An energy drink is a type of beverage containing stimulant drugs, chiefly caffeine, which is marketed as providing mental or physical stimulation. There is a myriad of brands and varieties of energy drinks. They generally contain large amounts of caffeine and other stimulants. Many also contain sugar or other sweeteners, herbal extracts and amino acids and may or may not be carbonated. They are a subset of the larger group of energy products, which includes bars and gels.
Coffee, tea and other naturally caffeinated beverages are usually not considered energy drinks. Soft drinks such as cola, may contain caffeine, but are also not energy drinks. Some alcoholic beverages, such as Four Loko, contain caffeine and other stimulants and are marketed as energy drinks, although such drinks are banned in some American states.
Energy drinks were an active subset of the early soft drink industry, which was originally dominated by pharmacists and less scrupulous patent medicine salesmen. Coca-Cola, for instance, was originally marketed as an energy booster; its name was derived from its two active ingredients, both known stimulants: Coca leaves and kola nuts (a source of caffeine). Fresh coca leaves were replaced by "spent" ones in 1904 because of concerns over the use of cocaine in food products.
In the UK, Lucozade Energy was originally introduced in 1929 as a hospital drink for "aiding the recovery;" in the early 1980s, it was promoted as an energy drink for "replenishing lost energy."
One of the first energy drinks introduced in America was Dr. Enuf. Its origins date back to 1949, when a Chicago businessman named William Mark Swartz was urged by coworkers to formulate a soft drink fortified with vitamins as an alternative to sugar sodas full of empty calories. He developed an "energy booster" drink containing B vitamins, caffeine and cane sugar. After placing a notice in a trade magazine seeking a bottler, he formed a partnership with Charles Gordon of Tri-Cities Beverage to produce and distribute the soda. Dr. Enuf is still being manufactured in Johnson City, TN and sold sparsely throughout the nation.
In Japan, the energy drink dates at least as far back as the early 1960s, with the release of the Lipovitan. However, most such products in Japan bear little resemblance to soft drinks, and are sold instead in small brown glass medicine bottles or cans styled to resemble such containers. These "eiyō dorinku" (literally, "nutritional drinks") are marketed primarily to salaryman. Bacchus-F, a South Korean drink closely modeled after Lipovitan, also appeared in the early 1960s, and targets a similar demographic.
In 1985, Jolt Cola was introduced in the United States. Its marketing strategy centered on the drink's caffeine content, billing it as a means to promote wakefulness. The initial slogan was, "All the sugar and twice the caffeine."
In 1995, PepsiCo launched Josta, the first energy drink introduced by a major US beverage company (one that had interests outside energy drinks), but Pepsi discontinued the product in 1999. Pepsi would later return to the energy drink market with the AMP brand.
In Europe, energy drinks were pioneered by the Lisa and a product named Power Horse, before the business savvy of Dietrich Mateschitz, an Austrian entrepreneur, ensured his Red Bull product became far better known, and a worldwide best seller. Mateschitz developed Red Bull based on the Thai drink Krating Daeng, itself based on Lipovitan. Red Bull is the dominant brand in the US after its introduction in 1997, with a market share of approximately 47%.
By 2001, the US energy drink market had grown to nearly 8 million per year in retail sales. Over the next 5 years, it grew an average of over 50% per year, totaling over $3 billion in 2005. Diet energy drinks are growing at nearly twice that rate within the category, as are 16-ounce (470 ml) sized energy drinks. The energy drink market became a $5.4 billion dollar market in 2007, and both Goldman Sachs and Mintel predicted that it would hit $10 billion by 2010. Major companies such as Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Molson, and Labatt have tried to match smaller companies' innovative and different approach, with marginal success.
Energy drinks are typically attractive to young people. Approximately 66% percent of its drinkers are between the ages of 13 and 35 years old, with males being approximately 65% of the market. A 2008 statewide Patient Poll conducted by the Pennsylvania Medical Society's Institute for Good Medicine found that: 20% of respondents ages 21–30 had used energy drinks in high school or college to stay awake longer to study or write a paper; 70% of respondents knew someone who had used an energy drink to stay awake longer to study or work. Energy drinks are also popular as drink mixers.
