What’s in energy drinks besides caffeine?

A truckload of sugar. Most 8-ounce energy drinks contain somewhere between 25 and 30 grams of sugar—comparable to a 12-ounce can of soda. A 16-ounce energy drink, then, contains 50-60 grams, roughly twice the recommended daily intake.

Sixty-nine percent of energy drinks also contain artificial sweeteners, but because more than half of these drinks are not labeled “diet,” they are not required to disclose the presence of these sweeteners to consumers.

As if that’s not bad enough, energy drinks also contain a surprising amount of sodium—three to four times the average amount found in soda. (A can of Monster contains 180 mg—nine times the average.) They also throw in B vitamins and other supplements, usually an unsettling combination of taurine, guarana, ginseng, L-carnitine, and inositol.