Energy drink

Energy drinks are beverages which contain legal stimulants, vitamins, and minerals, including caffeine, guarana, taurine, various forms of ginseng, maltodextrin, carnitine, creatine, and ginkgo biloba. Some may contain high levels of sugar, or glucose. These drinks are typically marketed towards young people, students, people 'on the go' and those who play sports. Many such beverages are flavored and/or colored to resemble soft drinks.

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A variety of energy drinks are available; the skinny "bullet" can shape is popular.

Jolt Cola was one of the first energy drinks available in North America, being originally released in the 1980s. It was essentially just an extremely high caffeine, high sugar brand of cola. It pioneered the marketing strategy still widely in use by energy drinks today, targeting a generally younger audience, mostly students and professionals, important 'on the go' people, and billing itself as something that was not necessarily healthy but which would allow them to cram more hours into their day. Later, marketing turned further and further toward people involved in the technology industry, and consequently, energy drinks today are commonly associated with the image of a hacker or IT professional, sitting up late at his computer trying to stay awake. This is not an entirely inaccurate picture.

In Japan, the energy drink phenomenon dates at least as far back as the early 1960s, with the release of the Libovitan D drink from Taisho Pharmaceuticals. Most such products in Japan bear little resemblence to soft drinks, and are sold instead in small brown glass medicine bottles (or cans styled to resemble such containers). These "genki drinks" are marketed primarily to the salaryman set, to help them work long hours, or to stay awake on the late commute home.

Energy drinks are different from sports drinks. Most energy drinks simply provide lots of sugar and/or caffeine. Sports drinks are intended to replenish electrolytes, sugars, water, and other nutrients, and are usually isotonic (containing the same proportions as found in the human body).

Addiction potential

The only physically addictive ingredient in most of these drinks is caffeine, which causes physical addiction in large doses or with prolonged use (quantities in energy drinks are comparable to amounts in coffee). Since withdrawal from caffeine is usually mild (mainly headaches), addiction to energy drinks is mostly psychological.

List of energy drinks

External links



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