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).