September 2016
Volume 57, Issue 12
Open Access
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   September 2016
Effect of Energy Drinks on CFF
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Sneha Bagavandoss
    Southern College of Optometry, Memphis, Tennessee, United States
  • Jeung Kim
    Pacific University College of Optometry, Forest Grove, Oregon, United States
  • Patricia Cisarik
    Southern College of Optometry, Memphis, Tennessee, United States
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships   Sneha Bagavandoss, None; Jeung Kim, None; Patricia Cisarik, None
  • Footnotes
    Support  None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science September 2016, Vol.57, 208. doi:
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      Sneha Bagavandoss, Jeung Kim, Patricia Cisarik; Effect of Energy Drinks on CFF. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2016;57(12):208.

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      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

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Purpose : Critical flicker fusion (CFF) subjectively measures temporal resolution and may be used to assess alertness. CFF can be temporarily altered by ingested chemicals that affect alertness. Two ingredients in energy drinks, caffeine and taurine, separately have been shown to affect CFF. However, previous studies used greater amounts of these ingredients than contained in a single serving of commercial drinks. The purposes of this study are to determine whether the stimulant effects of caffeinated (CAF) and decaffeinated (DECAF) energy drinks are associated with a change in CFF and whether the mean change in CFF from pre-consumption CFF differs between CAF and DECAF groups.

Methods : Twenty healthy human subjects, ages 22-30 years, in a double-blind, cross-over design, underwent pulse rate and CFF measurements (Flicker Fusion System , Lafayette Instruments) before and periodically after consumption of either caffeinated or decaffeinated energy drink.

Results : Correlated samples t-test showed no difference in mean pulse rate before vs any time after consumption for CAF and DECAF groups, except for CAF group at 300 minutes (p = 0.03). Significant differences were found for ascending CFF between pre- and all post-consumption times for both CAF and DECAF groups (p<.04) and for descending CFF between pre- and all post-consumption times except 30 and 45 minutes for CAF group (p<.048), but not for descending CFF between pre- and any post-consumption time for DECAF group. T-test for independent samples showed no significant difference in mean change between pre- and post-consumption ascending CFF between CAF (-1.05 +/- .27 Hz) and DECAF (-1.28 +/- .24 Hz) groups; however, mean change between pre- and post-consumption descending CFF were significantly different between CAF (-.53 +/- .28) and DECAF (.17 +/- .21 Hz) groups (p<.0001).

Conclusions : Caffeinated and decaffeinated energy drinks produced a statistically significant change from pre-consumption in mean ascending CFF over time in this group of young healthy adults. Difference in pre- vs post-consumption mean descending CFF was significant only for CAF group. A between group difference in mean change in CFF was found only with descending stimulus presentation. Since flickering stimuli are used in perimetry and visual electrodiagnostics, whether energy drink consumption affects visual function testing in older people and in ocular and visual system disorders should be explored.

This is an abstract that was submitted for the 2016 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Seattle, Wash., May 1-5, 2016.


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