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Energy drinks linked to substance use in musicians, study shows
Date:6/20/2011

oducts. Rockstar, the second most popular energy drink in the U.S. today, evokes music in its name, sponsors music tours and features selected artists on its website. Loud Energy Drink or Rock On incorporate music-related logos and concert sponsorships. Pimp Juice and Crunk!!! are energy drink brands owned and marketed by individual rap artists.

With names like Monster, Daredevil and Havoc, edgy energy drink marketers consistently use brand naming, packaging, and advertising messages to tie the products to themes of rebellion, risk taking, and even illegal drug use, Miller points out. This may help to explain the unique associations between substance misuse and energy drinks but not other caffeinated beverages, she suggests. It may also give energy drinks a special appeal for musicians, who tend to score high on the personality trait of sensation-seeking.

Given the unconventional lifestyles often associated with paid musicianship -- such as late or irregular hours and periodic sleep deprivation -- it is likely, Miller says, that professional musicians constitute an especially fertile demographic for energy drinks, which derive their pharmacological impact primarily from caffeine.

Caffeine in low or moderate doses is a common feature of most U.S. diets. However, because they are classed as dietary supplements and therefore not subject to FDA regulation like other caffeine products, energy drinks constitute a greater than average risk for caffeine intoxication, a recognized clinical syndrome associated with higher than average doses. High levels of caffeine use have been linked to adverse health effects ranging from anxiety, irritability and insomnia to high blood pressure, cardiac arrhythmias, seizures and even death, in rare cases.

In the current study, most participants were male (60 percent) and non-Hispanic white (72 percent), with an average age of 28. Approximately one-fourth had a high school diploma or less, one-fourth h
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Contact: Kathleen Weaver
weaver@ria.buffalo.edu
716-887-2585
University at Buffalo
Source:Eurekalert

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