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Are energy drinks making people anxious?

Energy drinks are high in caffeine and sugar and South Africans drink them at an alarming rate. Could this be adding to their anxiety?

27-03-24 14:43
Prime drink price drop - energy drinks
Prime hydration drops from R800 to R10 after hype fades out. Image: Twitter/@TEffectz

Energy drinks are a South African favourite, and a beverage market top-seller.

They’re filled with sugar, provide a quick energy boost, and come in several great flavours from apple to jelly babies.

The drinks are also cheaper than buying most other things on the shelf. Grabbing something quick and cheap on a hot day is often its motivation.

But could these drinks be making an anxious nation?

Here’s more about caffeine in beverages, and what consumption does to the brain and body.


Energy drinks are high in caffeine, says Healthline.

About 400mg per day is okay for a healthy adult. Children under 13 and pregnant (or breastfeeding) adults should avoid caffeine; it’s also true for anyone with a diagnosed or underlying heart condition.

Caffeine is a nervous stimulant.

It makes you feel more awake, but can also make you feel nervous or jumpy. Caffeine can cause tremors, and might cause delayed reactions during withdrawal.

There are health benefits, but also drawbacks.


Caffeine has health benefits, says Healthline, but the active ingredient also triggers withdrawal and anxiety.

Nervousness, tremors, sweating, and slow reaction times are some of its side-effects.

Caffeine and its withdrawal can also cause irritation and a faster heartbeat.

Could it be making the nation more anxious?

Does caffeine withdrawal affect South Africa’s most important careers, like SAPS or the judiciary? Long hours and busy schedules often make caffeine an attractive choice.

What do you think?


Caffeine is a stimulant, which is found in drinks like coffee and soda.

Energy drinks have a higher dosage, meant for quick consumption.

Unfortunately, several deaths have been reported after high caffeine consumption. It’s not safe for anyone with a heart condition, or anyone underage.

Dehydration can also be a possible caffeine side-effect. Sometimes, this makes people drink more of it.

Caffeine can also have health benefits, when taken responsibly.


According to Healthline, 400mg per person is safe.

Up to 5g is considered lethal for humans.

Caffeine sachets and drinks make it likely to forget how much you might have taken in one day. Never consume energy drinks excessively.