Institution: Ursinus College, Collegeville, Pennsylvania
Abstract: In recent years, the consumption of energy drinks and alcoholic beverages has become a prevalent habit, especially among younger generations. However, there is little scientific research surrounding the interaction of ethanol and the natural stimulant guarana, which is being utilized more frequently as the main caffeine source in energy drinks. This study utilized Daphnia magna (D. magna) as a model organism to observe alterations in the functioning of the central nervous system when exposed to both ethanol and guarana in a series of time trials. As expected, ethanol significantly decreased the overall heart rate of the D. magna, while guarana increased it. In combination, the depressant effects of ethanol decreased the stimulating effects of guarana, as our results displayed a statistically significant reduction of heart rate. Therefore we propose that our findings indicated that the alcohol effects may be stronger than the effects of guarana.