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Red Bull drivers

Why bros love energy drinks

A new study finds that men who have more stereotypically masculine beliefs are more likely to think energy drinks give them special abilities.

HEY BRAH, what’s your favourite energy drink? Red Bull? Monster? Rock Star? Male Gaze? Do you embrace your guy friends while maintaining an arm-wrestle-like hand-clasp between your bodies? Do you enjoy infusing your body with guarana before doing some reps and contemplating the precariousness of manhood?

If so, you might be one of the gentlebros described in a totally epic recent study by researchers at the University of Akron and Texas Tech University.

It found that men who subscribed most to stereotypically masculine beliefs were also more likely to believe that energy drinks work wonders, which, in turn, leads to drinking more of the robot-pee-flavoured beverages.

The researchers were interested in this connection because the rise of energy drinks has brought an attendant increase in emergency-room visits due to caffeine toxicity. Furthermore, they write, “ads for energy drinks typically feature young white men engaged in extreme sports, and portrayed as attractive to and attracted by women.”

Rather than simply walk around campus sniffing for Axe body spray, the authors of the study, published in Health Psychology, recruited 467 men from Craigslist and psychology classes and gave them a series of surveys.

First, they asked them how much they agreed with statements like, “Men should not be too quick to tell others that they care about them”, “A man should prefer watching action movies to reading romantic novels”, “A man should always be ready for sex”, and “A man should always be the boss.”

Then, they asked them how much they think energy drinks would generate positive outcomes that affirm their masculinity, using statements such as, “If I consume energy drinks, I will be more willing to take risks?” or “If I consume energy drinks, I will perform better?”

They also asked the participants how often they drank energy drinks and whether they have trouble sleeping. They found that the man’s man—you know, the one who “rallies,” adores fantasy football, and prioritises the needs of his homosocial companions above that of hos—is more likely to believe that Red Bull gives you wings.

In other words, those who adhered most to masculine beliefs had significantly higher energy-drink outcome expectations.

The association between masculinity and energy drinks hinged on demographics. For the younger men in the study, masculinity ideology was significantly correlated with energy drink outcome expectations, but that wasn’t the case for men who were older than about 32. And for the white men, but not men of colour, higher energy drink outcome expectations were associated with greater energy-drink consumption…..

The Atlantic: Read the full article