Energy Drinks

Energy drinks provide functional benefits by boosting energy and alertness. The functionality is obtained from ingredients such as glucose, caffeine or taurine.

Energy is traditionally obtained from sugars; typically sucrose and glucose, and stimulant energy from caffeine, taurine and other ingredients including glucuronolactone, inositol and B vitamins.

Energy drinks that have a high caffeine content are legally required to be labelled as having a high caffeine content (see BSDA code of practice ).


How much caffeine is typically in an energy drink?

The exact amount will depend on the recipe used but if it is over 150mg/l the amount will be declared on the pack.
Caffeine contents for typical foods are shown below:


mg caffeine

cup of filter coffee (200ml)


an espresso (60ml)


cup of black tea (220ml)


regular cola drink (330ml)

up to 40

regular energy drink (250ml)


plain chocolate bar (50g)


(Source EFSA 2015)

Are energy drinks safe?

High caffeine soft drinks and their ingredients have been carefully studied by the regulatory authorities worldwide and have been recognised as safe. Latest reviews of the scientific evidence suggest that children can be more susceptible to the stimulant effects of caffeine than adults because they are smaller and unlike many adults, they are not used to it on a regular basis.  On a precautionary basis it is recommended that high caffeine content soft drinks should not be consumed by children.  However, this does not mean that the drinks are unsafe, and we firmly believe parents should decide what is right for their families.  (further detail can be found on the FSA website)

Are energy drinks allowed in schools?

Since 2007 the School Food Trust has set strict rules on what drinks are allowed to be sold in schools - soft drinks containing added sugar (including energy drinks) are not permitted. Some schools have gone further and banned students from bringing high caffeine content soft drinks into school from outside.  Schools and parents have an important role to play in educating children about the food and drink they should be consuming - high caffeine soft drinks are labelled as not suitable for children so that people can make an informed choice.


% Calorie split, 2015

About Soft Drinks