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Why Energy Drinks Should Be Banned: Research Study

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Words: 2458 |

Pages: 5|

13 min read

Published: Aug 4, 2023

Words: 2458|Pages: 5|13 min read

Published: Aug 4, 2023

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Review of Related Literature on Energy Drinks
  3. Methodology and Study Design
  4. Proposed Treatment of Data
  5. Works Cited

Introduction

The most widely consumed drug in human history is caffeine and more than 80% of the world’s population uses it. The intake of caffeinated-beverages such as energy drinks, coffee, and soft drinks among Filipinos continue to rise as well [1]. As of today, the Philippines have several energy and sports drinks available in the market, with Asia Brewery Inc. as the lead manufacturer generating the highest sales [2]. Energy drinks have continued to gain popularity, and those popular among consumers include Cobra®, Sting®, Samurai®, Lipovitan®, and Powerade®, with Red Bull® having the highest market share compared to any energy drink worldwide. However, the excessive consumption of energy drinks, especially among young people, has raised concerns about their safety and potential health risks. This has led to debates on why energy drinks should be banned to protect public health and well-being [3][4].

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Perceived stress is defined as the feelings or thoughts that an individual has about how much stress they are under at a given point in time or over a given time period. It is not identifying the types or frequencies of stressful events happening, but rather it is how a person feels about the general stressfulness of their life and how they can handle such stress [5]. Nowadays, college students are very much vulnerable to stress due to the academic challenges and requirements they face in their day to day lives. Many studies show the presence of relatively high levels of distress, which includes symptoms of depression and suicide thoughts among medical undergraduates. This said distress on medical students can cause possible negative effects such as compromised functioning in classroom performance and clinical practice, stress-induced disorders as well as deteriorating overall performance. Furthermore, perceived medical stress has also been linked to current mental distress and even possible health problems [6].

The demand for students to study for long periods of time, especially during times of increased workloads such as times prior to exams or quizzes are very high in tertiary education. This is particularly true in the case of students enrolled under medical courses who are expected to master a huge amount of information in a limited amount of time. Consequently, this generates the perceived necessity of a student to consume caffeine in order to finish schoolwork. However, caffeine-induced improvements in performance and mood which are often perceived by individuals do not represent all benefits. In addition, a study on the effects of caffeine among non-withdrawn volunteers reflected that mood and performance within cognitive measures were improved after consumption of caffeine. But the same study shows that caffeine can only reliably affect cognitive performance and mood if the dosage intervals are more than eight hours apart. Therefore, caffeine consumers should be advised to not consume caffeine in repeated doses within a short period of time especially when they lack sleep [7].

This study may also benefit others due to the lack of researches regarding caffeine consumption in the Philippines and its various effects to students’ academic performance and perceived stress. In addition, there is a need to determine the caffeine consumption of medical laboratory science students as well as to determine their knowledge of its benefits, side-effects to academics or perceived stress and withdrawal symptoms if ever. Findings regarding such subject may reflect the number of students exposed to caffeine and whether their general knowledge of caffeine needs to be addressed. The purpose of this study is to explore relationships regarding perceived stress, caffeinated drink consumption, and academic performance among college students. We are to know whether a relationship between perceived stress and caffeinated drink consumption exist as well as whether caffeinated drink consumption and academic performance has a relationship.

Review of Related Literature on Energy Drinks

Barcelona et al. (2014) with a recent study presented the prevalence of energy drink consumption among college students and young professionals in Metro Manila. The frequency of the consumption of energy drinks reported a significant intake of once a week to two times a week for college students and once a week to more than 3 times a week for young professionals, where their main reason is that they are doing overtime work for a course project or work at the office [2].

Moreover, Lee (2009) conducted a research where the participation for the entire target population of first- to third-year medical students was 90.4% and based on the high response rate from each academic year, it was stated that the results obtained from this investigation were representative of the target population. The results of the study revealed that that 93.6% of the 360 participants used caffeine wherein this information is consistent with the belief that caffeine is one of the most widely consumed substances in history.

