Energy drinks are an accelerating market expected to reach over $60 billion by 2021. They appeal to the masses, especially young males, with a promise of enhanced alertness and performance. Marketers often tout these drinks as healthy supplements loaded with vitamins, amino acids, and plant extracts. Increasingly, however, research is uncovering unfavorable side effects. Studies associate these beverages with spikes in impaired performance, cardiovascular crises, neurological impairment, and even death. Experts, including pediatricians and military specialists, are encouraging the public to pump the brakes on their consumption of energy drinks.


1. Main Stimulants in Energy Drinks

The CDC states that energy drinks are the most popular supplement for American adolescents and young adults, next to multivitamins. One type of energy drink product comes in bottles or cans like soft drinks. “Energy shots” come in two or 2.5-ounce bottles of concentrated liquid. Caffeine is a primary ingredient in both kinds, offering up to 240 mg per serving. These products may also contain other stimulants including:

  • sugars
  • guarana or Brazilian cocoa, another caffeine source
  • taurine
  • B vitamins
  • ginseng
  • carnitine
  • yohimbe
  • glucuronolactone
  • bitter orange


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