Energy Drinks Good for Recall, Hydration, But Check for Caffeine Content

Articles
May 06, 2009

Energy Drinks Good for Recall, Hydration, But Check for Caffeine Content

Studying for an exam? Need to prep for a clear-headed presentation? Your best bet may be a cup of your favorite coffee over a can of energy drink. Both contain caffeine, a substance well known to induce clarity, however, energy drinks are frequently not labeled with the amount of caffeine they contain and that could be 500mg or more per serving. By contrast, one cup of coffee usually contains between 60 and 80 mg of caffeine. Caffeinated energy (isotonic) drinks are popular, especially among college students, (more than 51% consume them), however, scientists say they may not help you retain what you read this morning. One recent study tested the difference in the memory of both rats and mice that were injected with caffeine. Through memory-testing mazes and obstacles, researchers found that caffeine did not help concentration or attention spans when taken before studying. However, caffeine could help with recalling something already learned.

Studying for an exam?

Need to prep for a clear-headed presentation?

Your best bet may be a cup of your favorite coffee over a can of energy drink. Both contain caffeine, a substance well known to induce clarity, however, energy drinks are frequently not labeled with the amount of caffeine they contain and that could be 500mg or more per serving. By contrast, one cup of coffee usually contains between 60 and 80 mg of caffeine.

Caffeinated energy (isotonic) drinks are popular, especially among college students, (more than 51% consume them), however, scientists say they may not help you retain what you read this morning.

One recent study tested the difference in the memory of both rats and mice that were injected with caffeine. Through memory-testing mazes and obstacles, researchers found that caffeine did not help concentration or attention spans when taken before studying. However, caffeine could help with recalling something already learned.

Energy (isotonic) drinks were first developed to aid hydration in athletes, and caffeine was added because of its well-known impact on sustaining energy over long distances for runners and cyclists.

In a recent study of energy (isotonic) drinks and how they impact renal (kidney) health, The Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research, conducted tests on male Wistar rats that were divided into those fed isotonic drinks and those who were not and those who were exercised on motorized treadmills and those who were not.

The researchers found no difference among the groups among urinary and plasma parameters. Also, there was no evidence of infectious or inflammatory processes or of the presence of fungus, crystalloid material or the presence of bacteria. Some presence of Tamm-Horsfall protein and angiotensin converting enzyme was found among those who drank the energy drinks, suggesting a potential lithogenic risk, however, magnesium and citrate, both considered to protect against lithogenesis, remained stable in all groups as did the level of oxalate, considered a stone promoter. Despite these positive results, researchers  believe it is still premature to extrapolate the results on Wistar rats to man.

In conclusion, researchers believe that hydration efforts should be maintained by athletes before and after exercise and suggest that water or drinks with electrolytes are preferred.

For clarity of mind and concentration for periods of study or other forms of performance, light use of caffeine may be helpful, and one to two cups of coffee may be all that you need to ace that exam or present a winning proposal to your client tomorrow.

SOURCE: Effect of an isotonic rehydration sports drink and exercise on urolithiasis in rats with contributors: N.P. Abreu, G.S. di Marco, C.V. Razvickas, and N. Schor  of the Disciplina de Nefrologia, Departamento de Medicina, and C.T. Bergamaschi of Disciplina de Fisiologia Cardiovascular e Respiratória, Departamento de Farmacologia, Universidade Federal de São Paulo, São Paulo, SP, Brasil.