Energy Drink Consumption Common among Musicians
A recent study by researchers at the University of Buffalo revealed that musicians often turn to energy drinks, and that the use of energy drinks is associated with binge drinking, alcohol-related social problems and misuse of prescription drugs among musicians.
The researchers conducted the study at the UB Institute on Addictions, with results published in the Journal of Caffeine Research. Led by Kathleen E. Miller and Brian M. Quigley, the study focused on 226 Western New York professional and amateur musicians, all between the ages of 18 and 45.
Survey results showed that 94 percent of the musicians were caffeine users and 57 percent consumed energy drinks.
The survey also showed that 68 percent of the musicians also reported that they engaged in heavy binge drinking once or twice each year, and almost three-quarters reported a history of at least one alcohol-related problem, such as hangovers or arguing with others about their drinking. The participants also reported recreational drug use, with 23 percent using prescription drugs, 52 percent using marijuana, 25 percent using psychedelic drugs and 21 percent using cocaine.
The musicians who consumed energy drinks were significantly more likely to misuse legal substances than those who did not use energy drinks. Among those who used energy drinks, 31 percent misused prescription drugs and 76 percent participated in binge drinking (compared to 13 percent and 59 percent of non-energy drink consumers, respectively).
The study's findings highlight the relationship between energy drink consumption and the use of other substances. While the U.S. has long had a strong demand for caffeine, the energy drinks may be pushing an element that coffee or soft drinks don't have.
The marketing of energy drink brands appears to be targeted to appeal to those in the music industry. Popular brands include Rockstar, Loud Energy Drink and Rock On. The brands each invoke music themes in their logos and marketing and their advertising includes concert sponsorships.
Miller believes that the study's findings suggest that the unconventional lifestyle of amateur and professional musicians may provide a niche market for energy drinks. The edgy appeal of the logos and marketing campaigns may speak to the same qualities that musicians feel they represent.