Energy boosters

Synonyms

Adrenaline Rush®, B vitamins, caffeine, carnitine, creatine exercise, Diesel®, energy boosters, energy drink, Ginkgo biloba, ginseng, glucose, guarana extracts, inositol, maltodextrin, Monster®, performance enhancers, Red Bull®, Sprin®, supplements, taurine, Venom®, vitamins.

Background

Energy drinks, or energy boosters, are beverages that contain stimulants, vitamins and/or minerals. Common ingredients include caffeine, guarana extracts, taurine, ginseng, maltodextrin, inositol, carnitine, creatine and Ginkgo biloba. Energy drinks may contain as much as 80mg of caffeine, the equivalent of a cup of coffee. Many also contain high levels of sugar or glucose.

There are many different types of energy drinks. Some examples include: Adrenaline Rush®, Red Bull®, Sprin®, Monster®, Diesel® and Venom®.

Energy drinks, or energy boosters, are beverages that contain stimulants, vitamins and/or minerals. Common ingredients include caffeine, guarana extracts, taurine, ginseng, maltodextrin, inositol, carnitine, creatine and Ginkgo biloba. Energy drinks may contain as much as 80mg of caffeine, the equivalent of a cup of coffee. Many also contain high levels of sugar or glucose.

There are many different types of energy drinks. Some examples include: Adrenaline Rush®, Red Bull®, Sprin®, Monster®, Diesel® and Venom®.

Theory/evidence

Most energy drinks contain some combination of B vitamins, which are thought to help the body convert sugar into energy.

Few studies have evaluated the safety or efficacy of energy drinks. Most scientific studies have investigated the role of energy drinks in obesity. Research suggests that energy drinks high in sugar lead to weight gain.

Safety

Since energy drinks contain stimulants they can potentially interact with alcohol, a common depressant. Theoretically, the combination could lead to cardiopulmonary or cardiovascular failure. Two people died in Sweden after consuming Red Bull® and vodka. However, it is unclear whether the energy drink was the cause.

Avoid consuming energy drinks in excess, mixing them with alcohol or using them during or immediately before or after rigorous physical activities. The NCAA and other professional sports leagues have banned certain energy drinks like Red Bull® due to potential health risks.

Energy drinks' stimulating properties can boost the heart rate and blood pressure (sometimes to the point of palpitations), dehydrate the body and prevent sleep. Avoid energy drinks that contain high levels of caffeine cautiously with heart disease, high blood pressure and insomnia.

Use energy drinks that are high in sugar cautiously with diabetes.

Energy drinks containing herbs or supplements such as ginseng or Ginkgo biloba may interact with other drugs, herbs or supplements. Therefore, a qualified healthcare provider or pharmacist should be consulted before consuming.

Caffeine and guarana may be addictive when consumed on a regular basis.

Energy drinks act as diuretics and may potentially cause dehydration. Drink plenty of water after consuming energy drinks.

Not recommended if pregnant or breastfeeding due to lack of sufficient available evidence.

Author Information

This information has been edited and peer-reviewed by contributors to the Natural Standard Research Collaboration (www.naturalstandard.com).

Bibliography

Health Hints. Energy and Sports Drinks. 10 May 2006. fcs.tamu.edu

Rush E, Schulz S, Obolonkin V, et al. Are energy drinks contributing to the obesity epidemic? Asia Pac J Clin Nutr. 2006;15(2):242-4.

Remember, keep this and all other medicines out of the reach of children, never share your medicines with others, and use this medication only for the indication prescribed.


Advertisement