The latest energy drink launches are not getting any healthier, according to new research out today (2 September).

A study by Mintel Global New Products Database in the UK has claimed that, while suppliers are producing some new energy drinks that boast more health-focused claims, they are in the minority.

"There is a significant market right now for drinks offering a boost of energy," said Lynn Dornblaser, Mintel global new products expert. "Although consumers say they try to eat and drink better, it appears that energy drinks is not a category in which that happens, as they continue to choose options that contain sugar, caffeine and taurine, all of which can have negative effects if consumed in excess."

From 2004 to 2009 there has been a flood of new energy drinks to the market with new product launches up by over 110%, Mintel said.

The researcher found caffeine in nearly all energy drinks produced. Meanwhile, taurine, the other popular, yet controversial energy-boosting ingredient, was found in more than one in four (27%) energy drinks in 2004, but has slightly reduced to one in five (21%) in 2008.

Despite this, energy drinks showing a 'low, no or reduced' calorie claim have increased from 6% to 11% between 2004 and 2008. Within the same timeframe, energy drinks featuring a 'low, no or reduced' sugar claim have held steady at one in seven new launches. In addition, better-for-you energisers like vitamin B6 and guarana have remained flat, appearing in around 22% and 12% of new product launches, respectively.

According to Dornblaser: "These new, natural energy-enhancing products could threaten to steal share from their less healthy counterparts. Often they are not sold in the energy drinks aisle, but in the juice or alternative beverage aisle, which may protect them from the unhealthy stigma some consumers associate with energy drinks."