Low-calorie energy drink improves physiological response to exercise in previously sedentary men: A placebo-controlled efficacy and safety study

Christopher M. Lockwood, Jordan R. Moon, Abbie E. Smith, Sarah E. Tobkin, Kristina L. Kendall, Jennifer L. Graef, Joel T. Cramer, Jeffrey R. Stout

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Energy drink use has grown despite limited research to support efficacy or safety and amid concerns when combined with exercise. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of 10 weeks of once-daily energy drink consumption or energy drink consumption with exercise on measures of body composition, cardiorespiratory fitness, strength, mood, and safety in previously sedentary males. Thirty-eight males were randomly assigned to energy drink + exercise (EX-A), energy drink (NEX-A), placebo + exercise (EX-B), or placebo (NEX-B). All participants consumed 1 drink per day for 10 weeks; EX-A and EX-B participated in 10 weeks of resistance and endurance exercise. Testing was performed before (PRE) and after (POST) the 10-week intervention. No significant (p > 0.05) changes were observed for body composition, fitness, or strength in NEX-A; however, significantly greater decreases in fat mass and percentage body fat and increases in V̇O2peak were observed in EX-A versus EX-B. Ventilatory threshold (VT), minute ventilation, V̇o2 at VT, and power output at VT improved significantly PRE to POST in EX-A but not in EX-B or nonexercising groups. Clinical markers for hepatic, renal, cardiovascular, and immune function, as determined by PRE and POST blood work revealed no adverse effects in response to the energy drink. Mood was not affected by energy drink use. Absent energy restriction or other dietary controls, chronic ingestion of a once-daily low-calorie energy drink appears ineffective at improving body composition, cardiorespiratory fitness, or strength in sedentary males. However, when combined with exercise, preworkout energy drink consumption may significantly improve some physiological adaptations to combined aerobic and resistance training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2227-2238
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of strength and conditioning research
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2010
Externally publishedYes


  • Body composition
  • Caffeine
  • EGCG
  • Green tea
  • Taurine
  • Thermogenic

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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