Do Energy drinks help or hurt your attention?

By R. “Ryan” S Patel DO, FAPA, OSU-CCS Psychiatrist

energy drinks

About 16% of young adults and teenagers consumed at least one energy drink in the past 7 days (1). Some students consume energy drinks for many perceived benefits. But what if energy drinks could actually hurt your attention?

What does this study show?
A recent study (2) of 1649 middle school students found that energy drink consumption was associated with 66% greater risk for hyperactivity and inattention. In other words, energy drinks may be impacting inattention and hyperactivity, which could also hurt your ability to concentrate. This might be important if you are trying to study for classes, be organized so that you can meet deadlines, conduct research, etc.

Do the results account for individual differences?
The effect remained even after accounting for differences in multiple variables.
It is important to consider that energy drinks contain both caffeine and sugar.

Are caffeine or sugar causing difficulties with your attention or hyperactivity?
How do you know? Have you tried reducing or eliminating your caffeine/sugar intake and looked at the impact on your attention or hyperactivity?
Disclaimer: This article is intended to be informative only. It is advised that you check with your own physician/mental health provider before implementing any changes. With this article, the author is not rendering medical advice, nor diagnosing, prescribing, or treating any condition, or injury; and therefore claims no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss, or injury caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application, or interpretation of the material presented.
1. Emod, JA, et al. Energy Drink Consumption and the Risk of Alcohol Use Disorder among a National Sample of Adolescents and Young Adults. J Pediatr 2014;165:1194-200
2. Schwartz DL et al. Academic Pediatrics 2015 Feb 8. Energy Drinks and Youth Self-Reported Hyperactivity/Inattention Symptoms. DOI: