Monday, September 29, 2008

That 'energy' boost may be just caffeine

Your favorite energy drink may give you a temporary boost, but that's probably only because it contains more caffeine than soft drinks.

That's the conclusion of a new study conducted by the John Hopkins University and published in the current issue of the journal Drug & Alcohol Dependence.

The study by the renowned Baltimore university says some energy drinks contain at least 10 times more caffeine than soft drinks, and concludes that energy drink manufacturers should list caffeine content and issue health warnings on products.

Most energy drink marketing stresses other ingredients as being healthful and energy-boosting, downplaying or simply not addressing the caffeine content.

An analysis done last year by Datamonitor said the global energy drinks market had a value of $13.3 billion, and is predicted to be worth $23.8 billion by 2011. This strong growth in sales is forecast to be driven by rising demand in the U.S., followed by the UK and Japan, and is indicative of the fact that consumers in countries associated with long working hours are buying energy drinks more regularly.

"Previously, energy drinks have been associated with select consumer groups such as students and long distance drivers," Datamonitor said. "However, consumers are working longer hours than the generations before them and are struggling to maintain a work/life balance, due to which more cases of fatigue and sleep-related problems are being reported. As a result, increasing numbers of consumers are turning to energy drinks in search of a quick physical and mental boost."

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