Journal Article

Quantitative Determination of Caffeine and Alcohol in Energy Drinks and the Potential to Produce Positive Transdermal Alcohol Concentrations in Human Subjects

Jessica Ayala, Kelsie Simons and Sarah Kerrigan

in Journal of Analytical Toxicology

Volume 33, issue 1, pages 27-33
Published in print January 2009 | ISSN: 0146-4760
Published online January 2009 | e-ISSN: 1945-2403 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/jat/33.1.27
Quantitative Determination of Caffeine and Alcohol in Energy Drinks and the Potential to Produce Positive Transdermal Alcohol Concentrations in Human Subjects

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The purpose of this study was to determine whether non-alcoholic energy drinks could result in positive “alcohol alerts” based on transdermal alcohol concentration (TAC) using a commercially available electrochemical monitoring device. Eleven energy drinks were quantitatively assayed for both ethanol and caffeine. Ethanol concentrations for all of the non-alcoholic energy drinks ranged in concentration from 0.03 to 0.230% (w/v) and caffeine content per 8-oz serving ranged from 65 to 126 mg. A total of 15 human subjects participated in the study. Subjects consumed between 6 and 8 energy drinks over an 8-h period. The SCRAM® II monitoring device was used to determine TACs every 30 min before, during, and after the study. None of the subjects produced TAC readings that resulted in positive “alcohol alerts”. TAC measurements for all subjects before, during and after the energy drink study period (16 h total) were < 0.02% (w/v). Subjects in the study consumed a quantity of non-alcoholic energy drink that greatly exceeds what would be considered typical. Based on these results, it appears that energy drink consumption is an unlikely explanation for elevated TACs that might be identified as potential drinking episodes or “alcohol alerts” using this device.

Journal Article.  0 words. 

Subjects: Medical Toxicology ; Toxicology (Non-medical)

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