Energy drinks are powerful mixes of ingredients like sugar, caffeine and aspartame. They are intended to improve alertness and energy—but may have serious long-term effects that are not so beneficial.
A new study has looked at 897 individuals who were followed from birth by researchers. They were questioned at ages 20 and 22 about their mood and energy drink consumption.
After taking other factors into account like parental alcohol consumption and smoking, physical activity and other factors, the scientist discovered that energy drinks were highly associated with higher stress and, especially in men, anxiety and depression.
The scientists made efforts to eliminate conflicting variables, and proposed how energy drinks could affect mood, including hampering sleep.
Unexplained lack of energy, for example, can be due to many external or internal factors, and that might lead someone to consume energy drinks in order to combat their fatigue.
But the scientists noted that the ingredients inside energy drinks could even exacerbate pre-existing symptoms of depression, anxiety and stress.
Despite their consumption and, in some nations, limited regulation, the damaging effects of energy drinks are not officially understood, but scientists say they are closing in on the truth.