Background: Energy drinks are one of the most popular packaged beverage products consumed within the United States (US). Energy drinks are considered a functional beverage, a category that also includes sports drinks and nutraceutical beverages. Purpose: The focus of the current study was to examine the nutrition fact panels of the top selling commercially available energy drink and energy shot products within the US to characterize common ingredient profiles to help establish a standard definition and ingredient profile of energy drinks and energy shots for consumers, health care practitioners, and researchers. Methods: The top 75 commercially available energy drinks and shots were identified and compiled from multiple commercial retail websites as of September 2021. For the purpose of this study, an energy drink must have met the following criteria: (A) marketed as an energy drink; (B) purported to improve energy, focus, or alertness; (C) not sold as a dietary supplement (no supplement fact panels); (D) manufactured as a pre-packaged and ready-to-drink beverage; and (E) contains at least three of (1) caffeine, (2) B-vitamins, (3) sugar, (4) taurine, (5) creatine, (6) quercetin, (7) guarana, (8) ginseng, (9) coenzyme Q10, or (10) branched chain amino acids. Energy shots must have met similar criteria to be included: (A) marketed as an energy shot; (B) purported to improve energy, focus, or alertness; (C) sold as a dietary supplement; (D) manufactured as a pre-packaged beverage with a small volume (<3.5 mL); and (E) contains at least three of the ingredients stated above. Results: Twenty energy shots and fifty-five energy drinks were included in this analysis. The number of ingredients per product (mean ± SD) was 18.2 ± 5.7, with 15 products containing proprietary blends with undisclosed ingredient amounts. The relative prevalence and average amounts of the top ingredients were as follows: caffeine (100%; 174.4 ± 81.1 mg), vitamin B6 (72%; 366.9 ± 648.1 percent daily value (%DV)), vitamin B3 (67%; 121.44 ± 69.9% DV), vitamin B12 (67%; 5244.5 ± 10,474.6% DV), vitamin B5 (37.3%; 113.6 ± 76.6% DV), and taurine (37.3%; amounts undisclosed). Conclusions: Our findings suggest a high prevalence of caffeine and B-vitamins in these energy products, with many of the formulations containing well above the recommended daily value of B-vitamins
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Jagim, Andrew R.; Harty, Patrick S.; Barakat, Abdelrahman R.; Erickson, Jacob L.; Carvalho, Victoria; Khurelbaatar, Chinguun; Camic, Clayton L.; and Kerksick, Chad M., "Prevalence and Amounts of Common Ingredients Found in Energy Drinks and Shots" (2022). Faculty Scholarship. 403.