What are energy drinks and why are they important?
In response, one question that I always ask is this one. Why would somebody need more energy?
I mean, the only time energy levels bottom out is when we skip sleep, skip workouts, and consume pathetic foods. Wait a minute, I just described most of North America. Ok, I guess I do understand why people are drawn to canned pick-me-ups!
Interestingly, the term "energy drink" is not recognized by the or USDA. The details around the regulation of these drinks are, well, kind of boring.
What Are Energy Drinks and Shots?
Although calories can provide energy, the energy these products promise derives from the stimulant caffeine.5 Energy drinks are flavored beverages containing varying amounts of caffeine and, typically, other additives, such as vitamins, taurine, theanine, carnitine, herbal supplements, creatine, sugars, and guarana, a plant product that naturally contains concentrated caffeine.
Energy drinks are readily available in cans or bottles at grocery stores, in vending machines, and at convenience stores as well as at bars and other outlets where alcohol also is sold.6 The iconic energy drink Red Bull, introduced in the United States in 1997, and Monster, which appeared in 2002, now account for the overwhelming majority of energy drink sales in the United States.
Energy drinks are promoted to improve concentration and alertness and to help both mental and physical performance. They've been advertised to "pump up the beast"; "vitalize body and mind"; "fuel your brain"; provide "focus, energy, and determination"; and help consumers "get animated."
Energy shots, compared with energy drinks, contain more concentrated sources of caffeine, have fewer ingredients and fewer calories, and generally are sold in small 50-mL containers. 5-Hour Energy makes up nearly 89% of the energy shot category.
Sports drinks aren't the same as energy drinks and energy shots, and the terms shouldn't be used interchangeably.5 Sports drinks are flavored beverages that often contain carbohydrates, minerals, electrolytes, and sometimes vitamins or other nutrients. They're designed to replenish rather than energize.5
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