EFSA Spotlight: Is ALL Caffeine Created Equal?

A lot of caffeine conversations have focused on coffee, but many people turn to energy drinks for a quick caffeine boost. Are energy drinks different? Do other typical ingredients in energy drinks (such as taurine and D-glucurono-γ-lactone) affect the way your body responds to caffeine?


The scientific evidence says no. EFSA’s Scientific Opinion on caffeine safety affirms that the “consumption of other constituents of ‘energy drinks’ at concentrations commonly present in such beverages would not affect the safety of single doses of caffeine up to 200mg.”

In other words, the caffeine in your energy drink is just as safe as the caffeine in a cup of coffee.

If you’ve been keeping up with our series on the EFSA opinion, you know that “how much?” is a very important question when it comes to caffeine safety.

While the amount of caffeine in energy drinks can vary, most are pretty similar to a cup of coffee of the same size. A 250 mL energy drink (about 8.5 ounces) can have anywhere from 50-160 mg of caffeine, while an average 8-ounce cup of coffee has about 100 mg caffeine.

So when it comes to energy drinks, know that EFSA and other regulatory authorities say that you can safely get your caffeine boost, even if it comes in a can.

More questions about energy drinks and health? Check out our Q and A, and don’t miss our other EFSA Spotlights: What is a ‘Moderate Amount’ of Caffeine, Anyway? And 9 Months Without a Latte? Not So Fast.

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