Energy drinks and sport
Energy drinks and exercise
Energy drinks are functional beverages with a beneficial effect for those who want to be active. They have not been formulated to deliver rehydration. Energy drinks are different from sports drinks due to their different composition and function. Sports drinks are specifically designed to help people rehydrate. They contain carbohydrates and electrolytes (such as sodium, chloride and potassium). Sports drinks normally do not contain ergogenic (performance enhancing) substances such as caffeine. In general, it is recommended to drink lots of water during sports, especially during intense exercise. The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA, 2015) has concluded that up to 200 mg of caffeine from all sources (including energy drinks) “do not raise safety concerns when consumed less than two hours prior to intense physical exercise under normal environmental conditions.”
Are energy drinks dehydrating?
No. None of the ingredients contained in energy drinks are dehydrating. This is also true for caffeine, which is contained in regular energy drinks in the same amount as in one normal cup of coffee. This was confirmed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the risk assessment body for food safety in the European Union (2015).
However, adequate fluid intake is crucial for the human body, especially during sports and intense exercises. Without adequate fluid intake, intense physical activities may lead to dehydration.
Energy drinks are functional beverages and not sports drinks designed for rehydration. Although they are water-based beverages which provide water to the body, they have not been formulated to deliver rehydration.
In general, it is recommended to drink lots of water during physical exertion, especially during intense exercise.