Jan 11, 2013 05:54 AM EST By Renee Anderson
Energy drinks do not help children excel in studies, a new study says.
For analyzing the benefits of taking energy drinks on school performance, Pascal Wilhelm from University of Twente and colleagues included 103 secondary school students.
The students were divided into three different groups and were given either an energy drink, fruit squash or water. Later, the students wrote a series of tests related to attention and concentration, verbal and numerical reasoning, numerical aptitude and vocabulary.
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At the end of the study, researchers couldn't find any academic benefits associated with consuming energy drinks. On the other hand, they warn students against consuming energy drinks, as caffeine in the drink can lead to many serious side-effects like headaches and insomnia, and can escalate the chances of trying drugs later.
"Our research shows that, in terms of school performance, there are no grounds to suggest possible benefits to young people that would justify these risks," Dr. Wilhelm said in a news release.
According to the researchers, it's better to substitute energy drinks with coffee or just visualizing drinking an energy drink, as the result is "probably just as powerful."
The study will be published in the Dutch journal Tijdschrift voor Psychiatrie (Journal of Psychiatry).
The findings come at a time when energy drinks have become very popular among American children and adolescents. According to reports, between 30 and 50 percent of the younger generation in the U.S. consume energy drinks regularly. Previous research has shown energy drink consumption escalating the risks of seizures, diabetes, cardiac abnormalities and behavioral disorders. Energy drinks contain chemicals like guarana, taurine, L-carntiine, ginseng and yohimbine, apart from high amounts of caffeine. According to health experts, consuming an energy drink can have a negative impact on children's heart.