Caffeinated energy drinks in the Canadian context: health risk assessment with a focus on cardiovascular effects

Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2021 Sep;46(9):1019-1028. doi: 10.1139/apnm-2021-0245. Epub 2021 May 17.


In Canada, caffeinated energy drinks (CEDs) currently sold under Temporary Marketing Authorizations must meet strict eligibility criteria. These criteria, which include compositional and labelling requirements, were developed based on the outcome of a health risk assessment conducted by Health Canada (HC) in 2013. HC updated its assessment by reviewing new information with the focus on potential cardiovascular effects associated with the consumption of CEDs available for sale in Canada. Due to limited data on CED consumption among Canadians to derive accurate exposure information, the composition of a typical CED was characterized to assess the potential effects of single ingredients and synergistic interactions between ingredients on the cardiovascular system. Surveillance data on potential adverse effects related to CED consumption was also analyzed. After extensive review, HC's updated assessment confirms the current risk management approach for CEDs is health protective for Canadian consumers, including the potential for cardiovascular effects. The available evidence supports that moderate consumption (up to 500 mL per day) of a typical CED authorized for sale in Canada is safe for the general population of healthy adults and adolescents. It also re-confirms that vulnerable sub-populations (i.e., children, pregnant and/or breastfeeding women, and caffeine-sensitive individuals) should not consume CEDs. Novelty: Consumption up to 500 mL per day of a typical CED is not associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular effects. Children, pregnant and/or breastfeeding women, and caffeine-sensitive individuals should not consume CEDs.

Keywords: boissons énergisantes; caffeine; caféine; cardiovascular system; energy drinks; food safety; risk assessment; système cardiovasculaire; sécurité alimentaire; taurine; évaluation des risques.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Caffeine / administration & dosage*
  • Caffeine / adverse effects
  • Canada
  • Cardiovascular System / drug effects*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / administration & dosage*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / adverse effects
  • Electrocardiography
  • Energy Drinks*
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Glucuronates / administration & dosage
  • Glucuronates / adverse effects
  • Heart Rate / drug effects
  • Humans
  • Inositol / administration & dosage
  • Inositol / adverse effects
  • Product Surveillance, Postmarketing
  • Risk Assessment*
  • Taurine / administration & dosage
  • Taurine / adverse effects
  • Vitamin B Complex / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin B Complex / adverse effects


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Glucuronates
  • Vitamin B Complex
  • Taurine
  • glucuronolactone
  • Caffeine
  • Inositol