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A review of energy drinks and mental health, with a focus on stress, anxiety, and depression

Richards, Gareth ORCID: and Smith, Andrew Paul ORCID: 2016. A review of energy drinks and mental health, with a focus on stress, anxiety, and depression. Journal of Caffeine Research 6 (2) , pp. 49-63. 10.1089/jcr.2015.0033

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Background: Concerns have been expressed regarding the potential for caffeinated energy drinks to nega- tively affect mental health, and particularly so in young consumers at whom they are often targeted. The prod- ucts are frequently marketed with declarations of increasing mental and physical energy, providing a short- term boost to mood and performance. Although a certain amount of evidence has accumulated to substantiate some of these claims, the chronic effects of energy drinks on mental health also need to be addressed. Methods: To review the relevant literature, PubMed and PsycINFO were searched for all peer-reviewed ar- ticles published in English that addressed associations between energy drink use and mental health outcomes. Case reports were also considered, though empirical studies investigating acute mood effects were excluded as a review of such articles had recently been published. Fifty-six articles were retrieved: 20 of these (along with eight more identified through other means) were included in the current review, and, because the ma- jority addressed aspects of stress, anxiety, and depression, particular focus was placed on these outcomes. Results: Though a number of null findings (and one negative relationship) were observed, the majority of studies examined reported positive associations between energy drink consumption and symptoms of men- tal health problems. Conclusions: Though the findings imply that energy drink use may increase the risk of undesirable mental health outcomes, the majority of research examined utilized cross-sectional designs. In most cases, it was therefore not possible to determine causation or direction of effect. For this reason, longitudinal and inter- vention studies are required to increase our understanding of the nature of the relationships observed.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Publisher: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc. Publishers
ISSN: 2156-5783
Funders: The Waterloo Foundation
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 6 April 2016
Date of Acceptance: 16 February 2016
Last Modified: 15 May 2023 14:32

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