Energy Drinks Linked to Insomnia and Nervousness in Athletes

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SHAFAQNA –  Energy drinks like Red Bull, Rock Star and Monster, which have stimulants like caffeine, are known to provide mental and physical stimulation. In recent years sportsmen have taken to consuming energy drinks during practice and before competitions. In the latest study, researchers from Camilo Jose Cela University analyzed the positive and negative effects of energy drinks on athletes. They observed that though the drink boosts performance by 3  to7 percent, the intake of energy drinks was also linked with increased frequency of insomnia, nervousness and the level of stimulation in the hours after the competition.

During the four year study, top footballers, swimmers and basketball, climbers, rugby, volleyball, tennis and hockey players consumed drinks equivalent to three cans of energy drinks or a placebo before sports competition.

Using GPS devices the researchers measured the sporting performance and determined the distance and the speed they covered. Apart from this, they used dynamometers and potentiometers to measure the muscle performance.  Sporting performance went up by 3 to 7 percent.

“What is more,” said Juan Del Coso Garrigós, one of the authors of the study, “they ran further in team competitions, especially at higher intensities, which is related to sports performance. Energy drinks increase jump height for basketball players, muscle force and power for climbers and trained individuals, swimming speed for sprinter swimmers, hit force and accuracy for volleyball players and the number of points scored in tennis”.

The study just did not measure the objective parameters of sporting performance but also enquired with athletes about their sensations after the intake of energy drink and measured the frequency of the side effects when compared to the placebo drink.

“Athletes felt they had more strength, power and resistance with the energy drink than with the placebo drink,” states the expert. “However, the energy drinks increased the frequency of insomnia, nervousness and the level of stimulation in the hours following the competition”.

No major difference was noticed between male and female athletes in the perception of positive sensation.

“Caffeinated energy drinks are a commercial product that can significantly increase sporting performance in many sports activities,” said Del Coso. “The increase in their consumption is probably driven by the hard advertising campaigns of energy drink companies related to sports sponsorships”.

The finding was documented in the British Journal of Nutrition.

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