UK supermarkets have launched their own brands of energy drinks at lower prices than the major soft drink manufacturers. These are mostly produced by Canadian beverage maker Cott. Tesco supermarkets sell 'Kx"'(used to be known as 'Kick') in 250 mL cans and 1 L bottles, Sainsbury's sell 'Blue Bolt' in similar packaging, Asda sell 'Blue Charge' in similar packaging and Morrison's sell 'Source' in 250 mL cans. Cott sells a variety of other branded energy drinks to independent retailers in various containers.
Since 2002, there has been a growing trend for packaging energy drink in bigger cans. Since in many countries, including the US and Canada, there is a limitation on the maximum caffeine per serving in energy drinks, this allows manufacturers to include a greater amount of caffeine by including multiple servings per container. Popular brands such as Red Bull, Hype Energy Drinks and Monster have increased the amount of ounces per can. (For example, when Red Bull first came on the U.S. market, it was primarily in 250 mL (8.4 oz.) cans; it now sells cans as big as 600 mL (20 oz.), and Monster now sells a can as big as 32 oz. (946 mL).) Most energy drinks in the United States, with a few exceptions, primarily sell their drinks in 16 oz. (473 mL) cans, a trend provoked in part by companies such as Rockstar Energy promoting the 16-ounce cans over Red Bull's smaller ones in the mid-2000s. Conversely, the emergence of energy shots has gone the opposite way with much smaller packaging.
In 2007, energy drink powders and effervescent tablets were introduced, in the form of a tablet or powder that can be added to water to create an energy drink. These can offer a more portable option to cans and shots.
As of 2009, the industry has moved towards the use of natural stimulants and reduced sugar.
Energy drinks generally contain methylxanthines (including caffeine), B vitamins, and herbs. Other commonly used ingredients are carbonated water, guarana, yerba mate, açaí, and taurine, plus various forms of ginseng, maltodextrin, inositol, carnitine, creatine, glucuronolactone, and ginkgo biloba. Some contain high levels of sugar, and many brands offer artificially sweetened 'diet' versions. A common ingredient in most energy drinks is caffeine (often in the form of guarana or yerba mate). Caffeine is the stimulant that is found in coffee and tea. There is little or no evidence that any of the ingredients found in energy drinks other than caffeine or sugar have a significant physiological effect.
Energy drinks contain about three times the amount of caffeine as cola. Twelve ounces of Coca-Cola Classic contains 35 mg of caffeine, whereas a Monster Energy Drink contains 120 mg of caffeine.
Energy drinks have the effects caffeine and sugar provide, but there is little or no evidence that the wide variety of other ingredients have any effect. However, a variety of physiological and psychological effects have been attributed to energy drinks and their ingredients. Two studies reported significant improvements in mental and cognitive performances as well as increased subjective alertness. Excess consumption of energy drinks may induce mild to moderate euphoria primarily caused by stimulant properties of caffeine and may also induce agitation, anxiety, irritability and insomnia. During repeated cycling tests in young healthy adults an energy drink significantly increased upper body muscle endurance. It has been suggested that reversal of caffeine withdrawal is a major component of the effects of caffeine on mood and performance.
Restorative properties were shown by a combination of caffeine and the sugar glucose in an energy drink, and some degree of synergy between the cognition-modulating effects of glucose and caffeine was also suggested. In one experiment, a glucose-based energy drink (containing caffeine, taurine and glucuronolactone) was given to eleven tired participants being tested in a driving simulator. Lane drifting and reaction times were measured for two hours post-treatment and showed significant improvement.
Two articles concluded that the improved information processing and other effects could not be explained in terms of the restoration of plasma caffeine levels to normal following caffeine withdrawal.
