Introduction: The results of national and international studies demonstrate the relationship of consumption of cola-type beverages by adolescents with increased dependence on other psychoactive
substances, such as alcohol or tobacco.
Aim: To assess the relationship between consumption of cola and functional drinks (energy and isotonic drinks) and other stimulants including coffee, tea, alcohol and cigarettes in a group of high school students.
Material & methods: 120 students (16–17 years) attending upper secondary school in Lesko participated in the survey. The anonymous questionnaire collected data on frequency of consumption of selected products and beverages (FFQ), including functional beverages. To assess the differences between groups the Mann-Whitney U-test was appplied, while the relationship between variables was analyzed using the Spearman correlation coefficient (rs) at statistical significance level α=0.05.
Results: The results showed that sugar beverages such as cola (soft drink), were consumed most frequently by young people (2.50±0.92). Of functional beverages, respondents choose energy drinks more often (2.07±0.87) than isotonic beverages (1.66±0.76). Among female respondents, a positive correlation between the consumption of energy drinks and cola drinks was found (rs=0.34, p=0.0001). Girls who smoke cigarettes reported consuming energy drinks significantly more often (p=0.0212) than non-smokers. The frequency of consumption of caffeinated beverages (cola and energizing drinks) in the surveyed group had no correlation with
consumption of alcoholic beverages and tea.
Conclusion: Excessive intake of caffeine by young people may lead to increased use of other stimulants. This indicates a need for quantitative data on consumption of caffeinated beverages by adolescents.