Caffeine is naturally contained in a variety of plants, like coffee beans, tea leaves, cocoa beans, kola nuts, guarana and yerba mate plants. Caffeine can also be produced synthetically. There is no difference between natural and synthetic caffeine, both are safe to consume.
Caffeine is the characteristic ingredient in energy drinks which typically have a caffeine content of 32 mg per 100 ml. Its stimulating effect has been assessed by scientists for centuries. Recently, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) – which is the risk assessment body for food safety in the European Union – positively assessed health claims for caffeine relating to increased endurance performance, endurance capacity and reduction in the rated perceived exertion/effort during exercise.
In the European Union, provisions regarding the labelling of caffeine containing beverages with a caffeine content of more than 150 mg per litre are in place (Food Information to Consumers Regulation (EU) No 1169/2011). According to this regulation, energy drinks must indicate on their label “High caffeine content. Not recommended for children or pregnant or breast feeding women” followed by a quantitative indication of the products’ caffeine content expressed in mg per 100 ml. These statements can be found on all energy drinks sold in the European Union.