In this study, we examined and compared the physicochemical properties and some chemical constituents of selected energy drinks. We randomly purchased samples of 14 brands of energy drinks consisting of 11 liquids and 3 powders. All samples were analyzed for physicochemical properties (pH, turbidity, conductivity, total dissolved solids), trace metals, heavy metals, aspartame, sugar and caffeine content. The results were physicochemical properties (i.e., pH, turbidity, conductivity, and total dissolved solids) of 4.47 ± 0.012 – 5.96 ± 0.012, 8 ± 0.577 – 592 ± 1.155 NTU, 2.21 ± 0.006 – 1975 ± 1.732 µs /cm, and 243 ranges. ± 0.577 to 1064 ± 0.577 mg/l. All energy drinks analyzed were within FDA recommended ranges for the physicochemical properties analyzed. Iron, calcium, zinc and potassium are found in all energy drinks at concentrations of 1.961 ± 0.0003 to 0.294 ± 0.0005 mg/L, 2.763 ± 0.0009 to 19.310 ± 0.0015 mg/L and 0.045 ± 0.0001 to 13.887 ± 0.0037 It was in the mg/L range. or 2.0 to 2500 mg/L. Copper, lead, and manganese concentrations in energy drinks were 0.002 ± 0.0002 – 0.102 ± 0.0003 mg/L, 0.028 ± 0.0006 – 0.209 ± 0.0009 mg/L, and 0.003 ± 0.0001 – 0.024 ± 0.0002 mg/L, respectively. were below the MCL of 1.0 mg/L and 0.05 mg/L, respectively, while the lead concentration was above the MCL of 0.01 mg/L. Cadmium was not detected in all energy drinks except sample EJ, which had a concentration of 0.102 ± 0.0003 mg/L and exceeded the MCL of 0.005 mg/L. Caffeine, aspartame, and sugar concentrations ranged from 1.11 mg/L to 2487.13 mg/L, 6.51 mg/L to 1491.19 mg/L, and 16.98 to 1686.73 mg/L, respectively. Caffeine and aspartame concentrations in all the energy drink samples were below the FDA set standard of 400 mg/L and 3000 mg/L respectively except for sample AL which had a concentration above the set standard for caffeine. Though the analyzed parameters were mostly below the set standards, especially caffeine, aspartame and sugar, it is important that the pattern of consumption of these drinks must be monitored to minimize ingestion of excess doses of harmful substances to prevent the reported adverse effects.


Title page


Table of Contents

List of Abbreviations



1.1 Energy Drinks

1.2 Contents of Energy Drinks

1.2.1 Caffeine

1.2.2 Taurine

1.2.3 Guarana

1.2.4 Glucuronolactone

1.2.5 Ginseng

1.2.6 Vitamins

1.2.7 Sugar

1.3 Justification

1.4 Aim and Objectives



2.1 Review Work on Energy Drinks

2.2 Caffeine

2.2.1 Metabolism of caffeine

2.2.2 Caffeine and health

2.2.3 Research works on caffeine

2.3 Aspartame

2.3.1 Chemistry of aspartame

2.3.2 Biochemical data

2.4 Heavy Metal

2.4.1 Lead

2.4.2 Cadmium

2.4.3 Copper

2.4.4 Zinc

2.4.5 Manganese

2.4.6 Iron

2.4.7 Calcium

2.4.8 Potassium

2.5 Carbohydrates

2.5.1 Sugar

2.5.2 Added sugars

2.5.3 Sugar-sweetened beverage

2.5.4 Sugar-sweetened beverages and health risks

2.6 Research Work on Beverages




3.1.1 Chemicals and reagents

3.1.2 Preparation of stock solution Preparation of standard solution for AAS Preparation of standard solution for HPLC Preparation of standard solution for UV