Academic purposes, which was selected by 62.6% of participants, was the third most common reason for caffeine consumption in the target population. The results obtained from this study clearly showed that the consumption of caffeine for academic purposes, especially in the form of coffee, increased as the students go higher up in the academic year level in the medical course. This study also shows that majority of the participants were consuming caffeine without sufficient knowledge of its benefits, side-effects and withdrawal symptoms [7].

Champlin et al. (2016) reported that despite widely reported side effects of energy drinks, its use has increased among college students, wherein they reported that they consume energy drinks to help them complete schoolwork. However, according to Champlin, only little is known about the association between the consumption of energy drink and academic performance. In this study, they explored the relationship between energy drink consumption and current academic grade point average (GPA) among first-year undergraduate students. The authors measured energy drink consumption using two measures: one is the past month consumption by number of drinks which are usually consumed in 1 month and another is the number consumed during the last occasion of consumption. They used multiple linear regression modeling with energy drink consumption and the current GPA of students, controlling for gender, race, weekend and weekday sleep duration, perceived stress, perceived stress management, media use, and past month alcohol use.

The study results show that the past month energy drink consumption quantity by frequency (p

Furthermore, a study by Owens (2014) revealed that adolescents consume caffeine, thinking they can improve both their performance and mood as well as their management of the effects of chronic insufficient sleep, but the evidence that consuming highly caffeinated beverages actually enhance performance or reverse sleepiness is actually slim. This research also shows that laboratory studies regarding performance enhancement in adults often show improvement in attention and psychomotor skills but also show mixed effects on short- and long-term memory and complex cognitive functions. Studies examining the effect of energy drinks on performance of young adults have showed decreased reaction time, increased subjective alertness, improvements in memory and concentration, and increased aerobic and anaerobic endurance, however it is also important to take note that not all studies have found positive effects on psychomotor function [9].

According to the study of Rios et al., (2013) college students are always influenced by different stressors that are arising from both the different aspects of their lives as well as from society. Academic stress will often generate difficulties, thus creating an unwanted impact on the quality of life of many, especially to college students. The results were able to determine that the majority of the participating students in this study self-perceive their academic loads and stress levels as heavy and moderate respectively. In addition, this study shows that consuming caffeinated beverages is a popular practice among the participants. However, this study shows that between caffeinated beverage consumption and academic stress or load no association was found. The most popular caffeinated beverages consumed by the said participants were soft drinks and coffee, and their consumption increased in periods of high stress. A similar result was also found in a study conducted at two medical schools in Puerto Rico, in which the study investigators found a high consumption among students of products that contain caffeine. The same study also found that students used these beverages to stay awake, which is similar with one of the main reasons aforementioned.

In relation to perceived stress, a study conducted with college students from North Carolina found that 24% of the participants reported having consumed 1 or more energy drinks in the past 30 days. Furthermore, in the previously mentioned study, investigators were able to find a positive correlation between the participants’ perceived stress and energy-drink consumption [10].

The study of Petit (2011) has shown to be consistent with other investigators’ hypotheses, wherein relationships existed between perceived stress and selected energy drink consumption products. This research reveals that, specifically, participants who stated higher levels of perceived stress reported they were more often consuming at least 1 energy drink during the past 30 days. Participants with higher levels of perceived stress also revealed higher averages for days per week during the past 30 days wherein they were consuming energy drinks. Moreover, participants who were characterized by higher levels of perceived stress reported having consumed larger numbers of energy drinks on any occasion during the past 30 days.

As evidenced by the earlier stated results, they have come to the conclusion that perceived stress may be a probable determinant for energy drink consumption among college students. The association between perceived stress and the consumption of energy drink is also found to be proportional with other researches linking stress to substance use. Furthermore, the relationship between the participants’ academic performance and largest number of energy drinks consumed on any occasion during the past 30 days was noteworthy. Interestingly, the relationship was negative, therefore suggesting that as energy drink consumption on any occasion decreases, academic performance in return increases. This result may perhaps be an indicative of the students’ tendency to procrastinate and consume more energy drinks when preparing for stressful events such as examinations, quizzes or deadlines for major subjects. The researchers have indicated that students perform effectively when they approach academics via the “distributed” versus “mass” practice as well as when they engage in healthy habits such as eating well, exercising and getting enough sleep. Consumption of caffeine obviously interferes with the healthy habits.

