Energy Drinks, Masculinity and Men's Health
Energy drinks can not only pose health risks, but they may also be intrinsically woven into a man's sense of masculinity, a new study reveals.
Researchers from the University of Akron report that energy drinks are often marketed as "masculine" products - associated with images and ads that showcase men in high-risk, athletic or adrenaline-pumping situations.
"While most men who buy energy drinks aren't martial arts champions or race car drivers, these marketing campaigns can make some men feel as though drinking energy drinks is a way to feel closer to, or associated with, these ultra-masculine sports," says Dr. Ronald Levant, study author and professor of psychology at the University of Akron.
Magic potions or toxic concoctions?
The researchers gathered data on 467 adult men, measuring their attitudes on statements like, "If I consume energy drinks, I will be more willing to take risks," or, "I think a young man should try to be physically tough, even if he's not."
While older men were less likely to associate beliefs about masculinity with energy drinks, the trend in young men was strong, researchers say.
"The link between masculinity ideology and energy drink use suggests that energy drink use may be a means of performing masculinity... as a way to raise masculine capital," Levant notes.
The study also suggests that men who consume energy drinks because of a desire for masculinity may be putting themselves in danger of certain health risks, like insomnia or anxiety.