3.1.3 Apparatus and equipments

3.1.4 Sample collection

3.1.5 Sample preparation Sample preparation for AAS Sample preparation for HPLC Sample preparation for UV

3.2 Analysis of Physicochemical Properties

3.2.1 Determination of pH

3.2.2 Determination of conductivity

3.2.3 Determination of turbidity

3.2.4 Total dissolved solid

3.3 Elemental Analysis

3.4 Determination of Carbohydrates (Sugar)

3.5 Determination of Caffeine and Aspartame

3.5.1 Preparation of pH 4.0 and pH 7.0 buffer solution

3.5.2 Buffer preparation

3.5.3 Mobile phase preparation

3.6 Statistical Analysis



4.1 Physicochemical Parameters of Samples

4.2 Metal Concentrations

4.2.1 Concentration of heavy metals

4.2.2 Concentrations of essential metals

4.3 Concentrations of Caffeine, Aspartame and Sugar



5.1 Physicochemical Parameters of the Samples

5.1.1 pH

5.1.2 Turbidity

5.1.3 Total dissolved solids

5.1.4 Conductivity

5.2 Metal Concentrations

5.2.1 Heavy metals Cadmium Lead Copper Manganese Zinc

5.2.2 Essential Metals Iron Calcium Potassium

5.3 Caffeine, Aspartame and Sugar Concentrations in Energy Drinks

5.3.1 Caffeine

5.3.2 Aspartame

5.3.3 Sugar


6.0 Conclusion

6.1 Recommendations



List of Abbreviations

AAS Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy

ATP Adenosine Triphosphate

CYP1A2 Cytochrome P450 1A2

CYP2A6 Cytochrome P450 2A6

DKP 5-benzyl-3, 6-dioxo-2-piperazine acetic acid

DNA Deoxyribonucleic Acid

EU European Union

FAO Food and Agriculture Organization

FDA Food and Drinks Administration

GC–MS Gas Chromatography–Mass Spectrometry

HDL High Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol

HPLC High Performance Liquid Chromatographic

NAT2 N-acetyltransferase 2

NAG N-acetyl-beta-glucosaminidase

NNS National Nutrition Survey

RDA Recommended Daily Allowance

RNA Ribonucleic Acid

SCF Scientific Committee for Food

SSB Sugar Sweetened Beverages

USA United States of America

UV Ultraviolet Visible Spectroscopy

WHO World Health Organization




Energy drinks refer to beverages that contain large doses of caffeine and other legal stimulants such as taurine, carbohydrates, glucuronolactone, inositol, niacin, panthenol, and β-complex vitamins which are considered as source of energy (Attila and Çakir, 2009). The consumption of readily available energy drinks has increased significantly with young adults forming the largest part of the consumers. History of energy drink dates back to 1987 when Red Bull was introduced in Austria. It became more popular in the 1990s following its introduction to the United States. Since then the sale of this drink has increased exponentially. In 2006, the energy drink market grew by 80% (Foran et al., 2011). This is because manufacturers claim the drink can increase physical strength, focus and reaction speed as well as energy levels (Van den Eynde et al., 2008).

In recent years, a variety of energy drinks have been introduced into the Nigerian market as energy boosters or nutritional supplements.These drinks are marketed specifically to children and young adults. These products were used for various reasons. A survey conducted among college students found that 67% of college students said they used energy drinks to deal with sleep deprivation, 65% said they increased energy, and 54% said they used them for fun at parties. said to use them. 50% used to study or complete a major course project, 45% used it

energy drink
Energy drinks first appeared in Europe and Asia in the 1960s in response to consumer demand for nutritional supplements that provided more energy (Reissig et al., 2008). In 1962, the Japanese company Taisho Pharmaceutical launched Lipovitan D. This is he one of the first energy drinks to dominate the Japanese market to this day. Since the 1960s, the energy drink market has grown into a multi-billion dollar business and is considered the fastest growing segment in the beverage industry. Energy drinks have gained a viable position in the beverage market, not only for the general consumer, but in particular, as evidenced by daily morning, afternoon and evening consumption from her 18 to he 34. (Lal, 2007).

