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ECPB 2017, 78(2): 5–12
Research articles

The Influence of energy Drinks on the Emotional and Behavioural Reactions of Rats


Experimental study on white rats influence of energy drinks in different modes of consumption as part of the standard diet allowed to identify emotional changes of laboratory animals in the models of anxiety in daily use in the doses of 1 ml per 100 g of rat body weight to volume of fluid drunk freely drinking regime to 20 ml per day. The preliminary survey of medical students was held before, and according to that survey energy drink Red Bull was in consumer preference that is why it was chosen for a model substance. In the test of open field the quantity of visits of peripheral and central squares, looking into the hole, freezing on the periphery and acts of defecation and urination, grooming was determined, dividing rats into subgroups with high, medium and low levels of anxiety, based on an evaluation of fear and research activity manifestation by standard methods. Moving of the rat in the new environment has stimulated a research behaviour, accompanied by passive defensive reactions that are considered to be characteristic manifestation of the vegetative reactions such as defecation and a diuresis and changes in the level of physical activity. Vertical stands were informative towards research on the motivational component and orientational behaviour of rats. Reflex mink evaluated as the ability of animals to explore the open field and in the number of looking into holes. Number of surveyed holes – «hole reflex» testified cognitive activity in experimental animals. Cosmetic behaviour of rats (grooming) – was estimated by the number of times of rats body combing. Cosmetic behaviour showed elements orientational-anxiety reactions to unfamiliar (threatening) situation.

The use of energy drinks in the evaluation model behaviours characterized by a gradual increase to 10 days and a further decline in 20 day performance research, orientational and motivational reactions in rats during the consumption of large quantities of Red Bull. Regular long-term intake of energy drink in a free drinking regime caused in rats undulating growth and further decrease in speed of nervous reactions in the threshold summation, that correlate with dynamic of changes in behavioural responses, slightly affect the dynamics of weight gain in laboratory animals and leads to changes in the process of adaptation that can be interpreted as the phase of intoxication. Also long-term use of energy drink Red Bull in free mode drinking and twice a day, changed the emotional status of rats and influence the motor activity of animals in the open field test, including models of anxiety, causing sensitization to the stimulating effect of the beverage. It was found that changes in research, orientation and motivational reactions in laboratory animals indicate possible adaptive changes in the use of large amounts of energy drinks, forcing the body to work in extreme mode with not only overload but also with further exhaustion of the nervous, cardiovascular and excretory systems. It is important to study the physiological and behaviour responses in long-term regular use of energy drinks on young animals, since the extrapolation of experimental data on human population must be taken into account that young people in most cases are the contingent of consumption of energy drinks.

Keywords: Energy drinks, laboratory rats, anxiety, summation-threshold index (STI), the test of «open field»

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