Energy Drinks and Sports Performance, Cardiovascular Risk, and Genetic Associations; Future Prospects

Nutrients. 2021 Feb 24;13(3):715. doi: 10.3390/nu13030715.


The consumption of energy drinks (e.g., containing caffeine and taurine) has increased over the last decade among adolescents and athletes to enhance their cognitive level and improve intellectual and athletic performance. Numerous studies have shown that drinking moderate doses of such drinks produces beneficial effects, as they considerably boost the sporting performance of elite athletes in various sports, including both endurance and explosive events. However, apart from their ergogenic effects, the regular consumption of energy drinks also increases blood pressure and consequently incites problems such as hypertension, tachycardia, and nervousness, all of which can lead to cardiovascular disorders. A potential positive correlation between genetics and the moderate consumption of energy drinks and athletic performance has recently been reported; notwithstanding, a better understanding of the genetic variants involved in metabolism is a key area for future research to optimize the dose of energy drink consumed and obtain the maximal ergogenic effect in elite sports. The aim of this literature review, therefore, is to present the results of recent studies, classifying them according to the differences in the associations between energy drinks and: (i) Athletic performance; (ii) cardiovascular risk factors while practicing sports; and (iii) genetic associations and future prospects between the consumption of energy drinks and performance.

Keywords: Energy drinks; caffeine; genetics; health risk; sports performance; taurine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Athletes
  • Athletic Performance / physiology*
  • Caffeine / adverse effects
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / chemically induced
  • Cardiovascular Diseases / genetics
  • Cognition / drug effects
  • Energy Drinks / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Heart Disease Risk Factors
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Performance-Enhancing Substances / adverse effects*
  • Sports Nutritional Physiological Phenomena / drug effects*
  • Sports Nutritional Physiological Phenomena / genetics*
  • Taurine / adverse effects


  • Performance-Enhancing Substances
  • Taurine
  • Caffeine