The popularity of energy drinks and their increased consumption among adolescents and young adults has raised concerns about the general health and well-being of these consumers. Adolescents and young adults are often unaware of the contents of energy drinks (Rath, 2012).

energy drink ingredients
There are hundreds of energy drinks on the market, many with very similar ingredient profiles. Leaf, L-carnitine, sugar, antioxidants, glucuronolactone, yerba mate, creatine, acai berries, milk thistle, L-theanine, inositol, artificial sweeteners (Babu et al., 2008).

1.2.1 Caffeine

Caffeine is probably the most commonly consumed pharmacologically active substance in the world. It is one of the main ingredients in stimulant beverages and is also found in tea, coffee, and other beverages and foods. Caffeine is extracted from the raw fruit of the coffee plant (Coffea Arabica) over 60 species. They all belong to the methylxanthine family. The dimethylxanthine derivatives theophylline and theobromine are also found in many plants. It is also extracted from tea, cola nut and cocoa. Average total caffeine intake in the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom has been estimated at 214 mg and 278 mg per person per day, respectively (FSPB, 2010). Data from weekly consumption-based use studies indicate that stimulant users’ average daily caffeine intake from stimulants alone is about 35 mg, rising to about 90 mg for the highest users. (FSPB, 2010). This does not seem to be an exaggeration. However, when he examined stimulant drink consumption in one session, the average consumption of caffeine was about 240 mg (3 cans), increasing to about 640 mg (8 cans) in the highest users ( FSPB, 2010). Such high intakes by top consumers raise concerns, especially in relation to the known potential acute health effects of caffeine, such as tachycardia, elevated blood pressure, dehydration, as well as behavioral and cognitive effects. The health effects of chronic or habitual intake of caffeine remain unknown.

1.2.2 Taurine

Taurine (2-aminoethanesulfonic acid) is the most abundant sulfur-containing amino acid in our body, mainly in retinal, skeletal and cardiac muscle tissue (Timbrell et al., 1995; Imagawa et al., 2009). Taurine arises from the metabolism of methionine and cysteine ​​(Huxtable, 1992; Stipanuk, 2004). It is also found in common foods such as meat and fish. Data on stimulant drink intake for stimulant users show that his average daily intake of taurine from stimulant drinks is about 0.4 g, rising to about 1 g for the highest consuming female users. (FSPB, 2010). Most taurine consumed in one session from stimulant drinks averages about 3 g, increasing to about 8 g in the largest consumers (FSPB, 2010). Stimulate maximum intake of beverages.

1.2.4 Glucuronolactone

This is a natural substance that is produced in small amounts by the body. D-glucarate supplementation, including glucuronolactone, may benefit the body’s natural defense mechanisms to eliminate carcinogens and tumor promoters and their effects (Zołtaszek et al., 2008). Data from consumption surveys indicate that the average daily intake of glucuronolactone from stimulant drinks was approximately 0.25 g, increasing to approximately 0.7 g among the highest consumers (FSPB, 2010). Most glucuronolactone consumed per session from stimulant drinks averaged about 1.8 g, rising to about 4.8 g in the highest consumers (FSPB, 2010). These maximum intakes provide more glucuronolactone than is achieved by other foods and beverages in the diet. Little information is available regarding the risk assessment of glucuronolactone at these intake levels. The available data, although this data is limited, do not indicate that glucuronolactone consumption in large amounts poses a health risk.

