Effects of Energy Drink Consumption on Physical Performance and Potential Danger of Inordinate Usage

Nutrients. 2021 Jul 22;13(8):2506. doi: 10.3390/nu13082506.


The rise in energy drink (ED) intake in the general population and athletes has been achieved with smart and effective marketing strategies. There is a robust base of evidence showing that adolescents are the main consumers of EDs. The prevalence of ED usage in this group ranges from 52% to 68%, whilst in adults is estimated at 32%. The compositions of EDs vary widely. Caffeine content can range from 75 to 240 mg, whereas the average taurine quantity is 342.28 mg/100 mL. Unfortunately, exact amounts of the other ED elements are often not disclosed by manufacturers. Caffeine and taurine in doses 3-6 mg/kg and 1-6 g, respectively, appear to be the main ergogenic elements. However, additive or synergic properties between them seem to be implausible. Because of non-unified protocol design, presented studies show inconsistency between ED ingestion and improved physical performance. Potential side effects caused by abusive consumption or missed contraindications are the aspects that are the most often overlooked by consumers and not fully elucidated by ED producers. In this review, the authors aimed to present the latest scientific information on ED components and their possible impact on improving physical performance as well as to bring emphasis to the danger of inordinate consumption.

Keywords: athlete; caffeine; energy drink; physical performance; prevalence; side effects; taurine.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Caffeine / adverse effects*
  • Child
  • Consumer Product Safety
  • Drug Interactions
  • Energy Drinks / adverse effects*
  • Energy Intake
  • Humans
  • Nutritive Value
  • Performance-Enhancing Substances / adverse effects*
  • Physical Endurance / drug effects*
  • Recommended Dietary Allowances
  • Risk Assessment
  • Risk Factors
  • Taurine / adverse effects*
  • Young Adult


  • Performance-Enhancing Substances
  • Taurine
  • Caffeine