A study revealed that energy drink consumption is linked to anxiety, depression, and stress in young male adults. The study was carried out by a team of researchers from The University of Western Australia and Telethon Kids Institute in Australia who looked at the longitudinal links between energy drink consumption and symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress in young adults.
Energy drinks are widely marketed to increase alertness and boost energy. Moreover, they may contain high levels of caffeine, sugar, taurine, ginseng, guarana, B-vitamins, and herbal extracts. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), energy drinks are the second most popular dietary supplement consumed by teens and young adults in America, with multivitamins being the first. Moreover, males aged between 18 and 34 years drink the most energy drinks, and approximately one-third of teens aged between 12 and 17 years consume them regularly.
The study involved more than 1,000 participants who participated in the Western Australia Pregnancy Cohort. The participants completed self-report questionnaires in order to gather information on their energy drink use and mental health problems at the 20-year and 22-year follow-up. The research team used linear regression analyses investigated whether change in energy drink consumption across the two-year period was linked to change in Depression Anxiety Stress Scale-21 (DASS-21) scores. Then, the researchers classified the results by gender and considered for baseline DASS-21 scores, socio-demographics, lifestyle factors, such as physical activity, drug and alcohol use, body mass index (BMI), dietary intake, and parental mental health.
After they adjusted for potential confounding factors, results showed that switching from an non-energy drink user to an energy drink user across the two-year follow-up was linked to an increase in DASS depression, anxiety, and stress scores in men. On the other hand, there were no significant links found for women. The researchers concluded that young adult men who consumed energy drinks had a higher risk of depression, anxiety, and stress.