Facts about energy drinks

Do you know what’s in your energy drink? Our research shows that one 500ml energy drink can contain up to 17 level teaspoons of sugar and the same amount of caffeine as in 2 cups of espresso.

Remember energy drinks are not suitable for people under 16 years of age or pregnant or breast-feeding women. They should not be used as a way to rehydrate after sport or exercise or as mixers for alcohol.

Why children should not drink energy drinks

  • High doses of caffeine are unsafe to children, and can result in dangerous side effects and cause anxiety in children and adolescents.
  • Most energy drinks contain a large amount of sugar and calories, but no nutritional benefit.
  • Sugary energy drinks can cause weight gain and contribute to childhood obesity.  

Why pregnant and breastfeeding women should not drink energy drinks

  • It's a good idea for pregnant and breastfeeding women to restrict their caffeine intake to less than 200mg a day. This is about the same as 2 mugs of instant coffee.
  • Too much caffeine can increase your risk of miscarriage.
  • It can also increase your baby’s risk of being small or growing slowly.
  • Caffeine can reach your baby through your breast milk and may keep them awake.
  • Caffeine is a stimulant and can make your baby restless.

Why healthy adults should also avoid energy drinks

  • Sugary drinks are linked with poor dental health and excess weight.
  • Adults should drink no more 400 mg of caffeine over the course of a day.
  • The limit includes caffeine from all sources of caffeine – coffee and tea, as well as energy drinks.
  • Energy drinks should not be used as a way to rehydrate after sport or exercise or as mixers for alcohol.

Find out how much sugar and caffeine is in your favourite brand


Check the chart to compare different brands

poster showing energy drinks with sugar and caffeine