiovascular fitness. The study recorded heart rate (HR Max), oxygen consumption, and time to exhaustion. A procedure was used to measure respiration and gas metabolism. Individuals had three minutes to warm up at a speed of 3.5miles/hour with an incline of 1%. The speed was then increased by 0.5miles/h each minute until the point of exhaustion. To measure recovery individuals walked at the same duration and intensity as they did when they warmed up. They then had 2 minutes of recovery in a standing position.

When it came to cognitive test resistance, distraction, and auditory memory were recorded with a Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale test. Numbers were read to individuals in normal and reverse order and they had to repeat the two sets of numbers. Eight numbers were used in reversed order and nine indirect. Series and guidelines were kept the same, but numbers were changed to avoid memorization. When it came to the results they proved that when caffeine of 80mg and 1,000mg of taurine, or the Redbull were taken before cognitive and physical fitness tests they had no impact on cardiovascular and concentration compared to the results of the placebo drink. For example, the Heart rate max of a placebo drink was 196 +-6.8, Caffeine and Taurine was 197.1+- 6 caffeine was 196.5+-4.5, caffeine and taurine were 197.1+-6, and Redbull was 196.4+-6.2. This shows that energy drinks and caffeine and taurine don’t have much of an effect on the cardiovascular system when it comes to exercise. For DIGITS placebo results were 10.9+-3.1, caffeine and taurine 11.0 +-2.8, caffeine was 10.6+-2.9, taurine was 11.2+-2.7, and the red bull was 10.3+-3.1.

The results show that caffeinated drinks, drinks filled with taurine or both, or even Redbull drinks help improve cognitive and physical fitness results. Bioactive compounds don’t seem to have any significant results. While some research does suggest it helps with increased energy, alertness, but not with memory in nonathletic people. However, it is not clear in athletes or active people in the military. A bigger study would need to be done to evaluate the effects of energy drinks on non-athlete and athletic individuals. Taurine is supposed to help strengthen your heart muscle cells and blood vessels. In conclusion, Taurine, taurine with caffeine, caffeine, and Redbull did not have a significant difference for physical and cognitive results than that of the placebo drink in the study attended. 

10 Jun 2021

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