Consumption of a single energy drink will not lead to excessive caffeine intake, but consumption of two or more drinks in a single day can. Other stimulants such as ginseng are often added to energy drinks and may enhance the effects of caffeine, and ingredients such as guarana themselves contain caffeine. Adverse effects associated with caffeine consumption in amounts greater than 400 mg include nervousness, irritability, sleeplessness, increased urination, abnormal heart rhythms (arrhythmia), and dyspepsia. Consumption also has been known to cause pupil dilation when taken with certain antidepressants or SSRIs. Most mainstream energy drinks do not provide electrolytes, and have a higher likelihood of an energy "crash-and-burn" effect. Caffeine in energy drinks can cause the excretion of water from the body to dilute high concentrations of sugar entering the blood stream, leading to dehydration. If the body is dehydrated by 1%, performance is decreased by up to 10%.
In the US, energy drinks have been linked with reports of nausea, abnormal heart rhythms and emergency room visits. The drinks may cause seizures due to the "crash" following the energy high that occurs after consumption. Caffeine dosage is not required to be on the product label for food in the United States, unlike drugs, but some advocates are urging the FDA to change this practice.
Effects of caffeine 
In November 2010, the University of Texas Medical School at Houston reported that energy drinks contain more caffeine than a strong cup of coffee, and that the caffeine combined with other ingredients (sometimes not reported correctly on labels) such as guarana, taurine, other herbs, vitamins and minerals may interact. Energy drinks consumed with alcohol may affect heart rates, blood pressure and even mental states. The caffeine content of energy drinks range from 80–300 mg per 16-oz serving whereas a 16-oz cup of coffee can contain 70–200 mg.
Health experts say caffeine prevents sleepiness and delays the feeling of drunkenness normally experienced when drinking alcohol, causing some people to continue drinking after they normally would have stopped. Caffeine is a very mild diuretic in comparison with alcohol, but some experts believe that mixing energy drinks with alcohol can cause greater dehydration than alcohol alone.
Health concerns and sales restrictions 
The energy drink Red Bull did not get market approval in France after the death of an 18-year-old Irish athlete, Ross Cooney, who died within hours after playing a basketball game and consuming four cans of the product. This market approval was challenged in the European Court of Justice in 2004, and consequently lifted. Norway did not allow Red Bull for a while, although this has recently been revoked. The United Kingdom investigated the drink, but only issued a warning against its consumption by children and pregnant women.
In November 2012, President Ramzan Kadyrov of Chechnya (Russian Federation) ordered his government to develop a bill banning the sale of energy drinks, arguing that as a form of "intoxicating drug", such drinks were "unacceptable in a Muslim society". Kadyrov cited reports of one death and 530 hospital admissions in 2012 due to "poisoning" from the consumption of such drinks. A similar view was expressed by Gennady Onishchenko, Chief Sanitary Inspector of Russia.
In 2009, a school in Hove, England requested that local shops refrain from selling energy drinks to students. Headteacher Malvina Sanders added that "This was a preventative measure, as all research shows that consuming high-energy drinks can have a detrimental impact on the ability of young people to concentrate in class." The school negotiated for their local branch of the Tesco supermarket to display posters asking students not to purchase the products. Similar measures were taken by a school in Oxted, England, which banned students from consuming drinks and sent letters to parents.
Some countries have certain restrictions on the sale and/or manufacture of energy drinks for example; in Australia and New Zealand, energy drinks are regulated under the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code; limiting the caffeine content of 'formulated caffeinated beverages' (energy drinks) at 320 mg/L (9.46 mg/oz) and soft-drinks at 145 mg/L (4.29 mg/oz). Mandatory caffeine labeling is issued for all food products containing guarana. On June 7, 2012, the parliament of Latvia approved changes in the legislation of sale of consumable goods, to prohibit sale of energy drinks to persons under the age of 18.
As of 2013 in the United States some energy drinks, including Monster Energy and Rockstar Energy, were reported to be rebranding their products as beverages rather than as dietary supplements. As beverages they would be relieved of F.D.A. reporting requirements with respect to deaths and injuries and can be purchased with food stamps, but must list ingredients on the can.
