Novel energy drink formulations have been introduced to the market that are purported to have nootropic effects – including improving mood. Despite their rapidly growing popularity, especially among video gamers, there is minimal evidence supporting their efficacy or establishing their cardiovascular safety profiles. PURPOSE: We conducted a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover trial to investigate the effects of acute consumption of a non-caloric, novel energy drink (NED) containing 200 mg caffeine, citicoline, tyrosine, B-vitamins, and carboxylic acids on mood and cardiovascular safety outcomes. We hypothesized that NED would improve mood without significant adverse cardiovascular effects when compared to placebo. METHODS: Forty-five healthy young adults who routinely play video games (37M, 8F; mean ± SD, age = 25 ± 6 y) each completed two experimental study visits in randomized order where they consumed either NED or a placebo matched for volume, calories, taste, appearance, and mouthfeel. Resting systolic and diastolic blood pressure (SBP and DBP) and an electrocardiogram (ECG) were obtained from each participant after a 10-min quiescent period prior to and 45 minutes after consumption of NED or placebo. Resting heart rate (RHR) and corrected QT interval length (QTc) were derived from the ECG. Rate-pressure product (RPP) was determined as the product of HR and SBP. Mood was assessed using the Profile of Mood States at post-consumption after BP and ECG assessments. Paired t-tests or signed ranked tests (for non- normally distributed data) were used to examine between-condition differences in mood states, whereas 2 (condition) × 2 (time) ANOVAs were used to examine SBP, DBP, QTc, and RPP. RESULTS: Change scores are presented as mean absolute change ± 95% confidence interval. Relative changes are provided for mood data. Acute NED consumption improved fatigue-inertia (-1.4 ± 1.0 a.u. [+36%]; p = 0.004), vigor-activity (+2.4 ± 1.2 a.u. [+33%]; p < 0.001), and friendliness (+0.7 ± 0.7 a.u. [+7%]; p = 0.04), without adverse effects on tension-anxiety, confusion-bewilderment, or depression-dejection (all p ≥ 0.27). RHR decreased from pre- to post-beverage consumption, and this decrease was greater following NED than placebo consumption (-6.0 ± 2.8 vs. -2.6 ± 1.4 bpm, p = 0.017). SBP (+3.7 ± 2.0 vs. -0.4 ± 2.0 mmHg; p = 0.002) and DBP (+3.7 ± 1.7 vs. -0.04 ± 1.4 mmHg; p = 0.003) increased following NED vs. placebo; however, RPP decreased independent of condition (-386.0 ± 229.0; p = 0.03), and there was no effect of beverage consumption on QTc (p = 0.44). CONCLUSION: Acute NED consumption improved mood states related to vigor, fatigue, and friendliness without affecting tension-anxiety, depression, or confusion in young adult gamers. While NED consumption produced mild increases in SBP and DBP, there were no effects on either QTc or RPP. Thus, overall, NED consumption produces mood-enhancing effects without markedly influencing cardiovascular safety outcomes.



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