Energy drinks are popular among college students in Saudi Arabia (S.A) who consume these drinks for a variety of reasons. For example, college students believe that energy drinks can improve attention and/or reaction times during extended periods of cognitive demand. However, some of the ingredients in energy drinks, particularly sucrose and caffeine, can cause negative health effects such as an increase in heart rate and blood pressure and possible dehydration. In addition, these drinks can interfere with and disrupt normal sleep patterns. The majority of college students in Saudi Arabia are generally unaware of the potential health hazards of energy drinks. Therefore, the objective of this study was to access the usage patterns of energy drinks among college Students in Saudi Arabia. For this study, healthy college student volunteers from three universities in Riyadh, S.A. (King Saud University, Princess Nora Bint Abdul Rahman University and Imam Muhammad Ibn Saud Islamic University) were recruited. Data were collected via a self-administered, standard pretested questionnaire consisting of 14 questions relating to students’ socio-demographic characteristics, personal habits, total fluid intake, energy drink-related knowledge, and habits. Of the 472 students surveyed, 338 regularly consume energy drinks. The mean age and standard deviation were 20.22 ± 1.71. An exploratory analysis was performed to model significant predictors of energy drink consumption. A backward elimination logistic regression modeling technique was used to reach the most parsimonious yet statistically significant model. Although there was a high prevalence of energy drink usage among students involved in this study, a majority of these students do not have accurate information about the products’ ingredients or potentially detrimental health effects. Our study showed that there is a need for more stringent labeling of energy drinks so that the consumer would know the exact quantity of each ingredient. Future studies are also needed to determine whether formal educational training could impact on understanding as well as intake of energy drinks and harmful side effects of such drinks among college students. Thus, there is an urgent need to provide college students with education and access to unbiased scientific information in order for the students to make informed and healthy choices.
Sulaiman O. Aljaloud,
Use of Energy Drinks Among College Students in Saudi Arabia, American Journal of Sports Science.
Vol. 4, No. 3,
2016, pp. 49-54.
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