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'Less is more,' when it comes to sugary, high-caffeine energy drinks, researchers say
Date:12/2/2010

ly to targets on a screen. They were instructed to hit the forward slash key when a green target appeared and do nothing when a blue target appeared.

Participants were also asked how stimulated and mentally fatigued they felt after the drinks. The students who were given Red Bull reported feeling more stimulated and less tired than the other participants, but their response rates were slower.

"This finding is of interest given that energy drinks are frequently mixed with alcohol and the acute effects of alcohol impair response inhibition," Marczinski said. "Since regulation of energy drinks is lax in the United States in regard to content labeling and possible health warnings, especially mixed with alcohol, having a better understanding of the acute subjective and objective effects of these beverages is warranted."

In a second study reported in the same journal, Jennifer L. Temple, PhD, and colleagues at the University at Buffalo found boys and girls respond differently physiologically to caffeine. In this experiment, 26 boys and 26 girls between the ages of 12 and 17 drank flattened Sprite containing caffeine at three concentrations: 50 mg, 100 mg or 200 mg. Flat Sprite with no caffeine was included as a placebo. The youngsters were then tested for changes in their blood pressure and heart rate every 10 minutes for one hour. At the end of the hour, they were given a questionnaire and an opportunity to eat all they wanted of the following junk food: Skittles and Smarties (high sugar/low fat); potato chips and Doritos (low sugar/high fat); and M&Ms and Twix (high sugar/high fat).

Among boys, high caffeine consumers showed greater increases in their diastolic blood pressure (the lower number) than boys who ingested less caffeine. There was no relationship between blood pressure and caffeine consumption in girls. In addition, those participants who ingested the most caffeine ate more high-sugar snack foods in the laboratory com
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Contact: Kim I. Mills
kmills@apa.org
202-336-6048
American Psychological Association
Source:Eurekalert

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