Energy drinks no better than caffeine
Do you reach for a 5-Hour Energy drink over a cup of coffee when you need a serious boost of energy? Well, despite the claims about their special blends of vitamins, minerals and amino acids, energy drinks may be no more effective than caffeine to help people pay attention, according to research done at . The Centre College in Kentucky.
For this study, researchers looked at how fast the brain responded to changing letters appearing on a computer screen. Before the task, the participants were split into three groups: those who drank eight ounces of water, those who drank eight ounces of water with caffeine and those who drank water containing 5-Hour Energy. The drinks were adjusted to ensure that they had the same amount of caffeine per pound of the participants' body weight. During the test, those who drank caffeine – either from the energy drink or from just caffeine – exhibited faster brain responses than those who had only water, but there was no difference between the two caffeinated drinks.
A two-ounce bottle of 5-Hour Energy contains 215 mg of caffeine, the rough equivalent of two cups of coffee. The biggest difference is that the caffeine is much more concentrated, as it is delivered in a two-ounce shot instead of 12 ounces of coffee. This concentration has raised some red flags about energy drinks, as they have been linked to heart problems, so they should be used with caution.