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Energy Drinks Provide Nothing But Effects of Caffeine

Update Date: Dec 17, 2012 07:54 AM EST
Energy drink, AMA
The AMA stated that it would support a ban that prevents energy drink manufacturers from targeting children. (Photo : Wikimedia Commons)

Energy drinks are often endorsed with the mention of ingredients they contain such as guarana and ginseng, known to boost the mind and body.

However, a new study suggests that beverages such as Redbull have only one useful ingredient, which is caffeine.

According to the study, even though many energy drinks claim they contain ingredients such as taurine, guarana and ginseng, there is an "overwhelming lack of evidence to substantiate claims that these ingredients boost performance," Mail Online reports.

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The findings of the research cast doubt on the physical and mental enhancement claimed by the drinks and also suggest that the only benefit is perhaps from the generous dose of caffeine.

For the study, researchers examined dozens of articles written on the effects of energy ingredients (taurine, guarana, ginseng, glucuronolactone, B-vitamins, and other compounds) and/or in combination with caffeine.

Except for a little evidence of benefits from glucose and guarana extract, there was hardly any evidence supporting claims of benefits from other components of energy drinks, other than caffeine.

A previous study conducted earlier this year revealed that the caffeine content in energy drinks is up to 14 times more in comparison to other soft drinks.

Also, doctors warn that children who are given energy drinks may gain weight because they are not active enough to burn those extra calories. They should instead be given water, fruit juice or low-fat milk.

The study was published in the Nutrition Reviews journal.

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