Energy Drinks Linked to Hyperactivity and Inattention in Children


Middle-school children who consumed more sweetened energy drinks were significantly more likely to self-report more problems with hyperactivity and inattention, according to a study in Academic Pediatrics.

The Yale School of Public Health-led study looked at 1,649 students in Connecticut and found that, “Risk of hyperactivity/inattention increased by 14% for each additional sweetened beverage consumed.” Overall, they found that, “Students reporting consumption of energy drinks were 66% more likely to be at risk for hyperactivity/inattention.”

“Results support recommendations to limit consumption of sweetened beverages and to avoid consumption of energy drinks among children,” they concluded. “Interventions to reduce sweetened beverage consumption should explicitly focus on energy drinks and other emerging sweetened beverages such as sports and sweetened coffee drinks. More research is needed to understand the direction of effects and the mechanisms behind the association between sweetened beverages and hyperactivity/inattention symptoms.”

Schwartz, Deborah L., Kathryn Gilstad-Hayden, Amy Carroll-Scott, Stephanie A. Grilo, Catherine McCaslin, Marlene Schwartz, and Jeannette R. Ickovics. “Energy Drinks and Youth Self-Reported Hyperactivity/Inattention Symptoms.” Academic Pediatrics 0, no. 0. Accessed February 15, 2015. doi:10.1016/j.acap.2014.11.006. (Abstract)

Energy Drinks Increase Risk of Inattention, Hyperactivity in Schoolchildren (Psychiatric News, February 9, 2015)


  1. But wait, I thought that we had somehow proven that sugar doesn’t cause hyperactivity – it’s all genetic, right?

    I agree, waste of money, but it’s good to have scientific validation to counter the constant onslaught of propaganda saying “ADHD is not caused by diet.”

    Related question: why do they allow these drinks to be sold in schools? (Answer: the schools make moneh off of it!)

    — Steve

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    • I’m not even sure it’s sugar – they are packed full of caffeine, taurine and other psychoactive ingredients in amounts that can be lethal (it’s hard to overdose caffeine with tea or coffee but you sure can with energy drinks). In any case – giving that sh*t to kids is criminal.

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    • “But wait, I thought that we had somehow proven that sugar doesn’t cause hyperactivity – it’s all genetic, right?” You’re right, apparently we must waste tax payers dollars to have our public health officials help to re-educate all the psychiatric practitioners who have delusions their DSM “bible” of stigmatizations are proven “chemical imbalance” induced genetic brain diseases that can only be cured with psychiatric drugs for life.

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      • Or maybe it’d be better to just get all those deluded into believing in the scientifically “lacking in validity” DSM “mental illnesses” out of the medical industry? After all, is it really wise to keep delusional people in the medical field?

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