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Nutr Rev. 2014 Oct;72 Suppl 1:78-86. doi: 10.1111/nure.12146.

Legitimacy of concerns about caffeine and energy drink consumption.

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Behavioral Biology Branch, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Silver Spring, Maryland, USA.


Whether caffeine and energy drink consumption presents a critical emerging health problem is not currently known. Available evidence suggests that energy drink consumption represents a change in the ways in which individuals in the United States consume caffeine but that the amount of caffeine consumed daily has not appreciably increased. In the present review, the question of whether Americans are sleep deprived (a potential reason for using caffeine) is briefly explored. Reported rates of daily caffeine consumption (based on beverage formulation) and data obtained from both civilian and military populations in the United States are examined, the efficacy of ingredients other than caffeine in energy drinks is discussed, and the safety and side effects of caffeine are addressed, including whether evidence supports the contention that excessive caffeine/energy drink consumption induces risky behavior. The available evidence suggests that the main legitimate concern regarding caffeine and energy drink use is the potential negative impact on sleep but that, otherwise, there is no cause for concern regarding caffeine use in the general population.


alertness; caffeine; circadian rhythm; energy drinks; sleep

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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