Nutr Rev 2014 Oct;72 Suppl 1:1-8
Office of Dietary Supplements, National Institutes of Health (NIH), Bethesda, Maryland, USA.
Sales of energy drinks in the United States reached $12.5 billion in 2012. Emergency department visits related to consumption of these products have increased sharply, and while these numbers remain small relative to product sales, they raise important questions regarding biological and behavioral effects. Although some common ingredients of energy drinks have been extensively studied (e.g., caffeine, B vitamins, sugars, inositol), data on other ingredients (e.g., taurine) are limited. Summarized here are data presented elsewhere in this issue on the prevalence and patterns of caffeine-containing energy drink use, the effects of these products on alertness, fatigue, cognitive functions, sleep, mood, homeostasis, as well as on exercise physiology and metabolism, and the biological mechanisms mediating the observed effects. There are substantial data on the effects of some energy drink ingredients, such as caffeine and sugars, on many of these outcomes; however, even for these ingredients many controversies and gaps remain, and data on other ingredients in caffeine-containing energy drinks, and on ingredient interactions, are sparse. This summary concludes with a discussion of critical gaps in the data and potential next steps.