We're unable to sign you in at this time. Please try again in a few minutes.
We were able to sign you in, but your subscription(s) could not be found. Please try again in a few minutes.
There may be a problem with your account. Please contact the AMA Service Center to resolve this issue.
Contact the AMA Service Center:
Telephone: 1 (800) 262-2350 or 1 (312) 670-7827  *   Email: subscriptions@jamanetwork.com
Error Message ......
JAMA Patient Page |

Energy Drinks FREE

Janet M. Torpy, MD; Edward H. Livingston, MD
JAMA. 2013;309(3):297. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.170614.
Text Size: A A A
Published online

Beverages called energy drinks are popular, especially with teenagers and young adults. These energy drinks are advertised to give individuals a higher energy level, to make a person feel more awake, and to boost attention span.

Energy drinks are marketed in different serving sizes and have varying amounts of caffeine. Sodas (also known as pop, colas, or soft drinks) may contain sugar and caffeine, although most sodas contain less caffeine than energy drinks on an ounce-by-ounce basis. As a comparison, an 8-oz cup of coffee has about 100 mg of caffeine (see table). The January 16, 2013, issue of JAMA contains 2 articles discussing the harms associated with energy drinks.


  • Caffeine

  • Sugar

  • Guarana (a plant with seeds that contain caffeine)

  • Cocoa

  • B vitamins

  • Herbs, including ginseng, licorice, and kola nut


  • Increased heart rate

  • Irregular heart rate and palpitations

  • Increased blood pressure

  • Sleep disturbances, including insomnia

  • Diuresis (increased urine production)

  • Hyperglycemia (increased blood sugar) is related to all beverages with high sugar content. This can be harmful for individuals with diabetes or other metabolic health problems.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that young children should not consume energy drinks. Caffeine may be especially harmful for children. Adolescents should not have more than 100 mg of caffeine each day. Parents should monitor how much soda or coffee (or other beverages containing caffeine, including energy drinks of any kind) their teenagers drink and help them understand the risks associated with taking in large amounts of caffeine.

Adults should limit their caffeine intake to 500 mg per day. Individuals who have heart problems, high blood pressure, or trouble sleeping or who are taking medications should be careful to limit the amount of caffeine they drink. Older persons may be more sensitive to the effects of caffeine.

Energy drinks are regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration. However, the ingredients in energy drinks may be harmful to some individuals. It is important to read labels for any food or drink product that you consume. If you choose to use energy drinks, make sure you understand the ingredients and serving sizes listed on the label. Sources: American Academy of Pediatrics, American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Nutrition and the Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness, Mayo Clinic, National Institutes of Health, National Library of Medicine



To find this and previous JAMA Patient Pages, go to the Patient Page Index on JAMA 's website at www.jama.com. Many are available in English and Spanish.

Published Online: December 19, 2012. doi: 10.1001/jama.2012.170614

The JAMA Patient Page is a public service of JAMA. The information and recommendations appearing on this page are appropriate in most instances, but they are not a substitute for medical diagnosis. For specific information concerning your personal medical condition, JAMA suggests that you consult your physician. This page may be photocopied noncommercially by physicians and other health care professionals to share with patients. To purchase bulk reprints, call 312/464-0776.

This article was corrected for errors on January 8, 2013



Also Meets CME requirements for:
Browse CME for all U.S. States
Accreditation Information
The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
Note: You must get at least of the answers correct to pass this quiz.
Please click the checkbox indicating that you have read the full article in order to submit your answers.
Your answers have been saved for later.
You have not filled in all the answers to complete this quiz
The following questions were not answered:
Sorry, you have unsuccessfully completed this CME quiz with a score of
The following questions were not answered correctly:
Commitment to Change (optional):
Indicate what change(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.
Your quiz results:
The filled radio buttons indicate your responses. The preferred responses are highlighted
For CME Course: A Proposed Model for Initial Assessment and Management of Acute Heart Failure Syndromes
Indicate what changes(s) you will implement in your practice, if any, based on this CME course.


Spanish Patient Page: Bebidas energéticas

Supplemental Content

Some tools below are only available to our subscribers or users with an online account.

0 Citations

Related Content

Customize your page view by dragging & repositioning the boxes below.

See Also...
Articles Related By Topic
Related Collections
PubMed Articles