Energy shots 
Energy shots are a specialized kind of energy drink. Whereas most energy drinks are sold in cans or bottles, energy shots are usually sold in smaller 50ml bottles. Energy shots can contain the same total amount of caffeine, vitamins or other functional ingredients as their larger versions, and may be considered concentrated forms of energy drinks. The marketing of energy shots generally focuses on their convenience and availability as a low-calorie "instant" energy drink that can be taken in one swallow (or "shot"), as opposed to energy drinks that encourage users to drink an entire can, which may contain 250 calories or more.
Caffeinated alcoholic energy drinks 
Energy drinks such as Red Bull are often used as mixers with alcoholic beverages, producing mixed drinks such as Vodka Red Bull which are similar to but stronger than rum and coke with respect to the amount of caffeine that they contain. They are also sold in a wide variety of formulations such as Four Loko and Joose which combine caffeine and alcohol. Four Loko, a product of Phusion Projects, was originally promoted through young employees who were hired to introduce the product to their peer group.
Through separate mechanisms, energy drinks act as stimulants, and alcohol as depressants. Mixing a depressant with a stimulant sends mixed signals to the nervous system and can cause cardiac problems such as heart arrhythmia. In addition, energy drinks can lessen some of the subjective effects of alcohol while making the drinker feel more stimulated and less fatigued. However, they may be unable to counteract some of the psychomotor impairments of alcohol intoxication. Consequently, the mix can be particularly hazardous as energy drinks can mask the influence of alcohol and a person may misinterpret their actual level of intoxication. In fact, people who drink mixers are more likely than non-mixers to drink more alcohol, and are also more likely to suffer alcohol-related consequences such as injury or being an intoxicated driver, even after adjusting for the number of drinks. Although people decide to drink energy drinks with alcohol with the intent of counteracting alcohol intoxication, another large majority do so to hide the taste of alcohol. Researchers at the Human Performance Laboratory have suggested people refrain from mixing such powerful stimulants with alcohol, they believe it might cause cardiopulmonary or cardiovascular failures. As of November 10, 2010 caffeinated alcoholic energy drinks had been banned in Washington and Michigan in the United States. The bans followed a widely publicized incident which resulted in hospitalization in the Fall of 2010 of college students who had consumed several cans of Four Loko caffeinated alcoholic beverage. Utah, which has state controlled liquor retail outlets, after studying them, never permitted the sale of caffeinated alcoholic energy drinks. The products will no longer be delivered to Oklahoma after December 3, 2010 and delivery to retailers has been suspended in New York.
On November 17, 2010, the US Food and Drug Administration warned four companies, Charge Beverages Corp., New Century Brewing Co., Phusion Projects, and United Brands Company Inc, that the caffeine added to their malt alcoholic beverages is an "unsafe food additive" and said that further action, including seizure of their products, may occur under federal law. In a press release, the FDA states "there is evidence that the combinations of caffeine and alcohol in these products pose a public health concern." They also state that concerns have been raised that caffeine can mask some of the sensory cues individuals might normally rely on to determine their level of intoxication. Warning letters were issued to each of the four companies requiring them to provide to the FDA in writing within 15 days of the specific steps the firms will be taking.
Manufacturers have argued that drinking a caffeinated alcoholic energy drink is indistinguishable from drinking a couple of glasses of wine followed by a couple of cups of coffee.
Relaxation drinks 
Several beverages have been marketed in the 2000s as "anti-energy", "chill out", or "relaxation" drinks, including Lava Cola, Slow Cow, Drank, Marley's Mellow Mood, Mary Jane's Relaxing Soda, Chill, Calm, Malava Kava, V.i.B., Relax by Rockstar and Jones Gaba. They are growing in popularity, with sales doubling from 2008 to 2010, and expected to more than double again by 2014. They contain ingredients such as theanine and melatonin.
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