The latest - published this month in JAMA - attempts to understand just what happens to an individual after consuming an energy drink. As summarized by The Washington Post (11/12/15), a researcher from the Mayo Clinic and her colleagues conducted a randomized trial consisting of 25 volunteers. Those recruits were all young adults 18 years of age or older, nonsmokers, free of any known disease and for the purposes of the study not taking any medications.
Participants were asked to consume an energy drink that was representative of most of the energy drink products on the market, including Monster drink contents. Specifically, the study participants were made to consume an energy drink containing 16 ounces of content and a placebo within five minutes, on two separate days. The placebo featured the same taste, texture, color and nutritional contents as the energy drink product, but without the monster caffeine levels and other stimulants inherent to the energy drink sector.
Researcher Anna Svatikova and her colleagues at the Mayo Clinic took various measurements prior to consumption, and again 30 minutes following consumption. With the placebo, there was little change. However, with the energy drink - which contained 240 mg of caffeine, 2,000 mg of taurine and extracts of guarana seed, ginseng root and milk thistle - there were substantial differences, with increases noted in systolic, diastolic and average blood pressure together with an increased level noted in the stress hormone norepinephrine. Caffeine in the bloodstream rose from an undetectable level to 3.4 micrograms per mL.
The researchers also put their charges through a series of mental, physical and cold stressors, or tests, to determine how energy drinks such as Monster drink contents might impact physical and cognitive ability.
According to The Washington Post, the physical stressor involved asking participants to squeeze on a handgrip; the mental one to complete a series of mathematical tasks as fast as possible; and the cold one immersing their one hand into ice water.
There was no change - regardless of whether a study participant consumed a placebo or the energy drink. Fans of energy drinks favor the “jolt” they experience from the product, along with the expectation of increased physical and mental sharpness and focus for a task at hand. And yet, it appears that the increases in blood pressure, caffeine levels and stress hormone in the blood stemming from the consumption of energy drinks had little impact on physical or cognitive capacity.
READ MORE MONSTER ENERGY DRINK INJURY LEGAL NEWS
The Washington Post noted that the observation could explain why a number of individuals who died after consuming an energy drink appear to have had a heart attack.
Anais Fournier was just 14 when she collapsed on the floor of her family home after drinking two 24-ounce cans of Monster drink contents in less than 24 hours. The above-noted changes to the body in the Mayo Clinic study were based on consumption of 16 ounces, much less than Fourier consumed before she experienced an alleged Monster Energy Drink Injury and subsequent death. It was alleged that she died from cardiac arrest. Her family settled with Monster for an undisclosed sum.