What’s Really in Those “Other” Energy Drinks

Many people drink energy drinks to boost energy for various reasons. Drinking one can or glass of energy booster can help keep you alert and focused on tasks at hand. It is most common among teens that spend hours studying. Not to mention, some people also drink these when they need to drive for long hours.

Other times, many people also take help from energy drinks for waking up in the morning or gaining energy for a difficult workout. Regardless, energy drinks work like a magic potion that can instantly give you a burst of energy to have high levels of energy.

Ingredients like caffeine added sugars, and other herbal derivatives give energy drinks this power. While these can increase alertness and energize you, some forms of these ingredients can also be harmful.

Here are some ingredients to avoid in energy drinks.

Artificial Caffeine

As the name suggests, artificial caffeine is produced in the lab, unlike natural caffeine options. Most packaged foods and beverages contain this form of caffeine as it is much cheaper than natural caffeine.

According to a 2012 study, extracting caffeine from natural sources requires more resources, making it expensive. However, only energy drinks with clean caffeine from green tea are safe to consume.


Taurine is a naturally-occurring amino acid compound that contains sulfur. In particular, this sulfur-containing compound is concentrated in human eyes, muscles, heart, and brain.

While most amino acids are building blocks of protein, taurine is an exception. It is an essential amino acid that only becomes essential in health-concerning situations such as stress or illness. According to surveys and reports, 3 grams per day is the highest safe dose of taurine.

Side effects of taurine can include vomiting, nausea, stomach pain, headache and liver pain, etc.


Niacin is one of the eight water-soluble B vitamins of the B complex. It naturally occurs in many foods, and its two most common forms are nicotinamide and nicotinic. Usually, the body automatically converts the amino acid tryptophan into nicotinamide.

Since niacin is a water-soluble compound, it does not get excreted from the body. It works as a coenzyme in the body for various reactions and 400 other enzymes. While it performs special functions, overdosage of niacin can also lead to toxicity.

Some common signs of niacin toxicity are skin flushing, dizziness, fatigue, low blood pressure, nausea, blurred vision, impaired glucose tolerance, etc.


Ginseng is a plant available in different varieties that are part of various treatments in North American and Asian cultures. It is one of the most famous herbal medicines in the world. While ginseng has no natural sources, you can often find it as an ingredient in different foods and energy drinks.

Generally, ginseng has mild side effects that range from nervousness to insomnia. However, high doses and long-term use of ginseng can also cause serious allergic reactions and menstrual changes in women.


Sucralose, along with a combination of nutrients, vitamins, and herbal supplements, helps create a rush of energy. This compound is 600 times sweeter than regular sugar and 200 times sweeter than aspartame.

While sucralose can give you that instant burst of energy, it is not a safe compound to consume in high amounts. The body cannot break it down or convert it into energy or nutrition.

Most people consume energy drinks daily, so you must choose the right one. Make sure you try and avoid energy drinks containing the ingredients mentioned above. Don’t forget to share if and how these ingredients have affected you in the past.