Legal Performance Enhancers: Students, Energy Drinks, and Education

By: Michelle Filippini


In today’s frenetic work and school environments, more people are seeking out products that will keep them going. In 1997, Red Bull became the first energy drink to break out onto the U.S. scene, and the demand for these drinks has been growing ever since.

How big is the market? According to industry tracker Beverage Digest and reported by The Huffington Post, energy drinks are just a miniscule part of the carbonated soft drinks market, making up only 3.3 percent of sales volume. However, while consumption of soft drinks has waned in recent years, sales volume for energy drinks rose by almost 17 percent in 2011.

The top three companies—Monster, Red Bull and Rockstar—each posted double-digit gains that same year:

·      Monster had a 35 percent share of the energy drink market (based on volume) in 2011

·      Red Bull had a 30 percent share of the market

·      Rockstar had a 19 percent share of the market

These days, children and young adults (aged 18 to 25) comprise more than half of the energy drink market. The drinks tout their ability to enhance alertness, increase concentration, and improve physical performance—all effects greatly desired by those who need to study or compete athletically. Practitioners in sports medicine,  however, have known for a long time that for every “up” these energy drinks provide, there is often a corresponding down. Most recently, the New York Times reported an alarming spike of ER visits related to energy drink consumption.

The infographic below will examine how guzzling down energy drinks affects students and where the market is headed. How does your consumption of legal performance enhancers compare?


“Caffeinated Energy Drinks - A Growing Problem,” National Institutes of Health, 2009, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18809264

“Monster Stock Slips After Discloses Investigation into Marketing Practices,” The Huffington Post, Candice Choi, 2012, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/10/monster-stock-investigation_n_1765106.html

Safety Becomes a Concern with High-Caffeine Drink,” The New York Times, Barry Meier, 2012, http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/24/business/safety-becomes-a-concern-with-energy-drinks.html

For a complete list of sources, please view the infographic.


Legal Performance Enhancers: Students, Energy Drinks, and Education
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