1.2.5 Ginseng

Ginseng is an herb that has been used for over 2000 years by people in East Asian countries, including China, Japan and Korea, as a cure for various ailments and to promote longevity (Lee et al. , 2005; Nam et al., 2005). Panax ginseng is the major commercial variety and is often referred to as Korean ginseng or Asian ginseng. is not. P. ginseng is a small, shade-loving perennial shrub that grows to about 60 cm tall and is a member of the Araliaceae family of plants. Whole ginseng is used for medicinal purposes. However, root is the most prominent and dominates commercial sales. Ginseng is incorporated into various energy drinks, but there is little medical literature supporting its use. Side effects associated with the use of ginseng are usually mild. However, more serious complications such as diarrhea, vaginal bleeding, severe headache, and Stevens-Johnson syndrome have been reported (Enerst, 2002; Dega et al., 1996). Many of these effects can be attributed to pollutants. Agranulocytosis in four of her patients taking ginseng was associated with unreported phenylbutazone and aminopyrine in the formulation (Ries et al., 1975). Ginseng abuse syndrome characterized by morning diarrhea, hypertension, rash, insomnia, and irritability has been reported (Siegel, 1979). Little is known about the effects of ginseng in children and adolescents (Braganza). and Larkin, 2007). 1.2.6 Vitamins

The B vitamins are a group of eight individual water-soluble vitamins, usually grouped together called the B complex, all of which play important roles in cellular processes. B vitamins are found in many mainstream energy drinks. A typical 250ml can contains 360% of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) of B6, 120% of B12 and 120% of B3 (niacin). Container sizes vary by brand and can hold multiple servings. Excessive amounts of B vitamins are also found in more extreme energy drinks such as 5-Hour Energy, which contains 8333% of the RDA for vitamin B12 and 2000% of the RDA for B6. High doses of these B vitamins are said to increase mental alertness and focus and improve mood. The average person consumes the RDAs of B vitamins from a typical diet because they are found in a variety of foods.Vitamins B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B6 ​​(pyridoxine, pyridoxal, pyridoxamine), and B12 is the most common B vitamin incorporated into energy drink formulas (Wardlaw and Smith, 2009).

Vitamin B2 is a coenzyme in carbohydrate metabolism. As a coenzyme, vitamin B3 plays an important role in energy metabolism, lipogenesis, and lipolysis (Wardlaw and Smith, 2009). Vitamin B6 is a group of three structurally similar compounds, all of which are converted into vitamin B6 coenzymes that help break down carbohydrates, fats and proteins (Wardlaw and Smith, 2009). Vitamin B12 supports folic acid metabolism and neurological function (Wardlaw and Smith, 2009).Since all B vitamins are water-soluble, once the RDA is reached, excess vitamins are excreted from the body through the urine. Although there are no adverse health effects from consuming large amounts of B vitamins, the logic that these beverages contain too much B vitamins is not well-founded (Wardlaw and Smith, 2009).

1.2.7 Sugar

Sugar is he one of the most common and dangerous additives on the market today.

The sweet taste and short-term beneficial effects have medical experts considering the possibility of sugar addiction.Natural sugars found in fruits and dairy products provide beneficial energy in an easily digestible form. Synthetic mimetics such as refined sugar, sucrose, fructose, and glucose do far more harm than good (Nash, 1992). Adding more than 32 g of sugar per day can lead to a variety of health problems, including (Bauer, 2011). Hypoglycemia, elevated blood pressure, disrupted protein absorption, and impaired DNA structure (Appleton, 2011). One serving of Red Bull contains 27g of sugar (Red Bull Energy Drink USA) and an average cup of coffee contains 32g (Starbucks Coffee Company) (Nash, 1992).

Energy drinks have achieved an enviable position in the beverage market as evidenced by their daily consumption. There are many scientific reports about the adverse effects of excessive consumption of these beverages. Many of these products do not provide the full chemical composition and the caffeine content and other ingredients present are unknown to consumers. Therefore, the main ingredients of these energy drinks should be quantified and compared with those of accepted standards. Energy drinks usually come in liquid and powder forms. Little or no research has been done on powdered products.

These powdered products are typically dissolved in water by the consumer prior to consumption. Therefore, it is imperative to identify caffeine, aspartame, and other energy sources in powdered products and compare them to those in liquid products. Also, other physico-chemical properties of energy drinks need to be identified.

goal and goal
The aim of this work is to conduct a comparative study on the physico-chemical properties and chemical constituents of several selected energy drinks.

Determination of caffeine and aspartame concentrations in energy drinks;


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