The Truth About Energy Drinks

By Keri Peterson, MD Internal Medicine, New York, NY Women’s Health Magazine

Posted on | By Keri Peterson, MD

Energy drinks are one of the fastest growing drinks in America. They promise to make you more alert, focused and invigorated. Energy drinks do achieve their goal – they can reduce sleepiness and make you feel more alert. But it may be at a cost to your health. They can cause significant side effects and there are insufficient studies to show that they are safe.

Here is a breakdown of the types of energy drinks on the market, and the most commonly used ingredients and their potential side effects.


Energy drinks come in all sorts of formulations. Bottles. Cans. Shots. Powders. You name it.  With these different formulations, what you choose to drink is really a matter of preference but here are the differences:


These are premixed and ready to drink. They can be sipped throughout the day. With this option, pay attention to serving size because many bottles can be two serving sizes or more; if you drink the whole thing, you are getting more than double the dose of the ingredients on the label.


These come in smaller pocket-sized packaging. People typically chug the whole thing all at once. The full dose hits you hard and fast and lasts 5-6 hours. It’s also less fluid volume, so it’s easier on the bladder. Some brands are reported to be gritty or medicinal tasting.

Article written by Keri Peterson, MD
Internal Medicine, New York, NYWomen's Health Magazine