The Science Behind Energy Drinks: How They Work and What They Do to Your Body

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The Science Behind Energy Drinks: How They Work and What They Do to Your Body

Any beverage containing stimulant ingredients like caffeine at a high level, a lot of sugar and sometimes supplements like carnitine or vitamins and claiming to boost your energy, is called an energy drink.


In our hectic schedule, we often look for fueling up one way or the other to perform our tasks to our maximum level of our potential. Tea and coffee are treated as the best energy boosters since ages, in all cultures. Lately there has been a trend of special drinks that are made with caffeine and glucose mainly drunk for energy recharging and invigorating.Yes, the beverages being talked about are the energy drinks. 

Energy Drinks Industry

Energy drinks industry makes about $3.4 billion a year. It’s consumed by 31% teens in the USA. However, they’re not yet given recognition by the Food and Drug administration (FDA).

Ingredients used for preparing energy drinks 

Most of the energy drinks constitute common ingredients that bring out the required vigor in people who consume them. Let’s discuss the ingredients one by one. 

1. Carbonated water:

When carbon dioxide is added to water, it prepares carbonated water. Carbon dioxide is responsible for making the drinks fizzy. However, it can cause bloating.

2. Glucose and sucrose

Glucose and sucrose are the main ingredients that add up energy to the drink. About 20-35 grams of sugar content is consumed in preparing each can. Sugars are the main reason behind weight gain so more energy can lead to more fat too.

3. Sodium citrate

It’s used as a preservative. Preservatives are added to packed food items to keep them preserved for a long time. Excessive consumption of sodium citrate results in erosion of the enamel that we have on our teeth.

4. Taurine

Taurine is a common name given to 2 aminoethansulfonic acid. It’s mainly found in animal tissues. It helps in regulating levels of water and homocysteine in our body. It also stimulates bile production in our liver. Lastly, it helps in contraction in muscles and prevents diseases like diabetes.

Only a little quantity of taurine is required to make any difference to our bodies and energy drinks contain ever less than 5gms of it.

5. Caffeine

The main ingredient that is added in energy drinks contributing to energy boosting is caffeine. There’s about 500 mg in every can. That doesn’t sound like much right? Well, that’s equivalent to about 14 bottles of coke together with 5 cups of black coffee. Now isn’t it too much?

6. Inositol

Inositol is created in our body too. It helps converting a stimulus or a signal of our body cells to another signal. But, it’s like an extra ingredient.

7. Vitamins

Energy drinks contain B complex vitamins that have different functions. However, relying on energy drinks for vitamins wouldn’t be a sane idea. Remember they’re in combination with other ingredients most of which are not safe.

8. Colors and Flavor

There are different flavors added in energy drinks, like berry, cherry, strawberry, grapes etc., along with food colors added.

Sugar free energy drinks 

Those who are on a low calorie diet or don’t want to consume sugar but still want to recharge to tackle that workload; they can go for sugar free energy drinks. However, they’re not as energizing because glucose is the primary source of energy in any edible item. 

Excessive consumption of energy drinks can be hazardous as it can cause intoxication. Besides,seizures have been reported to have occurred in people who had no seizure history. So, we need to watch out before grabbing that extra can.

Key Facts and Statistics

  • The US industry of energy drinks consists of beverages like energy drinks, energy drink mixes, and energy shots.
  • Energy drink consumption is more popular among young age groups during sports, exam preparations, assignment or project preparations to enhance physical performance and mental alertness.
  • As per Statista the worldwide sales value of energy drinks is about the US $ 38.2 billion in 2015.
  • According to Statista, Red Bull was the leading brand among energy drinks in the United States in 2018. It generated sales of around US$ 2.89 billion.
  • As per a report of Statista, the sales volume of energy drinks grew by 2.08% from the year 2005 to the year 2017.
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