Caffeine and Niacin Levels in Energy Drinks

Report
Caffeine and
Niacin Levels in
Energy Drinks
By: Liz Knisley & Kelley Smith
Background Information

Caffeine toxicity results when a person takes
in 250-500 mg of caffeine


Caffeine can become lethal when 1000 mg
or more is consumed



Symptoms: irritability, nervousness, tremors, and
insomnia
Symptoms: seizures or aspiration
Detrimental effect on epilepsy control
Pregnant women consuming 6 or more cups
a day can result in miscarriage or low fetal
birth weight
Background Information
 Niacin

is a lipid-altering drug
Mainly known to decrease cholesterol levels
 Main
side effect of niacin is flushing of the
skin
 If 80 mg is consumed at one period of
time it increases the risk of muscle
damage

Supplements are usually extended release
Purpose and Method


Purpose: to determine whether the amount of caffeine
and niacin in a specific energy drink was dangerous to
the human body and in what amount.
Method: use the HPLC to test different contents of
energy drinks and compare them to standards run of
both caffeine and niacin
What We Did…
 Ran
standards of caffeine and niacin on
HPLC
 Ran diluted energy drinks to gain spectra
that could be compared to the standards





Monster (16 fl. oz.)
Red Bull (8.4 fl. oz.)
5 Hour Energy (1.93 fl. oz.)
Mt. Dew Kickstart (16 fl. oz.)
Rock Star: energy x2 (16 fl. oz.)
HPLC
 Caffeine

50 ppm, 40 ppm, 30 ppm, 20 ppm, and 10
ppm
 Niacin

Standards
Standards
50 ppm, 40 ppm, 30 ppm, 20 ppm, and 10
ppm
 Energy
drinks were all diluted to 1:8
Errors
 Ran
standards originally to compare
caffeine to previous ran standards

Instrument was set to 254 nm
 Niacin
was not actually 250 mg like it said
on bottle

Had to reweigh out the niacin for the stock
solution
Set Backs
 Originally
wanted to make a 1:2 dilution of
each energy drink



Spectra did not come close to the
standards
Tried to dilute to 1:4 and still was off the
chart
Finally a dilution of 1:8 worked
 Originally
wanted to use taurine but the
lab did not carry it
Conclusion

When wanting more for your money Monster
and Rockstar (energy x2) are the way to go




Mt. Dew Kickstart comes in second
Red Bull comes in third
5 hour energy is last
You would have to consume 60.452 Monsters
or Rockstar at a consecutive times to die from
caffeine intake



70.517 Mt. Dew Kickstarts
115.141 Red Bulls
501.002 5 Hour Energys
Future Work
 Test
more energy drinks such as NOS that
contain warning labels for levels of
caffeine
 Run less diluted standards of niacin so that
we can compare the results
 Run other compounds associated with
energy drinks such as taurine
Citations
Alpert, P. The Health Lowdown on Caffeine.
Home Health Care Management
Practice. [Online] 2012, 24, 156.
http://hhc.sagepub.com/content/24/
3/156.full.pdf+html (accessed May 09,
2013).
Hochholzer, W., Berg, D., Giugliano, R. The Facts
Behind Niacin. Ther Adv Cardiovasc Dis.
[Online] 2011, 5, 227.
http://tak.sagepub.com/content/5/5/227
.full.pdf+html (accessed May 09, 2013).

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