Energy drinks may trigger depression and anxiety in young men, says a study in the (aptly named) journal Depression and Anxiety. Among the thousand-plus 20-year-olds questioned, those who drank at least one 8.4-ounce energy drink a day reported higher anxiety—and as downing them became chronic and more frequent (six to eight servings daily), the anxiety worsened. Are energy drinks causing stress, or are already anxious drinkers just self-medicating? “We can’t yet say with certainty,” says study VIP Georgina Trapp, Ph.D., but “high caffeine consumption has been shown to be significantly associated with anxiety and panic disorders.” Plus, she adds, “other ingredients such as guarana and ginseng have also been linked to anxiety, irritability, nervousness, restlessness, tremors, and mania.” So keep an eye out, and adjust your intake accordingly.
That energy drink meant to wake you up could really shake you up.