Ask most people what is in the energy drink they're chugging down, and most will only be able to list two of them...sugar and caffeine. If that was really all of the ingredients, you'd probably be wired, non-stop after drinking it. Either that or you'd be in a caffeine and sugar coma. The truth is that most energy drinks have a lot more to them than just the sugar and caffeine. Here is a list of ingredients commonly found in energy drinks, and what those ingredients actually do:
Guarana seed - A stimulant that comes from a small shrub native to Brazil and the Amazon basin. This ingredient is estimated to contain twice the level of caffeine as the coffee bean.
Ginseng - This root is shaped like a man, which is why it is also referred to as the man-root. Many believe that it has medicinal properties, from reducing stress and boosting energy levels to even the treatment of sexual dysfunction.
Taurine - Taurine is an amino acid that supports neurological development and helps regulate the level of water and mineral salts in the blood. Taurine is also thought to have antioxidant properties. It is naturally produced by the body and also helps regulate muscle contraction and heartbeat.
Ginkgo biloba - Made from the seeds of the ginkgo biloba tree, thought to enhance memory. The Ginkgo is a unique species of tree which is widely cultivated and has various uses as a food and in traditional medicine.
Ephedrine - A sympathomimetic amine compound commonly used as a stimulant, appetite suppressant, concentration aid and decongestant. The medical community still isn't 100% behind the use of ephedrine, due to concerns over its effect on the cardiovascular system.
B-vitamins - A group of water-soluble vitamins crucial to cell metabolism. These vitamins can convert sugar to energy which, given the amount of sugar in most energy drinks, can probably come in handy.
Carnitine - An amino acid that plays a role in fatty acid metabolism. In living cells, it is required for the transport of fatty acids from the cytosol into the mitochondria during the breakdown of lipids (fats) for the generation of metabolic energy.
Creatine - An organic acid that works by supplying energy to fuel muscle contractions.
Inositol - A member of the vitamin B complex (not a vitamin itself, because the human body can synthesize it) that helps relay messages within cells in the body. Inositol is basically a carbohydrate, but not a traditional sugar. It is almost tasteless, though acute taste buds can register a minute amount of sweetness.