Energy drinks are functional non-alcoholic beverages designed for busy and active people.
Energy drinks are a type of non-alcoholic beverage containing caffeine that aim to give you an energy boost during the day.
An energy drink can contain a maximum of 80mg of caffeine per 250ml, which is about the same as in a cup of instant coffee.
Energy drinks may include other ingredients such as:
- Ginseng, which has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries as a medicinal herb and has reputed benefits such as increased energy, improved memory and stress relief.
- B Vitamins that help you convert carbohydrates into energy.
- Guarana, a source of caffeine from the seeds of a South American plant.
- Taurine, an amino acid that occurs in the human body naturally and is involved in many important functions.
- Glucuronolactone, a derivative of natural sugar and is produced in the liver through the metabolism of glucose.
- Inositol is a form of carbohydrate produced from glucose and is also found in the human body.
Energy drinks, like all products containing caffeine, should be enjoyed in moderation.
Did you know New Zealand was an early pioneer of energy drink regulation?
New Zealand has some of the strongest regulations on energy drinks in the world. All energy drinks sold in New Zealand must comply with Standard 2.6.4: Formulated Caffeinated Beverages of the Australia and New Zealand Food Standards Code.
By law, energy drinks cannot contain more than 32mg of caffeine per 100ml. This means there is a maximum of 80mg of caffeine in a standard 250ml energy drink serving – the equivalent to a cup of instant coffee.
All ingredients used in an energy drinks have been approved as safe by Food Standards Australia and New Zealand.
You can learn more about energy drinks by visiting the website: What's the go with energy drinks?
Our Energy Drinks Commitments
Beverage Council members are committed to the responsible marketing and promotion of energy drinks.
That is why our members who are involved in the manufacture and distribution of energy drinks have agreed to the following commitments:
- Not direct any marketing activities at children
- Not sell energy drinks in primary or secondary schools
- Not provide samples of energy drinks to children
- Not market energy drinks as only providing hydration
- Not promote excessive consumption of energy drinks
- Not use labelling to promote the mixing of energy drinks with alcoholic beverages
- Provide consumers with the latest information on energy drinks on the New Zealand Beverage Council website.
You can view our energy drink commitments below:
Energy drinks and Children
Children are naturally full of all the energy they need.
That is why energy drinks are not marketed towards children and why, like all products containing caffeine, consumption by children is not recommended.
Evidence shows that the vast majority of children are not consuming energy drinks. In fact, consumption data shows that kids are only consuming a small amount of caffeine in their diet and only a tiny fraction of this caffeine can be attributed to energy drinks.
Energy drinks and alcohol
Ordinary consumption of alcohol mixed with energy drinks is safe and poses no special or unique risk.
Caffeinated mixers are common – whether it’s a scotch and cola, an espresso martini, or a coffee at dinner after drinking wine. In fact, we have been consuming caffeine and alcohol together for decades. Any negative effects from alcohol are from the alcohol itself.
In 2015, the European Food Safety Authority released its landmark scientific opinion on the safety of caffeine. Regarding alcohol and caffeine, the EFSA confirmed it is safe to mix alcohol and caffeine and mixed consumption does no mask or hide the feeling of being drunk.
You can learn more by viewing our Alcohol and Energy Drinks Factsheet below: