Energy Drinks, Alcohol, Sports and Traumatic Brain Injuries among Adolescents



The high prevalence of traumatic brain injuries (TBI) among adolescents has brought much focus to this area in recent years. Sports injuries have been identified as a main mechanism. Although energy drinks, including those mixed with alcohol, are often used by young athletes and other adolescents they have not been examined in relation to TBI.


We report on the prevalence of adolescent TBI and its associations with energy drinks, alcohol and energy drink mixed in with alcohol consumption.

Design, Settings and Participants

Data were derived from the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health’s 2013 Ontario Student Drug Use and Health Survey (OSDUHS). This population-based cross-sectional school survey included 10,272 7th to 12th graders (ages 11–20) who completed anonymous self-administered questionnaires in classrooms.

Main Outcome Measures

Mild to severe TBI were defined as those resulting in a loss of consciousness for at least five minutes, or being hospitalized for at least one night. Mechanism of TBI, prevalence estimates of TBI, and odds of energy drink consumption, alcohol use, and consumption of energy drinks mixed with alcohol are assessed.


Among all students, 22.4% (95% CI: 20.7, 24.1) reported a history of TBI. Sports injuries remain the main mechanism of a recent (past year) TBI (45.5%, 95% CI: 41.0, 50.1). Multinomial logistic regression showed that relative to adolescents who never sustained a TBI, the odds of sustaining a recent TBI were greater for those consuming alcohol, energy drinks, and energy drinks mixed in with alcohol than abstainers. Odds ratios were higher for these behaviors among students who sustained a recent TBI than those who sustained a former TBI (lifetime but not past 12 months). Relative to recent TBI due to other causes of injury, adolescents who sustained a recent TBI while playing sports had higher odds of recent energy drinks consumption than abstainers.

Conclusions and Relevance

TBI remains a disabling and common condition among adolescents and the consumption of alcohol, energy drinks, and alcohol mixed with energy drinks further increase the odds of TBI among adolescents. These associations warrant further investigation.


Autor / Fonte:Gabriela Ilie , Angela Boak, Robert E. Mann, Edward M. Adlaf, Hayley Hamilton, Mark Asbridge, Jürgen Rehm, Michael D. Cusimano Published: September 16, 2015DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0135860