International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 61, Issue 3, pp 299–306 | Cite as

Energy drink consumption, health complaints and late bedtime among young adolescents

  • Leena Koivusilta
  • Heini Kuoppamäki
  • Arja Rimpelä
Original Article



Energy drinks contain large amounts of caffeine. Their effects on adolescent well-being are poorly known. We examined the relationship of energy drink consumption with health complaints and late bedtime among 13-year-olds.


A classroom survey was conducted on all 7th graders in the Helsinki metropolitan region, Finland (73 % responded; n = 9446). Logistic regression analysis and structural equation modeling (SEM) were used.


The prevalence of health complaints increased as energy drink consumption increased from non-consumers to several times/day. Late bedtime (≥11 PM) increased correspondingly. Those consuming energy drinks several times/day exhibited increased odds of experiencing daily health complaints compared with non-consumers: headache OR (adjusted) = 4.6 (2.8–7.7), sleeping problems OR = 3.6 (2.2–5.8), irritation OR = 4.1 (2.7–6.1), tiredness/fatigue OR = 3.7 (2.4–5.7), and late bedtime OR = 7.8 (5.7–10.9). In SEM, energy drink consumption had a direct effect on health complaints and late bedtime and an indirect effect on health complaints via late bedtime.


Energy drinks, late bedtime, and health complaints form a behavior pattern that is worth considering in schools, home and clinical settings when adolescents complain about headaches, problems with sleeping and corresponding symptoms.


Energy drinks Adolescents Caffeine Health complaints Late bedtime 



The data collection was financially supported by the Academy of Finland (Skidi-Kids Research Program) and analyses by the Competitive Research Funding of the Tampere University Hospital (Grant 9N063). We thank MSc Liudmila Lipiäinen for consultation regarding SEM modeling and BA Lasse Pere for preparing the data.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+) 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Health SciencesUniversity of TampereTampereFinland
  2. 2.Tampere Centre for Childhood, Youth and Family Research (PERLA)University of TampereTampereFinland
  3. 3.Department of Adolescent PsychiatryTampere University HospitalPitkäniemiFinland
  4. 4.University Consortium of SeinäjokiSeinäjokiFinland

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