Skip to content
My WebMD Sign In, Sign Up

Food & Recipes

Font Size

Energy Drinks Pack a Caffeine Punch

Analysis Shows High-Calorie and High-Caffeine Content in Each Bottle or Can
By
WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Aug. 6, 2007 -- "Energy drink" may sound healthy, but downing one of the new carbonated energy drinks may give you more of a caffeine and sugar buzz than you bargained for.

A new review in Consumer Reports analyzed the caffeine and calorie content of a dozen popular energy drinks and found caffeine levels, which often aren't listed on the label, can top 200 milligrams per bottle or can. Meanwhile, the calorie count may reach up to 260 calories.

Researchers say a big part of the problem has to do with serving size. Many energy drinks list their nutritional content on the label per 8-ounce serving. But the bottles or cans they're sold in often contain more than that and few people stop drinking halfway.

Behind the Buzz of Energy Drinks

Researchers say U.S. consumers spent $744 million on caffeinated energy drinks in the last year, a 34% increase over the previous year.

The energy drinks are heavily marketed toward young adults, but they contain stimulants that make them unsuitable for young children and pregnant women.

The analysis shows caffeine levels per 8-ounce serving ranged from 50 milligrams in Archer Farms Energy Drink to 145 milligrams in Celsius Energy Supplement. In comparison, a cup of coffee contains about 100 milligrams of caffeine, and a 12-ounce Coca-Cola has about 24 milligrams.

Up to 300 milligrams per day is considered safe for most adults, but children are advised to keep their caffeine intake to fewer than 100 milligrams per day.

Meanwhile, the calorie content ranged from fewer than 10 calories per 8-ounce serving among the low-calorie energy drinks (Enviga Sparkling Green Tea, Tab Energy Drink, Celsius Energy Supplement) to 130 calories per serving of the higher-calorie energy drinks (Rockstar and Sobe No Fear).

Most of the drinks listed at least one caffeine-related stimulant, and some have ingredients, like ginseng, that may amplify caffeine's effects.

Researchers say the bottom line is that an occasional energy drink is fine for most people, but do the math and avoid overindulging.

  • Are energy drinks part of your daily routine? Talk about it on WebMD's Health Café message board.

Today on WebMD

Four spoons with mustards
What condiments are made of and how much to use.
salmon and spinach
How to get what you need.
 
grilled veggies
Easy ideas for dinner tonight.
Greek Salad
Health benefits, what you can eat and more.
 

WebMD Recipe Finder

Browse our collection of healthy, delicious recipes, from WebMD and Eating Well magazine.



bread
Recipes
soup
Recipes
 
roasted chicken
Recipes
grilled steak
Video
 

Loaded with tips to help you avoid food allergy triggers.

Loading ...

Sending your email...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.

Thanks!

Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

vegetarian sandwich
Recipes
fresh vegetables
Recipes
 
smoothie
fitArticle
Foods To Boost Mens Heath Slideshow
Slideshow