Energy Drink Survey

Energy drinks have been the subject of a heap of controversy recently. From claims of false advertising to disturbing news about deaths that followed energy drink consumption, not all is good in this $12.5 billion beverage sales category.1All the companies responded to the questions, except for Sambazon, which asked to be removed from the investigation, and 5-Hour Energy, which provided a copy of its patent in lieu of answering questions.The survey found that because some energy drinks are marketed as dietary supplements while others are sold as conventional beverages.

The FDA requires reporting of any incident of serious adverse effects related to dietary supplements, but not to beverages. 2Likewise, beverages do not need to list the quantities of their ingredients, whereas dietary supplements do — unless they are part of a “proprietary blend.” According to the congressional report, “The blurred distinction between supplements and beverages is a source of confusion for consumers.”

The company removed much of the taurine, guarana, b-vitamins, 3and other ‘mystery ingredients’ common to energy drinks from the product, streamlined the can, and went with a formulation that incorporated sugar, caffeine, and very little else in the way of energy boosters.