Do Energy Drinks Really Improve Athletic Performance?

Energy drinks are beverages that contain massive doses of sugar and caffeine, along with other ingredients such as the herb guarana and the amino acid taurine. They are often marketed to athletes -- but they are not sports drinks. However, a recent survey found that 32 percent of American high-school athletes reported drinking energy beverages, many in an attempt to improve their sports performance.

Do they work? A study of runners found that Red Bull did not improve the athletes’ run-to-exhaustion times. And because caffeine is a diuretic, it can contribute to dehydration. What’s more, the large amounts of sugar in energy drinks can cause diarrhea.

According to the New York Times:

“So should you or your teenage soccer player be drinking energy drinks? Not if your aim is to improve sports performance”.

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