Energy Drinks No More Effective Than Coffee

12/17/12 11:02AM EST

Taurine. Ginseng. Gaurana. Think your favorite energy drink packs an extra punch because of these special ingredients? Think again. According to new research, the only truly stimulating ingredient in energy drinks is caffeine—the same as a cup of coffee.

Although energy drinks claim their ingredients, which may also include glucuronolactone, B-vitamins and other compounds, enhance physical and cognitive performance, according to the study published in the Nutrition Reviews Journal, the study found an “overwhelming lack of evidence to substantiate claims that these ingredients boost performance.

Granted, energy drinks may have up to 14 times more caffeine than other soft drinks, but at those levels the stimulant can be toxic in rare cases, having been linked to seizures, diabetes, heart problems and behavioral problems—especially in children.

[Image via Shutterstock]

 

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