A 52,000 person survey has found 30% of adult Europeans consume energy drinks at least once a year, but 12% are “high chronic” users.
Such people consume energy drinks 4-5 times per week or more with young adults consuming more at 13.3%. Consumption in some of these users was estimated at around 7 litres per month.
Usage rocketed to 53% among 18-29 year olds and 68% in adolescents, with 50% of Austrians consuming at least one can per year, while only 14% of Cypriots drank one.
The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) commissioned report conducted by Consortium Nomisma-Areté aimed to determine consumption levels of energy drink staples like caffeine, taurine, and D-glucurono-y-lactone.
For adult energy drink drinkers the average caffeine consumption was 22.4mg, with energy drinks (ED) responsible for 8% of total caffeine exposure.
“Average exposure to taurine from ED was 271,9 mg/day (3,82 mg/kg b.w./day) in adult ED consumers, rising to 585,79 mg/day (8,49 mg/kg b.w./day) in high chronic consumers,” the report found.
“Average exposure to D-glucurono-y-lactone from ED was 125,95 mg/day (1,78 mg/kg b.w./day) on average for ED consumers, up to 268,84 mg/day (3,91 mg/kg b.w./day) in high chronic consumers.”
It also looked at the consumption of alcohol with energy drinks, along with their use in conjunction with physical activity.
- 56% of adult energy drink consumers and 71% of young adults mixed energy drinks with alcohol. 59% of 15-18 year olds drink this way and 48% of 10-14 year old energy drink consumers.
- 52% of adults used energy drinks in sports and physical activities.
- 18% of children consume energy drinks.
EFSA noted of the study:“Results emerging from the literature review highlighted a limited availability of recent and comprehensive studies or surveys at EU level, providing reliable data on ED consumption and exposure to specific ingredients (caffeine, taurine, and D-glucurono-y-lactone). Such limitation did not allow an analysis of the evolution of ED consumption over time.”
The report concluded that, "...due to the exponential growth rate which characterised the ED market over the last years, the study team suggests to monitor possible further increases in ED consumption and eventually consider the possibility to update the present study, considering specific analysis of 'caffeine consumption models' (i.e., energy shots)."
The full 190-page report can be found here.