Consumption of energy drinks in the EU


The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has published a report on the consumption of energy drinks in the EU.

On 6 March 2013, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published a report on the consumption of energy drinks in the EU. The report is based on a survey which aimed to study the consumption of energy drinks in different population groups as well as to assess consumers’ exposure to active ingredients of energy drinks, such as caffeine. The survey was conducted in February–March 2012 and over 52,000 individuals from 16 EU member states participated in it. Finland was also represented in the survey.


Energy drink consumption by age group

According to the survey, the consumption of energy drinks was at its highest among adolescents (10–18-year-olds). Of them 68% had consumed energy drinks at least once over the last year. On average, adolescents consumed 2.1 litres of energy drinks a month. Energy drink consumption was more common with 15–18-year-olds than among younger adolescents. Approximately, 12% of all adolescent energy drink consumers drank energy drinks regularly, at least 4–5 times a week. On average, they consumed 7 litres of energy drinks a month. Likewise, 12% of adolescent energy drink consumers drank at least one litre of energy drink at a time.

Of adults participating in the survey, 30% said that they had drunk energy drinks at least once over the last year. On average, adults consumed 2 litres of energy drinks a month. Energy drinks were consumed particularly by adults between 18 and 29 years of age. According to the survey, 12% of all adult energy drink consumers drank energy drinks regularly, at least 4–5 times a week. On average, they consumed 4.5 litres of energy drinks a month. Approximately 11% of adult energy drink consumers drank at least one litre of it at a time.

Of 3–10-year-old children participating in the survey, approximately 18% had consumed energy drinks at least once over the last year. The majority of them were 6–10-year-olds. Children’s weekly energy drink consumption was on average 0.49 litres. 16% of energy drink consuming children, drank them at least 4-5 times a week. Their weekly energy drink consumption was around 0.95 litres.

The survey found differences in the prevalence of energy drink consumption between member states. The consumption of energy drinks in Finland was close to the EU average consumption.


Consumption of energy drinks with alcohol and in relation with physical exercise

According to the survey, 56% of adult and 53% of adolescent energy drink consumers consumed energy drinks together with alcohol. This was more common among young adults and adolescents aged 15–18 than in older or younger age groups.

Approximately 52% of adult and 41% of adolescent consumers of energy drinks said that they drank energy drinks in relation with physical activity. Combination of energy drinks and physical exercise was more common in older adults (50–65-year-olds) and younger adolescents (10–14-year-olds).

Exposure to active ingredients of energy drinks

Adult energy drink consumers received approximately 22.4mg of caffeine a day from energy drinks, which corresponded to 8% of their total caffeine exposure. Adults received approximately 272mg of taurine and approximately 126mg of glucoronolactone (D-glucurono-y-lactone) a day from energy drinks.

Adolescent energy drink consumers received approximately 23.5 mg of caffeine a day from energy drinks, which corresponded to 13% of their total caffeine exposure. Adolescents received approximately 284mg of taurine and approximately 100mg of glucoronolactone a day from energy drinks.

According to the survey, 18% of child respondents consumed energy drinks. They received approximately 22mg of caffeine a day from energy drinks. The relative contribution of energy drinks to the total caffeine exposure in children was 43%. Among energy drink consuming children, the average exposure to taurine was approximately 278mg a day and to glucoronolactone approximately 111mg a day.

 

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