Energy Drinks

Formulated caffeinated beverages, or energy drinks, are non-alcoholic beverages which contain energy boosting substances. These drinks should not be confused with sports or isotonic drinks whose aim is to rehydrate and balance electrolytes. Formulated caffeinated beverages are generally carbonated or lightly carbonated, and will include the addition of caffeine and/or guarana, a herbal source of caffeine. A formulated caffeinated beverage must contain no less than 145 mg/L and no more than 320 mg/L of caffeine (roughly the amount found in a cup of instant coffee).

In addition, energy drinks usually have a number of added water-soluble vitamins, most often a selection of B vitamins including niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, and vitamin B12. Ingredients can also include amino acids such as taurine and glucuronolactone. Flavourings, colourings and other additives that are permitted in soft drinks may also be added to energy drinks.

Energy Drink Regulations

Energy drinks are regulated under the under Standard 2.6.4 (Formulated Caffeinated Beverages) of the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code. The Code specifies maximum levels of substances which can be added to an energy drink. Some energy drinks are still produced under the New Zealand Dietary Supplements Regulations (1985) made under the New Zealand Food Act (1981). Food Standards Code also states that a formulated caffeinated beverage must not be mixed with a non-alcoholic soft drink to form a product.

 Energy Drinks % DI & Labelling

Additionally, energy drinks have specific labelling requirements that state that all formulated caffeinated beverage must include declarations of the average quantities, per serving size and per 100mL, of caffeine, and any of the substances listed above, if they are added to the drink. It must be stated that the drinks are not recommended for children, pregnant or lactating women, or caffeine sensitive persons. All beverages produced by members of the Australian Beverages Council must comply with the strict regulations set by Food Standards Australia New Zealand.

Below is a table of permitted substances and the maximum permitted amount that can be added to energy drinks listed in the FSANZ Code

Substance Maximum amount per one-day quantity
Thiamin 40 mg
Riboflavin 20 mg
Niacin 40 mg
Vitamin B6 10 mg
Vitamin B12 10 µg
Pantothenic acid 10 mg
Taurine 2000 mg
Glucuronolactone 1200 mg

 

For More information about energy drinks and their regulation within the beverages industry please see  Industry Commitments for Energy Drinks.

Industry Voluntary Code on Manufacturing and Marketing of Energy Shots (FINAL 29 April 2010)