Are Energy Drink Ingredients Harmful?

Learn about energy drink ingredients before you buy

Energy drink ingredients — are they healthy or harmful? Not many people stop and consider this before buying and drinking them, but maybe it’s time to take a second and learn about what you are ingesting before you get your next burst of energy from a bottle.

Energy drink ingredients

In today’s fast-paced world, energy drinks have a high appeal to adults and with names like Rockstar, Full Throttle, and No Fear these drinks are also appealing to children. Approximately $744 million was spent on energy drinks in 2007 with a 34% increase in 2008. With this many people guzzling the latest in energy drinks, maybe the ingredients should be examined. So just what are the energy drink ingredients?

— Stimulants

Most energy drinks contain one or more of the stimulants Guarana, Ginseng, and Green Tea. These stimulants can have adverse side effects so proceed with caution.

— Caffeine

Because energy drinks aren’t classified as a food or supplement, they do not have to disclose all of the ingredients. Caffeine is one of the ingredients that they do not list. Health experts recommend that adults consume no more than 300 mg of caffeine per day and children should consume no more than 100 mg daily.

Coffee has around 100mg of caffeine and Coke has 35 mg per 8 oz serving. The average energy drink has 50 mg to 145 mg per serving. One energy drink can have as much as 200 mg of caffeine per can and 260 calories. Brands like Rockstar Punched Guava has 330 mg of caffeine per serving and Spike Shotgun has 340 mg per serving.

It’s easy to see how medical professionals have become concerned about energy drinks and kids that drink them.

“Healthy” additives

Most energy drinks list the ingredients of Ginseng, Green Tea, and Guarana on their labels. This leads people to believe that they are drinking a nutritious drink that is relatively healthy; however, as mentioned above, these are used as stimulants and intensify the effect of the caffeine already in the drink.

As in all things, moderation is key. Energy drink ingredients aren’t necessarily harmful if they are consumed in reasonable quantities and are avoided by children and pregnant women.