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71% metro youths love energy drinks
About 71% of adolescents in urban centers of India consume energy drinks which leads to seizures, diabetic, cardiac abnormalities and behavioral disorders.

THE STATISTICS are shocking as many children are becoming overly involved and obsessed by a wide variety of substances that promise to boost energy, appearance, performance, improved immunity and overall health; reveals a just concluded survey by apex industry body Assocham.

Over 85% of school and college students said these drinks are easily available in market at retail stores, bars, pubs etc. The use of energy drinks increased with age, especially in boys, with almost 55% of 12th grade consuming energy drinks to boost their game. Energy drinks have observed a growth of 45 per cent in Mumbai (ranks 1st), 42% in Bangalore (ranks 2nd) and 40% per cent in the Delhi (ranks 3rd) in the past few months. The target buyers for energy drinks continue to be the young and working Indian population, reveals the survey.

Energy drinks are non-alcoholic beverages containing caffeine, guarana, glucuronolactone, taurine, ginseng, inositol, carnitine, B-vitamins, etc as main ingredients that act as stimulants. These drinks contain high levels of caffeine, which stimulates the nervous system, said Dr. B K Rao, Chairman Assocham Health Committee.

“These drinks include high levels of sugar and up to 270 calories in each bottle - in addition to potentially harmful levels of caffeine, which has been linked to seizures, heart problems and behavioural disorders,” added Dr. Rao in an statement.

The survey has been conducted in major states-cities of Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Haryana, Kolkata, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Ahemdabad, Chandigarh, Jaipur and Lucknow. This is based on an interaction with around 2,500 adolescents (almost equal number of males and females) in the age group of 14-30 years. It was carried out during November 2012 on “Increasing demand of energy drinks among youngsters”.

Among 82% teenagers who admitted that they opted for energy drinks during exercise for "extra energy", 61 per cent took to these drinks for "better hydration" and 40 per cent had them as they "prefer(ed) the taste". The consumption levels and situations in which people are consuming these energy drinks are worrysome, added Dr Rao.

“Indian market for energy drink has grown exponentially in the last decade. The primary targets of the industry’s marketing campaigns are young adults. As a result, school and colleges are frequent consumers of the products”, added D.S. Rawat, Secretary General, ASSOCHAM.

The energy drinks market in India is estimated at Rs 1,300 crore growing at the compound annual growth of rate 30%. Liquor sales are also facing the impact due to increase in consumption of energy drinks, highlights the survey. Energy drinks have not only brought down the aerated drinks business, but it has also now gradually started affecting the liquor sales.

Currently, two major brands dominate the energy drinks segment in India, and this market seems to be increasing by 50 per cent per annum, adds the survey.

Energy drinks are urban phenomena and supermarkets are the primary channels of their sales. Apart from retail sales, energy drinks are sold in bars and pubs along with alcohol, mentioned the survey.

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