Energy drink usage by students attending an online university

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Journal of American College Health


Objective: This study determined the frequency, reasons for, and side effects of energy drinks (ED) consumption among online students. Participants: Students attending an online university. Methods: Participants were recruited by email and completed a 59-question survey about their prior months ED practices using a combination of validated surveys previously published examining similar constructs in on-campus students. Results: 307 students (age = 32.4 ± 6.5yrs) completed the survey, and 88% reported consuming EDs. Students’ reasons for consuming ED included school (p < .001), work (p < .001), an event/competition (p < .001), pick me up (p < .001), lack of rest (p < .001), more energy (p < .001), and staying awake while driving (p < .001). Only individuals who consumed > 10 ED/month reported side effects of headaches (p = .01) and speeding (p=.01). Conclusions: In our sample, a majority of the participants reported consuming ED for various daily activities. Only frequent consumers reported side effects suggesting they had become habituated to caffeine since they drank EDs despite experiencing side effects.

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