Journal of Negative Results in Biomedicine, November 2014
I found this study interesting. Recent research has found contradictory evidence as it relates to energy drinks capacity as a performance aid. A study done on Colombian soldiers found that the consumption of caffeine and taurine (or their combination) does not increase the physical and cognitive ability in young adults during exercise. In the study, 14 volunteer male soldiers were asked to perform a battery of tests, which included: cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2max and maximum heart rate), time to exhaustion, strength (isometric strength), power (vertical jump), concentration (Grid test) and memory (Digits test) after drinking one of the following five beverages 45 minutes prior to the test: 1) caffeine, 2) taurine, 3) caffeine and taurine, 4) red bull (caffeine and taurine), and 5) placebo. The caffeinated beverages contained 80mg and the taurine beverages 1000mg. The results found that there were no significant differences when compared against the placebo group. Definitely interesting considering brands like Monster and Red Bull have always marketed the purported mental and physical benefits of energy drinks. You can access the study here.
Kammerer, M., Jaramillo, J. A., García, A., Calderón, J. C., & Valbuena, L. H. (2014). Effects of energy drink major bioactive compounds on the performance of young adults in fitness and cognitive tests: a randomized controlled trial. Journal of the international society of sports nutrition, 11(1), 1-7.