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Consumption of Sports and Energy Drinks by High School Athletes in the United States: A Pilot Study

Department of Communication, University of Colorado Denver, Campus Box 176, P.O. Box 173364, Denver, CO 80217-3364, USA
Division of Sports Medicine, Department of Pediatrics, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, One Children’s Drive, Columbus, OH 43205, USA
Warren Alpert Medical School, Brown University, Box G-9999, Providence, RI 02915, USA
Colleges of Nursing and Medicine, The Ohio State University, 1585 Neil Ave., Columbus, OH 43210, USA
OhioHealth Research & Innovations Institute, Riverside Methodist Hospital, 3545 Olentangy River Road, Columbus, OH 43234, USA
Department of Epidemiology, Colorado School of Public Health, 13001 E. 17th Place, Campus Box B119, Aurora, CO 80045, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Juan Del Coso Garrigós
Beverages 2015, 1(3), 218-224;
Received: 5 August 2015 / Revised: 11 September 2015 / Accepted: 15 September 2015 / Published: 22 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Drinks)
Sports and energy (S/E) drinks are commonly used by high school (HS) athletes, yet little is known about this population’s consumption patterns or the drinks’ side-effects. The objectives of this pilot study were to survey HS athletes about their use of S/E drinks and assess potential side-effects. One hundred American HS athletes (72 were female; 27 were male; one did not identify gender) were part of a cross-sectional internet-based survey. The mean age of the athletes was 16.0 ± 1.1 years. The athletes self-reported S/E consumption patterns, motivations for consumption, and drink side-effects. Nearly two-thirds (59.5%) of athletes surveyed were at least occasional users of sports drinks, and more than one-third (37.3%) were at least occasional users of energy drinks. Of the athletes who had ever drunk an S/E drink, 49.5% drank their first sport drink at ≤ 8 years and 41.3% consumed their first energy drink ≤ 11–12 years of age. The most common motivation for consumption of sports drinks was to rehydrate (84.1%) and of energy drinks was to gain energy (61.8%). Side effects of S/E drinks were frequently reported; 25.3% of energy drink users reporting being nervous/jittery after consumption. Thus HS athletes should be cautioned about consumption of S/E drinks until more is understood about their short- and long-term side-effects. View Full-Text
Keywords: BMI; caffeine; obesity; energy drink; sports drink; high school; athletes BMI; caffeine; obesity; energy drink; sports drink; high school; athletes
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Fields, S.K.; MacDonald, J.; Joseph, A.M.; Wold, L.E.; Collins, C.L.; Comstock, R.D. Consumption of Sports and Energy Drinks by High School Athletes in the United States: A Pilot Study. Beverages 2015, 1, 218-224.

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