Is It Safe to Have an Energy Drink on an Empty Stomach?

energy drinks on empty stomach
Is It Safe to Have an Energy Drink on an Empty Stomach?

There are several major health hazards associated with energy drinks. However, it's unclear if consuming them without food intensifies the effects or lessens them.

Energy drinks can keep you focused and awake whether you're working an early shift or studying for a final exam. In addition to sugar and other chemicals, they might include significant amounts of the stimulant caffeine.

Here, we examine the possible risks associated with ingesting energy drinks without first eating.

Potential risks of consuming an energy drink on an empty stomach

Energy drinks may present serious short-term health concerns, according to research. The hazards may rise if you drink them on an empty stomach because their contents will be rapidly absorbed into your bloodstream.

A scientific analysis published in 2023 claims that energy drinks have been connected to medical emergencies like:
  • ventricular fibrillation (atypical heartbeat)
  • acute mania
  • stroke
  • seizures

Caffeine overdose

A healthy adult should use no more than 400 milligrammes (mg) of caffeine a day, or 4-5 cups, according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The caffeine content in energy drinks ranges from 40 to 250 mg per cup. You run the risk of overdosing if you consume one or more of these drinks before eating to slow down the absorption of caffeine.

Cardiovascular problems

As a stimulant, caffeine can quicken blood pressure and heart rate, two autonomic nervous system processes. Additionally, caffeine may have a stronger effect on your cardiovascular system if you take it on an empty stomach.

According to a 2017 review's authors, the most frequent heart-related side effect of consuming energy drinks was arrhythmias, or abnormal heart beats.

Additional cardiovascular issues that were reported were:
  • cardiomyopathy
  • coronary thrombosis
  • aortic dissection
  • coronary vasospasm
  • heart attack


Due to its diuretic properties, caffeine causes you to pee more than you normally would.

According to the authors of a 2021 review that examined the detrimental effects of energy drinks as reported in 32 studies, dehydration is a frequently documented adverse effect of energy drink usage.

Specifically, energy shots usually have a lot of caffeine in a small amount of liquid. Dehydration might be more likely to result from them, particularly if they are eaten without food.


A headache is a common symptom of dehydration and can be brought on by excessive coffee use.

Headaches were one of the most commonly reported adverse effects of energy drink intake in the aforementioned 2021 review, impacting approximately 18% of participants in the 32 studies the authors looked at.

However, it's unclear if consuming an energy drink on an empty stomach increases your risk of getting a headache.

Upset stomach and other digestive issues

Your gastrointestinal (GI) tract may become irritated by the chemicals in energy drinks. About 22% of participants in the highlighted research reported having unsettled stomachs, according to the authors of the same study published in 2021.

Research reviews published in 2017 and 2023 indicate that the following additional digestive problems have been connected to excessive caffeine consumption:
  • gastritis
  • GI upset
  • abdominal pain
  • nausea
  • vomiting

Kidney or liver problems

The 2023 review's authors observe a connection between energy drinks and renal issues, such as renal failure. They also discuss a link between hyponatremia and rhabdomyolysis, two other disorders that are occasionally linked to renal problems.

The scientists speculate that high dosages of substances like coffee and vitamin B3 that can damage the liver could be the cause of this side effect.

Stress, restlessness, and insomnia

While sugar and caffeine might give you a short-term boost in energy, many people also experience restlessness or anxiety that can interfere with your ability to fall asleep.

These symptoms were among the most commonly reported by adults and children who drank energy drinks, according to the 2021 review:
  • Thirty-five percent of research participants experienced sleeplessness.
  • in 35% of research participants, stress
  • In 25% of study participants, jitteriness, restlessness, or handshaking were reported.
  • a "jolt and crash" feeling in 23 percent of research subjects
It's unclear if consuming energy drinks on an empty stomach might make these symptoms more apparent.

Are energy drinks safe for children or teens?

The American Academy of Paediatrics advises against giving energy drinks to kids and teenagers due to their high caffeine and sugar content.

The authors of a 2017 review discovered that, despite their continued popularity among young adults, these drinks were associated with a range of adverse health outcomes in individuals of different ages, such as:
  • vomiting
  • rapid heart rate
  • seizures
  • death
The long-term consequences of energy drinks on children's development require further investigation.

Other drinks to avoid on an empty stomach

Even if you could occasionally find yourself sipping them without food, they aren't the greatest choices when you're not feeling well:
  • Juice: Drinking juice on an empty stomach might irritate the lining of your stomach because many juice varieties are acidic. Furthermore, juice's sugar content raises blood sugar levels.
  • Soda: Soda has a high sugar content, just like juice. It may result in a sharp spike and fall in blood sugar, which will wear you out.
  • Alcohol: Alcohol consumption on an empty stomach may make you more likely to become inebriated.


Is it good to drink energy in the morning?

Energy drinks typically have between 24 and 31 grammes of sugar per serving or roughly 125% of the recommended daily allowance. Students may have a sugar rush in the morning and a sugar crash, which makes this particularly problematic.

Can energy drinks hurt your stomach?

Energy drinks have the potential to aggravate digestive tract irritation, resulting in diarrhoea or upset stomach. Drink in moderation, select natural ingredients, stay hydrated, avoid drinking on an empty stomach, and take breaks from energy drinks to minimise stomach problems.

Can I have 2 energy drinks a day?

About four cups of coffee, or 400 milligrammes, is the daily recommended limit for caffeine intake. This level is often met by energy drinks, and if you have more than one drink each day, you may go over it.

Is it okay to drink 1 Red Bull a day?

Red Bull is typically regarded as safe for one can per day for healthy persons without underlying medical issues. But if you drink energy drinks like Red Bull in excess, especially if you have certain medical issues or are sensitive to caffeine, it can be harmful to your health.


Large doses of caffeine, sugar, and other chemicals can be found in energy drinks. They have the potential to cause negative effects even if they might provide you with a brief energy boost.

When consuming energy drinks on an empty stomach, the potential adverse effects may be more severe. Some of the most commonly reported negative effects are abnormal heart rhythms, GI problems, and anxiety. However, no guarantee consuming energy drinks on an empty stomach causes these consequences.

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