Energy Drinks

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

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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. Since 2010, the BSDA has operated a voluntary Code of Practice agreeing not to market or promote products to under 16s. 

Sales of Low/No Calorie Sports & Energy Drinks rose by 0.8 percentage points in 2020.

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?

The 2015 European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Opinion confirms the safety of energy drinks and their ingredients and therefore does not provide any scientific justification to treat energy drinks differently than the main contributors to daily caffeine intake in all age groups, i.e. tea, coffee, chocolate and other non-alcoholic beverages. The EFSA Opinion can be found here.


Further information on energy drinks can be found here

Sports & Energy Drinks calorie split 2020

About Soft Drinks