American Journal of Food Science and Health
Articles Information
American Journal of Food Science and Health, Vol.5, No.3, Sep. 2019, Pub. Date: Oct. 29, 2019
The Effect of Energy Drinks on the Cognitive Function in Medical Students: Randomised Controlled Trial
Pages: 126-141 Views: 436 Downloads: 469
Authors
[01] Raehan Hemanth, Faculty of Medicine, Melaka Manipal Medical College (Manipal Academy of Higher Education), Melaka, Malaysia.
[02] Tan Min En, Faculty of Medicine, Melaka Manipal Medical College (Manipal Academy of Higher Education), Melaka, Malaysia.
[03] Lee Wen Hui, Faculty of Medicine, Melaka Manipal Medical College (Manipal Academy of Higher Education), Melaka, Malaysia.
[04] Dolamulla Kankanamge Dilhan De Silva, Faculty of Medicine, Melaka Manipal Medical College (Manipal Academy of Higher Education), Melaka, Malaysia.
Abstract
Energy drinks can be defined as any non-alcoholic beverage that primarily contains caffeine, taurine, glucose derivatives, vitamin B and some herbal ingredients. Energy drinks have become a popular drink especially among the adolescent to young adult population. This randomised controlled study was conducted to determine the effect of energy drinks on the cognitive function among medical students. A randomised controlled trial was carried out in a private medical college in Malaysia from June 2019 to July 2019. The participants were randomized into two groups: an intervention group (energy drinks) and a control group (non-caffeinated carbonated beverages) with 26 participants in each group respectively. They were asked to perform short term memory, attention, and reaction time tests, along with assessing their alertness and anxiety levels. They were given 250ml of either an energy drink (Monster) or control drink (Sprite). After 30-45 minutes, they were once again evaluated for their cognitive performance, alertness, anxiety levels and immediate adverse effects were asked. The changes in the cognitive performance, alertness and anxiety level were analysed using unpaired t test and paired t test. The immediate adverse effects after consuming the beverages were analysed using Chi-square test and Fisher exact test. The results showed that there were significant differences in the levels of alertness but no significant differences were observed in short term memory, reaction time and selective attention while comparing intervention and control groups after consumption of the drinks. There was a significant difference however, in reaction time (p=0.020), selective attention (p=0.023), and levels of alertness (p<0.001) and anxiety (p=0.010) after consuming the energy drinks in comparison to the performance prior to the intervention. There was no significant difference in the immediate adverse effects and the consumption of both beverages. In conclusion, energy drinks can improve reaction time, selective attention and the levels of alertness but the participants experience an average increase in anxiety level after consumption of these popular drinks. On the contrary however, energy drinks have no effect on short term memory.
Keywords
Energy Drinks, Cognitive Function, Medical Students, Randomised Controlled Trial
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