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Researchers from the Department of Health Promotion have analyzed the effects of an “energy” drink

Researchers from the Department of Health Promotion have analyzed the effects of an “energy” drink

Department of Health Promotion in cooperation with ISOline EU company conducted interesting research analyzing the effect of a non-alcoholic energy drink on vigilance, attentiveness and response of the central nervous system. The tested drink contains only natural ingredients (guarana, lecithin, schisandra, ginseng, matcha green tea, gingko biloba and vitamin C. The analyzed beverage is offered by ISOline EU company with a patented lid (see picture) allowing the consumers to dose the drink according to their needs - low, medium and high content of active substances. The research compared the effects of drinks with low (100% dose) and high (300% dose) content of active substances with the control drink – a placebo of the same taste but without the active substances. The amount of guarana (stimulating substance) in the 300% dose corresponds approximately to 1.5 cups of coffee.

The research team of Mgr. Michal Kumstát; Ph.D., Mgr. Lenka Dovrtělová, Ph.D. and Mgr. Michal Vičar, Ph.D. realized the experiment in the evening and night hours in between 7 pm and 12 am to simulate real conditions of evening fatigue. The participants were observed half hour before and 3 hours after the consumption of the drinks. To assess the level of alertness and ability to keep attention, the researchers used the Psychomotor Vigilance Task test on the computer. The autonomic nervous system responsible for the internal organ functions including heart rate control was assessed based on heart rate variability. After ingestion of the analyzed drink, the participants were also rewriting by hand a prescribed text. Therefore, it was possible to accurately and objectively quantify the productivity (number of transcribed words) and to assess whether any of the drinks can reduce the inevitable increase of evening fatigue.

The results are interesting regarding all three parts of the experiment - vigilance test, central nervous system activity and monotonous workload (text transcription). The drink with a high content of active substances (300% dose) proved to have a positive effect on all monitored indicators and helped to maintain the performance during the night testing. The effects of the regular 100% dose were not very significant.

Based on collected data the researchers can recommend the beverage for the consumption during the high workload situations to achieve desired increase of vigilance and concentration. The effect of the drink will come into effect within 30 minutes and persists for at least 3 hours after the ingestion. These drinks are commercially offered as energy drinks although in this case the positive effect was achieved without glucose or other energy substrates. So the effect of the beverage was achieved exclusively by natural plant extracts. The absence of glucose and other sources of energy is an important benefit of this beverage because its’ consumption does not increase the total daily energy intake.