Less Is More for Energy Drinks
“Energy ‘shot-type’ drinks can contain as much as 500 mg of caffeine per drink — about five times the amount of caffeine in a typical cup of brewed coffee,” says Lauri Wright, PhD, assistant professor of nutrition at the University of South Florida’s College of Public Health and a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. “A healthy adult can safely consume two energy drinks a day, but I don’t recommend them for people 18 or under,” says Dr. Wright.
And it’s not just the megadoses of caffeine that make these drinks a poor choice for a quick pick-me-up. “Energy drinks, energy shots, and sodas are manufactured to provide energy with little nutritional benefit,” warns Rania Batayneh, MPH, a nutritionist and owner of Essential Nutrition for You, a nutrition consulting firm.
“Some energy drinks can contain as much as 70 grams of sugar — the equivalent of 17.5 teaspoons,” she says.