The World of Energy Drinks
Energy drinks are defined as “soft drink[s] containing a high percentage of sugar, caffeine, or… [other] stimulant[s]” (Oxford Dictionaries, 2014). The popularity and consumption of energy drinks in today’s world is immensely widespread, especially among athletes and athletic institutions. Albeit this new category of beverages is somewhat novel, it has become a central and imperative weapon for those in need of a boost in their performance (Aufiero, 2014). Energy drinks –for the first time in history –have almost become the fuel of choice when engaging in physically demanding tasks; this is most likely due to its high-sugar content (Breda et al., 2014). Additionally, the deliciously empowering world of energy drinks has managed to influence a staggering 68% of adolescents –i.e. age ten to eighteen –in the European Union alone (Breda et al., 2014).
The first energy drink was crafted in the year 1962 by Taisho Pharmaceuticals –a Japanese pharmaceutical company established in Tokyo (Engber, 2014). According to Engber (2014), this particular energy drink was called Lipovitan D. At its inception, Lipovitan D was sold as an energizing tonic, and, it was labelled as especially caffeinated and vitamin fortified (Engber, 2014). Lipovitan D was initially targeted to and consumed by executives in Japan that fought to appropriate success (Engber, 2014). By the 1980’s, the energy drink market had already attained global notoriety. Although Lipovitan D did not dominate the international markets, it was the first beverage to be solely and specifically classified as an energy drink (Engber, 2014). The next major brand of energy drinks to dominate the market was known as Red Bull (Preceden, 2014). Created in 1987 by Dietrich Mateschitz –an Austrian Businessman, Red Bull was introduced to the United States of America in 1997 (Engber, 2014; Green and Keegan, 2013:175). Red Bull would be the catalyst to immensely expand the energy drink market. According to “Gary Hemphill, director of research for the Beverage Marketing Corporation,” ‘the energy drink market attained “$11 billion in retail sales’” alone (Engber, 2014).
Energy drinks today are the epitome of popularity. They can be found at any major shopping outlet with varying flavours and sizes. In contemporary media, celebrities, advertisements and television personalities are enlisted to help boost the notoriety and sales of energy drinks. Furthermore, energy beverages are frequently associated with maximum performance in numerous sports today. As of 2012, the energy drink market was worth an astounding $37 billion (Zenith International, 2012). In today’s market, the energy drink is still predicted to “grow at a CAGR [Compound Annual Growth Rate] of 13.38 percent over the period 2013-2018” (Infiniti Research Limited, 2014).
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The bravado and intense ferocity of the energy drink market shows no sign of declining in the near future. According to (Transparency Market Research, 2014), the unimpeded and fertile growth of energy beverage in the global market is due to the increasing growth and consumption of energy drinks by numerous age groups. This immense growth has also been supported by the notion that they are better than other carbonated, sugary drinks that are almost full to busting with sugar (Transparency Market Research, 2014). The lucrative nature of the energy drink market has proved seductive to countless manufactures; they employ sales tactics –e.g. elaborate packaging, imaginative advertising, etc. –to take advantage this cash crop (Transparency Market Research, 2014). It is also predicted that the energy drink market will soon target untouched segments of the market in order to further improve sales (Transparency Market Research, 2014). With major brands such as Red Bull dominating 30% of the market, energy beverages still remain a popular choice among the masses who are in need of a significant increase of energy (Transparency Market Research, 2014).
The astounding benefits of energy drinks are somewhat marred by the development of research that criticizes and flags this beverage industry giant as being potentially lethal. New studies show that energy drink consumption can alter the rhythms of the heart (Lambert, 2014). A recent study at the University of Bonn in western Germany discovered that the left ventricle within the heart contracted harder after the consumption of an energy drink. Other critics and researchers have also attributed increases in “heart rate, blood pressure…body temperature,” and, “psychological effects such as anxiety and sleep disturbances” to energy beverages. (Lambert, 2014). With a modicum amount of research to belie the sanctity of the energy drink, it could prove to be severely detrimental to the human body over time.
