A Short History of Energy Drinks

Published: 26th May 2010
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Copyright (c) 2010 Nadine Davis

When the average consumer grabs an energy drink from the fridge, odds are that they don't think about how this beverage came into existence. They may realise that these drinks weren't always on the market, but they just enjoy the flavour and the energy boost, and don't think about where they originated, or how Energy Drinks Brisbane arranged for their distribution.

Demand for these drinks has steadily increased since they first came onto Western markets in the early 1990s, so we have all assumed that they are a relatively recent addition to the recreational drinks available through Energy Drinks.

In fact, energy type drinks have been around in Japan since 1962, when Taisho Pharmaceuticals released a drink called Lipovitan-D. This drink contained vitamins B1, B2 and B6 as well as niacin and taurine, all ingredients designed to increase concentration and energy. This drink, and others like them, became extremely popular in Japan, Thailand and Korea, especially among the working-class who possibly needed a boost to get through a long day.

These drinks were also produced in other countries much earlier than the 1960s. Scotland had their own version, Irn-Bru, in the early 1900s, and Lucozade Energy in 1929 was used in the British hospital system to assist patients to replenish lost energy. Whether or not these drinks had similar ingredients to Lipovitan-D is a matter for conjecture, but they were marketed as energy boosters.

The most well known energy drink to hit the Western markets was Red Bull, introduced by an Austrian entrepreneur who had tasted energy drinks on a trip to Thailand. Through a partnership agreement with the Thai manufacturers, Dietrich Mateschitz brought the drink back to Europe, adapted it for Western tastes and began selling it early in the 1990s.

Through a clever marketing of pitching the drink to adrenaline junkies in high-risk sports, and making sure it was visible on the club scene, Red Bull created a market where there was none, and expanded rapidly across Europe, into the USA and other English-speaking markets.

A product with this much financial advantage cannot hold market share for long, and since there has been hundreds of competitors flooding the market. These drinks are one of the largest growing sectors of the beverage market. Even market giants, Coca-Cola and Pepsi have introduced their own versions. There are energy drinks to suit every group, music taste, sport (mainstream and obscure), health or fashion trend. Even the female market hasn't been ignored, with an energy drink being marketed specially at women.

There has been some controversy, energy drinks being banned by some government agencies in countries such as France, Denmark, Norway and Argentina. This is due to the level of caffeine content within the drink. However, their popularity continues to grow, and it's really a case of "everything in moderation", and using common sense about the quantity of stimulants safely consumed in any twenty-four hour period.

No doubt there are already teams of scientists somewhere, analysing, testing and prodding at the potential dangers of taurine, one of the main ingredients of energy drinks. This element is created by the body in a natural way, but there isn't much known about what would be the right measure or how caffeine reacts to it. All the user knows is that it sharpens concentration and produces a shot of energy just when it's needed.

One thing is certain. Energy drinks continue to grow in popularity, and while they are still legal, reasonably pleasant tasting, and make people feel great, the demand will be there for Energy Drinks to continue the supply.


Brisbane Energy Drinks provider Kellys Distributors ensure that your favourite energy drink Red Bull is available throughout Queensland. When you need that extra boost from Energy Drinks Brisbane, you can top up at a store near you.

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