They're a common pick me up, and sometimes used to boost athletic performance, but energy drinks can often be confused with sports drinks.
A quick look at the label and you see might see a lot of words that you don't understand like Taurine and Guarana. They're put in there for energy, right along with caffeine. And if you're stopping by for a pick me up before the gym, that might sound good, but it could be harmful.
Registered Dietician Lisa Wojahn says energy drinks are sold as dietary supplements, which means they have less guidelines to follow from the Food and Drug Administration than other drinks. She says there's little research on how these supplements interact. Also, if you're going to work out, you might want to check the label.
Wojahn says, "These energy drinks, we want to think about a sports drink, like Gatorade or Poweraid. They may be marketed to improve sports performance sometimes but they really aren't designed in way that matches the specifications that we know helps exercise."
Energy drinks can dehydrate you, so make sure you're drinking a lot of water along with it, especially if you're heading to the gym.
Wojahn says there's little research about long term effects of energy drinks and that moderation is key. She recommends no more than one a day.