The healthiest energy drinks for adults contain low levels of caffeine, sugar and additives, and they supply their energy from ingredients other than sweeteners and artificial caffeine. Healthier sources of energy include green tea, green coffee beans, yerba mate, acerola cherries, goji berries and guayusa for their natural caffeine, vitamin and mineral content.
Healthy energy drinks for adults contain no more caffeine than the amount found in a cup of coffee, or about 200 to 300 milligrams. The higher caffeine levels found in most energy drinks raise blood pressure, lead to a loss of calcium and potassium and can cause vomiting, agitation, irregular heartbeat, rapid heartbeat, diarrhea, headaches and seizures. Some additives found in energy drinks, such as ma huang, kola nut, guarana and cocoa leaves, can increase the energy from caffeine as well as its adverse effects, and they can be addictive. The high amounts of sugar and artificial sweeteners found in typical energy drinks slow the absorption of water into the body and lead to an energy rush that quickly crashes, leaving the consumer with less energy than before they drank the product. Many of these additives are also linked to obesity, high blood pressure, high cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.