This is a question I'm pondering more and more as the night goes on. Last night when I was preparing for Blogathon, I asked people for energy drink recommendations since I usually don't try them. While recommendations for everything under the sun rolled in, a couple people remarked that most energy drinks rely on pseudoscientific claptrap, false advertisement, and placebo effects.
First of all, screw you for ruining my potential placebo effect when I need it the most.
But I am a skeptic, and this was a topic I had never really given much thought to. How many energy drinks are based on BS? Are they really anything more than caffeine and sugar?
From a cursory googling, the answer seems to be "probably not." One psychology professor at Vanderbilt says that a peanut butter sandwich with orange juice would have just as much effect as a bottle of 5-Hour Energy, and probably be way healthier for you. Most of the random ingredients in this kind of stuff haven't been shown to actually increase energy at all - it's mostly just caffeine.
Taurine? Ginseng? Milk thistle? Homophobia? What the hell did you guys recommend I buy? Boo hiss!