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Dec 16, 2012, 07.33 PM IST | Source: PTI

Energy drinks no more effective than a cup of coffee?

Scientists say there is an "overwhelming lack of evidence" that ingredients in energy drinks, other than caffeine, enhance physical or cognitive performance.

Scientists say there is an "overwhelming lack of evidence" that ingredients in energy drinks, other than caffeine, enhance physical or cognitive performance. In a new study published in the Nutrition Reviews journal, researchers suggested the main benefit of energy drinks is probably down to a generous dose of caffeine. Researchers found that while energy drinks often contain ingredients such as taurine, guarana and ginseng, there is an "overwhelming lack of evidence to substantiate claims that these ingredients boost performance".

Energy drinks often contain taurine, guarana, ginseng, glucuronolactone, B-vitamins, and other compounds. The researchers went through dozens of articles that examined the effects of energy ingredients alone and/or in combination with caffeine, the 'Daily Mail' reported. With the exception of some weak evidence for glucose and guarana extract, there was little evidence substantiating claims that components of energy drinks, other than caffeine, contribute to the enhancement of physical or cognitive performance.

Earlier this year, a study found that energy drinks have up to 14 times more caffeine than other soft drinks. Furthermore, doctors warned that children given energy drinks could pile on the pounds because they are not active enough to burn off the extra calories. They say energy drinks - which contain between 10 and 270 calories a serving - should never be given to children. Instead they should be offered water to quench their thirst, and drink the recommended daily amount of fruit juice and low-fat milk with meals.

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