Diuretic potential of energy drinks


Recent literature suggests that both caffeine and taurine can induce diuresis and natriuresis in rat and man. Although they act via different cellular mechanisms, their diuretic actions might be additive. This is of considerable interest, as several commercially available energy drinks contain both substances.

In this study we examined the possible diuretic effects of caffeine and taurine in a cross-over-design in which 12 healthy male volunteers received each of 4 different test drinks (750 ml of energy drink containing 240 mg caffeine and 3 g taurine, the three other test drinks either lacked caffeine, taurine or both) after restraining from fluids for 12 h.

Mixed model analyses demonstrated that urinary output and natriuresis were significantly increased by caffeine (mean differences 243 ml and 27 mmol; both p < 0.001) and that there were no such effects of taurine (mean differences 59 ml and −4 mmol). Additionally, urinary osmolarity at baseline was significantly related to the urinary output (p < 0.001). Urine osmolarity values at baseline and in the 6 h urine collection did not differ significantly between treatments.

Taken together, our study demonstrates that diuretic and natriuretic effects of the tested energy drink were largely mediated by caffeine. Taurine played no significant role in the fluid balance in moderately dehydrated healthy young consumers. Consequently, the diuretic potential of energy drinks will not differ significantly from other caffeine containing beverages.

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Riesenhuber, A., Boehm, M., Posch, M. et al. Diuretic potential of energy drinks. Amino Acids 31, 81–83 (2006). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00726-006-0363-5

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  • Keywords: Caffeine – Taurine – Natriuresis – Diuresis – Energy drink