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J Family Community Med. 2019 Jan-Apr;26(1):36-44. doi: 10.4103/jfcm.JFCM_42_18.

Determinants of energy drinks consumption among the students of a Saudi University.

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King Fahd Hospital of The University, Al Khobar, Saudi Arabia.
Department of Physiology, College of Medicine, Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia.



Energy drinks contain stimulants mainly caffeine. The use of these drinks by university students is on the rise despite concerns about their safety. This study identified the determinants of the consumption of energy drinks in a cohort of Saudi university students.


This cross-sectional study was carried out at Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University in Saudi Arabia. The students who volunteered to participate (n = 1255) were asked to complete a pretested questionnaire soliciting information on gender, marital status, class and college of study, pattern of energy drinks use, reasons for use, any benefits as well as any untoward effects experienced. Data was analysed using IBM-SPSS (version 21) to determine frequencies and compare various categories of the energy drink users. Logistic regression analysis were performed to identify determinants of energy drinks consumption.


Out of 1255 participants, 245 reported using energy drinks. Out of a total 1255 students, 903 (72%) were from medical and 352 (28%) from nonmedical colleges of the university. There were 890 junior and 365 senior students. The female participants were significantly more among both senior and junior medical students. The age of the participants (mean ± SD) was 20.2 ± 1.9 years. The frequency of energy drinks users was higher in the male nonmedical students (both senior and junior) compared to the medical students. The most significant determinants identified were male gender (odds ratio [OR] 4.2, 95% confidence interval [CI] =3.34, 6.12), and being single (OR = 2.8, CI = 1.98, 4.24). In addition, being in non-medical field of study (OR = 1.3, 95% CI=0.61-2.13) was also found to have a reasonable association with energy drink consumption.


We report male gender, unmarried status, and studying in nonmedical colleges of the university as the main determinants of the consumption of energy drinks by university students. Scrutiny of the patterns and reasons for the consumption of energy drinks might help in developing educational interventions to ensure the appropriate use of energy drinks by young adults.


Caffeine; energy drinks; university students

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