The International Society of Sports Nutrition is the latest expert assessment that caffeine and carbohydrates are the only proven performance enhancers in energy drinks.
In a position paper, the group states:
“Although [energy drinks] and [energy shots] contain a number of nutrients that are purported to affect mental and/or physical performance, the primary ergogenic nutrients in most [energy drinks] and [energy shots] appear to be carbohydrate and/or caffeine. The ergogenic value of caffeine on mental and physical performance has been well-established but the potential additive benefits of other nutrients contained in [energy drinks] and [energy shots] remains to be determined.”
The group also advises that children and adolescents should get parental approval before consuming energy drinks. In addition, the group states that, for everyone, “Indiscriminant use of [energy drinks] or [energy shots], especially if more than one serving per day is consumed, may lead to adverse events and harmful side effects.”
The group’s position paper adds to much recent cautionary advice about energy drinks.