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Energy Drinks - Perceptions of Health Concerns

Goals

To understand consumer perceptions as well as the actual reality of health concerns related to energy drinks like Red Bull, Monster & Rockstar. To also know the extent to which this might be a barrier to entry for new energy drink consumers, and how it might impact communications and marketing. An ideal response would include statistics relating to attitudes, some anecdotal evidence, and additionally data on the real health concerns from a legitimate health authority, (specifically a Canadian one if possible).

Early Findings

  • A 2018 Canadian survey has revealed that over half of young Canadians who have ever consumed an energy drink have experienced negative health effects including rapid heartbeat, nausea, and in rare cases even seizures.
  • "Of those that had reported consuming energy drinks at some point in their lives, 55.4 per cent reported experiencing an adverse health event, with 24.7 percent experiencing a fast heartbeat, 24.1 percent having difficulty sleeping and 18.3 per cent experiencing headaches."
  • 5.1 per cent reported nausea, vomiting or diarrhea, 3.6 percent reported experiencing chest pains, and 0.2 per cent reported having a seizure, while 3.1 per cent had sought or had considered seeking medical help for the adverse health effects experienced.
  • The consumption of energy beverages are associated with attenuation of arterial endothelial flow-mediated dilatation.
  • The consumption of energy drinks before or during exercise might be linked to an increased risk for myocardial ischemia in association with endothelial dysfunction.
  • Moderate intake of energy drinks "are thought to be safe for adults. If energy drinks are mixed with alcohol or consumed in large amounts at one time, side effects can occur like irregular heartbeats and nervousness. More research about the safety of energy drinks is needed."
  • Health Canada has banned energy drinks in premixed alcoholic beverages since 2012, noting that “adverse events involving co-consumption were most common among young adults, a group of relatively inexperienced alcohol consumers.”
  • According to a new study, energy drink consumption in the United States has increased substantially over the past decade among adolescents, young adults, and middle-aged adults.
  • "This statistic shows the consumer attitudes toward energy drink consumption in the United States in 2016. During the survey, 26 percent of the respondents answered that they would like to decrease their consumption of energy drinks."
  • In addition to this public search, we scanned our proprietary research database of over 1 million sources and were unable to find any specific research reports that address the stated goal.

Summary Of Our Early Findings Relevant To The Goals

  • Our first hour of research was able to obtain several legitimate Canadian health authority sources on real health concerns for energy drinks.
  • We should note here that most health concerns stem from three consistently cited areas. One: use among children and young adults. Two: mixing with alcohol. Three: drinking more than 2 or 3 in a day. this was true in both the Canadian sources we looked at, as well as American ones.
  • We have noted that there is an abundance of information on all the topics, and most of them are recent (within 12-36 months).
  • Please select one or more of the options provided in the proposed scoping section below.

Proposed next steps:

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