Methodology and Study Design

The selected participants for this study would be students from different year levels enrolled under the Medical Laboratory Science program in Saint Louis University located at Baguio City, Philippines. An equal number of students from each year level regardless of sex and race would be randomly selected to be part of the sample. Furthermore, all participating students are to be at least 18 years of age. All students enrolled and has complete subjects and units for the given semester will be eligible for the involvement in the study. However, students who had decreased their subjects or units will not be part of the study to avoid any bias regarding difficulty of academic load. Students who will be participating in the study will be given an informed consent document indicating that their participation was voluntary and anonymous. Furthermore, students who are in any case not able to join due to health reasons such as pregnancy and other health related issues will not be included in the study.

An observational epidemiological study is to be performed, specifically using a cross sectional approach to examine a total of 800 study participants wherein self-administered anonymous questionnaire will be used to determine the amount of caffeine consumed and self-perceived stress.

The questionnaire for perceived stress will be adapted from the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS) which is the most widely used psychological instrument for measuring the perception of stress. It is a measure of the degree of how a person sees his or her life as stressful. Items in the questionnaire were created to see how unpredictable, uncontrollable, and overloaded an individual will find their life to be. The PSS was designed for the use in community samples with at least a junior high school education. The items can be easily understood, and the response alternatives are simple to comprehend. Moreover, the questions are of a general nature. The questions in the PSS ask about feelings and thoughts during the last month. In each case, respondents are asked how often they felt a certain way [11].

In addition, a questionnaire for the consumption of caffeinated beverages will also be distributed among the students will answer “Yes” when asked if they consume caffeinated drinks. This will be used to determine how prevalent caffeinated-beverage consumption is among college students and which type of beverage was the most common in this population as well as the amount of intake in mL and the average number of times per month for the current semester the students consumes caffeinated drinks. In addition, the participants’ Grade Point Average (GPA) or also known as Grade Weighted Average (GWA) will be taken at every end of the term during the semester.

Proposed Treatment of Data

Mean, standard deviation and range will be used to describe the perceived- stress, and consumption of caffeinated beverages, while percentage and frequency distribution are going to be used for the categorical variables. Chi-square (Fisher’s exact test and Pearson’s chi-squared test) will be utilized to establish if there will be an association between self-perceived stress and caffeinated beverage consumption as well as the participants’ academic performance. All analyses will be performed with the Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS), version 17.0. 

Works Cited

  1. Barcelona, J., Abendan, E., Magistrado, M., Sese, E., & Trinidad, R. (2014). Prevalence of energy drink consumption among college students and young professionals in Metro Manila. Philippine Journal of Science, 143(2), 277-285.

  2. Lee, M. R. (2009). Caffeine consumption practices and perceptions among medical undergraduates. Philippine Journal of Nutrition, 55(1), 37-44.

  3. Champlin, S. E., Pasch, K. E., Perry, C. L., & Komro, K. A. (2016). Association between energy drink consumption and academic performance among first-year undergraduate students. Journal of American College Health, 64(3), 245-252.

  4. Owens, J. A. (2014). Sleep better with no caffeine. Journal of Adolescent Health, 55(2), 121-122.

  5. Rios, J. L., Santos, A. P. G., & Nascimento, L. L. (2013). The relationships between caffeine consumption and perceived stress and academic load among college students. International Journal of Psychology, 48(2), 199-205.

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  6. Petit, K. L. (2011). Perceived stress and its relationship with energy drink consumption among college students. Journal of College Student Development, 52(3), 373-382.

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Why Energy Drinks Should Be Banned: Research Study. (2023, August 04). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 18, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/why-energy-drinks-should-be-banned-research-study/
“Why Energy Drinks Should Be Banned: Research Study.” GradesFixer, 04 Aug. 2023, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/why-energy-drinks-should-be-banned-research-study/
Why Energy Drinks Should Be Banned: Research Study. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/why-energy-drinks-should-be-banned-research-study/> [Accessed 18 Jul. 2024].
Why Energy Drinks Should Be Banned: Research Study [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Aug 04 [cited 2024 Jul 18]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/why-energy-drinks-should-be-banned-research-study/
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