The numerous disadvantages and detriments that exist within the energy drink will surpass the advantages that it provides.
- In what ways can energy drinks positively and negatively affect the health of 18-25 year old athletes?
- What are the implications for athletic institutions?
Primary research will be enlisted to establish the usage and popularity of energy beverages amongst athletes that are between the ages of 18 and 25. Secondary research will also be employed to further assess pre-existing data on the advantages, detriments and implications for athletic institutions.
Qualitative and quantitative research will also be utilised. Qualitative research will be gathered through questionnaires and surveys that procure and evaluate the usage and results of energy drinks. These findings will aim to provide figures and statistics that aid in cataloguing of the adverse and excellent influences that energy drinks have on the human body. Both types of research can then be used to triangulate final findings that are generalizable, and, stand in the fortitude of their validity.
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Supplementary data will also be collected from a group sample that will consist of fifteen to twenty athletes that reside in Preston, United Kingdom –this would ensure a decent amount of access to the participants. The sample of twenty athletes would include numerous countries –e.g. Sri Lanka, China, Nigeria, South Africa, United Kingdom, etc., –in order to ensure that data is collected from a diversified group of individuals. The sample size will remain relatively small due to the thorough nature of interviews and questionnaires that will be administered. The small amount of participants will also increase the feasibility and overall achievability of this experiment.
Aufiero, B. (2014).Why Do People Buy Energy Drinks? | LIVESTRONG.COM. [online] LIVESTRONG.COM. Available at: http://www.livestrong.com/article/423042-why-do-people-buy-energy-drinks/ [Accessed 16 Nov. 2014].
Breda, J., Whiting, S., Encarnação, R., Norberg, S., Jones, R., Reinap, M. and Jewell, J. (2014). Energy Drink Consumption in Europe: A Review of the Risks, Adverse Health Effects, and Policy Options to Respond.Frontiers in Public Health, [online] 2. Available at: http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fpubh.2014.00134/full#B20 [Accessed 16 Nov. 2014].
Engber, D. (2014).Who Made That Energy Drink?. [online] Nytimes.com. Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/08/magazine/who-made-that-energy-drink.html?_r=0 [Accessed 20 Nov. 2014].
Green, M. and Keegan, W. (2013).Global Marketing. 7th ed. New Jersey: Prentice Hall.
Infiniti Research Limited, (2014).Global Energy Drink Market 2014-2018 13266 – Sandler Research. [online] Sandlerresearch.org. Available at: http://www.sandlerresearch.org/global-energy-drink-market-2014-2018.html [Accessed 20 Nov. 2014].
Lambert, C. (2014).The energy drink craze that’s putting young lives in danger. [online] Mail Online. Available at: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2552613/The-energy-drink-craze-thats-putting-young-lives-danger.html [Accessed 22 Nov. 2014].
Oxford Dictionaries, (2014).energy drink: definition of energy drink in Oxford dictionary (British & World English). [online] Oxforddictionaries.com. Available at: http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/energy-drink [Accessed 16 Nov. 2014].
Preceden, (2014).The History Of Energy Drinks Timeline | Preceden. [online] Preceden.com. Available at: http://www.preceden.com/timelines/66113-the-history-of-energy-drinks [Accessed 20 Nov. 2014].
Transparency Market Research, (2014).Energy Drinks Market – Global Industry Size, Share, Trends, Analysis And Forecasts 2012 – 2018. [online] Transparencymarketresearch.com. Available at: http://www.transparencymarketresearch.com/energy-drinks-market.html [Accessed 20 Nov. 2014].
Zenith International, (2012).Global energy drinks market spurts ahead to $37 billion. [online] Zenithinternational.com. Available at: http://www.zenithinternational.com/articles/1012 [Accessed 20 Nov. 2014].
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