Current perspectives of caffeinated energy drinks on exercise performance and safety assessment

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Kreider RB.  Nutrition and Dietary Supplements 2018:10 35–44

Abstract

Energy drinks and energy shots have become very popular among athletes and the general population. They typically contain carbohydrate, caffeine, and other nutrients purported to enhance mental and/or physical performance. Additionally, several caffeine-containing pre-workout supplements have been developed which are commonly consumed as a drink prior to and/or during exercise. While occasional ingestion of these types of products appears to be safe and may offer some ergogenic benefit, individuals who consume these products indiscriminately need to be careful and consider how ingestion of these products may affect the total daily intake of caffeine and other stimulants throughout the day, to minimize any adverse events and/or harmful side effects. This review provides an update as to the current literature on energy drinks and energy shots and provides practical recommendations for their appropriate use among athletes.

Conclusion

EDs, shots, and PWSs are popular beverages in the society today. Most contain carbohydrate, caffeine, and other nutrients purported to improve exercise and/or cognitive performance. The preponderance of scientific evidence to date suggests that consumption of these products prior to exercise can improve anaerobic and endurance exercise capacity and/or cognitive performance without untoward side effects. However, the amount of caffeine and other stimulants contained in EDs, ESs, and PWSs needs to be considered as part of the total daily intake from food and beverages, so that individuals do not unknowingly consume excessive amounts of sugar and/or caffeine. Additionally, it is prudent for individuals with uncontrolled hypertension, arrhythmias, diabetes mellitus, peripheral artery disease, and/or cardiovascular disease to avoid use of EDs, ESs, and/or PWSs with known cardiostimulant effects. Additional research should evaluate the acute and chronic safety and efficacy of ingesting EDs, ESs, and PWSs on health and performance.

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