Energy drinks do not make youngsters smarter, study finds

January 10, 2013

Drinking one energy drink has no effect whatsoever on the cognitive performance of secondary school pupils. This is the conclusion reached by University of Twente psychologist Pascal Wilhelm (department of Instructional Technology) and three co-researchers after a study of 103 pupils at a secondary school in the Dutch province of Overijssel. The results of the study will be published in the journal Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie. One particularly unusual aspect of the study is that three of the four researchers were still at school themselves at the time of the study.

The researchers gave three groups of fourth year pupils a large glass of energy drink, fruit squash or water. Flavourings were added to disguise the taste of the energy drink and the squash. Afterwards, the subjects were asked to complete a number of written tests that rely on attention and concentration, , verbal and numerical reasoning, numerical aptitude and vocabulary.

The results showed that the energy drink had no beneficial effect whatsoever. The authors – three of whom were still at school at the time – warn that the caffeine in the energy drink can cause headaches and insomnia. In addition, intensive consumption of can increase the risk of drug use. The journal Pediatrics previously warned about the health risks to young people.

Dr Wilhelm states "Our research shows that, in terms of , there are no grounds to suggest possible benefits to young people that would justify these risks." If you are in need of a study boost, Dr Wilhelm and his fellow researchers advise you to drink coffee or, if you don't like coffee, "to imagine that you've just drunk an energy drink – the effect is probably just as powerful."

Explore further: Drinking energy beverages mixed with alcohol may be riskier than drinking alcohol alone

Related Stories

Australia experts call for energy drink warnings

January 16, 2012

Researchers in Australia on Monday called for health warnings on caffeine-loaded energy drinks following a spike in the number of people reporting medical problems after drinking them.

Energy drinks improve heart function: study

August 27, 2012

Consuming energy drinks can exert acute positive benefits on myocardial performance, according to research presented today at the ESC Congress by Dr Matteo Cameli from University of Siena.

Recommended for you

Serious research into what makes us laugh

November 24, 2015

More complex jokes tend to be funnier but only up to a point, Oxford researchers have found. Jokes that are too complicated tend to lose the audience.

Psychologists dispute continuum theory of sexual orientation

November 19, 2015

Washington State University researchers have established a categorical distinction between people who are heterosexual and those who are not. By analyzing the reported sexual behavior, identity and attraction of more than ...

Babies have logical reasoning before age one, study finds

November 18, 2015

Human infants are capable of deductive problem solving as early as 10 months of age, a new study by psychologists at Emory University and Bucknell finds. The journal Developmental Science is publishing the research, showing ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.