What you might not know about energy drinks

Did you know?


No more caffeine in most energy drinks than a typical cup of coffee

Large cup of filter coffee Large cup of filter coffee



Large can of energy drink Large can of energy drink



Cup of filter coffee Cup of filter coffee



A cup of espresso A cup of espresso



Can of energy drink Can of energy drink



Cup of black tea Cup of black tea



Standard can of coke Standard can of coke



Bar of plain chocolate Bar of plain chocolate




Energy drinks and their ingredients are safe, a fact reinforced by regulatory authorities around the world



fact-4We do not market, promote or sample to children under 16


Under 16s accounted for just 6.5% of consumption occasion for energy drinks in 2017


 Kantar - in home/carried out of home

Advisory labels

fact-6Our labels carry an advisory note

Low sugar

fact-7We offer low sugar variants of our products

Code of practice

fact-8Industry introduced a voluntary Code of Practice in 2010



BSDA's Code of Practice is support by the industry's leading energy drinks brands

fact-9a fact-9b
fact-9c fact-9d


B Vitamins

B vitamins are commonly added to energy drinks and other functional drinks, B1, B2, B3 (Niacin), B5 (Pantothenic Acid), B6 and B12 being most frequently used.

Thiamin (vitamin B1) has several important functions including working with other B-group vitamins to help break down and release energy from food and keeping nerves and muscle tissue healthy.

Riboflavin (vitamin B2) has several functions including keeping skin, eyes and the nervous system healthy and helping the body release energy from carbohydrate

Niacin (vitamin B3) has several important functions including helping produce energy from food when eaten and helping keep the nervous and digestive systems healthy

Pantothenic acid (vitamin B5) has several functions, such as helping release energy from food when eaten.

Vitamin B6 has several important functions including allowing the body to use and store energy from protein and carbohydrates in food and helping form haemoglobin, the substance that carries oxygen around the body

Vitamin B12 has several important functions and is involved in making red blood cells and keeping the nervous system healthy, releasing energy from food eaten and processing folic acid.

For more information see NHS Choices


Caffeine is a stimulant, increasing alertness. It occurs naturally in at least 63 plant species worldwide, the most well-known being coffee, tea, cocoa and guarana.

Caffeine is rapidly metabolised by the body.  The medical effects of caffeine have been studied extensively and the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) recently published its scientific opinion on the safety of caffeine. This opinion concluded that for healthy adults, with the exception of pregnant and breastfeeding women, single doses of caffeine up to 200mg and total daily caffeine consumption of up to 400mg are safe.

According to regulation, added caffeine must be included in the ingredients list. Levels in excess of 150mg/l must be declared quantitatively with the following warning statement ‘High caffeine content. Not recommended for children or pregnant or breast-feeding women’

For more information see FSA Caffeine 


Glucuronolactone occurs naturally in the body in connective tissue (tendons and ligaments) as well as in the gums of plants. There is evidence to suggest it can improve physical performance, and can help to increase mental performance.


Inositol occurs in cell membranes throughout the body and is often associated with B vitamins.   Its role in the body is still the subject of debate but it has been associated with carbohydrate metabolism.  It occurs in a very wide range of foods including meat, fruit, cereals and vegetables.


L-Carnitine is a member of the group of food factors known as vitamin-like nutrients.  It is involved in fat metabolism, i.e. the burning of fat for energy in the mitochondria.  When discovered it was given B vitamin status but is not a vitamin because it can be metabolised by the body from lysine.  Carnitine is plentiful in meat, but found rarely in vegetables.

It is believed that carnitine provides energy from fat metabolism separately from the use of glycogen thereby providing extra energy.  The heart derives up to 80% of its energy from lipids (fat) which is why high levels of carnitine are found in heart muscle.

Sugars (sucrose, glucose and fructose)

Sweetness in soft drinks has traditionally been provided by sugar (sucrose) extracted from beet or cane.

In the presence of acid, as in soft drinks, sucrose (a disaccharide of glucose and fructose) will hydrolyse to form an equal mixture of the mono saccharides glucose and fructose. Therefore in soft drinks, you will find a mixture of the three sugars. This also happens to the sucrose in fruit juices.

Glucose and fructose syrups may also be used to give sweetness.

All sugars have the same calorific content approx. 4kcals/g but have different levels of sweetness, e.g. fructose is slightly more sweet than sucrose and glucose is less sweet than sucrose.

For more information see Sugar Nutrition UK


Taurine is one of the most abundant amino acids in the body.  It is a non-essential amino acid, i.e. it can be synthesised by the body from cysteine and methionine.  It is not found in plants and vegetarians or vegans with an unbalanced diet, i.e. deficient in cysteine or methionine could be deficient in taurine.  There is no evidence that taurine has any beneficial effect to a healthy person but it has been used in the treatment of people with heart problems.  It has been linked to cell membrane stability and to brain cell activity, and is also a component of bile acids which help fat metabolism.