With extraordinary exceptions, most of the basic energy drinks has the same basic flavour: tutti-frutti.

Why was it chosen instead of an already known flavour, like cherry or something?

Is it like a marketing idea, like the unique taste of cola or Dr. Pepper?

  • 3
    Many of them have ingredients in them that is just foul tasting (eg, caffeine). I'd suspect that part of it is to cover up the flavor of other ingredients; it's harder to match a specific flavor when you're dealing with something assertive.
    – Joe
    Commented Oct 3, 2013 at 13:47

2 Answers 2


A lot of the defining ingredients of energy drinks have very strong flavors. Caffeine is quite bitter, B vitamins can be very sour, and Vitamin C is tart. A strong sweet-tart flavor is one of the most palatable ways of masking all of these flavors.

There's also a certain amount of brand copying going on. Red Bull was probably one of the first big brands on the market. Since their flavor is cloyingly sweet & tart, a lot of their competitors went for a similar flavor profile.

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    I think the real question is why anyone drinks these things....
    – SAJ14SAJ
    Commented Oct 3, 2013 at 15:55
  • @SAJ14SAJ Nowadays I drink ~3 "cans" each week. I need it to be able to concentrate all day since I have very long days to learn. Commented Oct 3, 2013 at 16:21
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    Aside from the caffeine, I think most energy drinks are only good for producing very expensive urine.
    – SourDoh
    Commented Oct 3, 2013 at 17:05
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    @sourd'oh I drink it for the caffeine of course, I know that energy drinks are not better than regular coffee, but coffee makes the smell of my mouth awful and I don't even like its taste. Commented Oct 3, 2013 at 17:29
  • @SourDoh I must disagree with the very expensive urine. I can say that coffee itself doesn't do the kick to my brain as an energy drink does. And it is not about a caffeine amount, as one can (8.4 f.oz. / 250 ml) has ~85mg of caffeine and one double-espresso is ~120mg! It could be also because of the sugar, which is ~25g in the same can size and into coffee I put only two teaspoons which is like~8g. I belive that taurine is indeed a main factor here. With one energy drink after lunch sleeping at ~10pm is no problem with energy drink. With double espresso... no way I fall asleep before 1am :D Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 8:45

There are 3 main reasons that mainstream energy drinks have a bitter 'bite' to them. #1: Taurine is a most important additive that helps to potentiate the caffeine to reach the bloodstream faster, as well as speed up the metabolism for most people. However, Taurine is acidic, which in turn means it is also bitter/sour. Combined with citric acid, sodium citrate, vitamin c, tartrate, sorbic acid, benzoic acid, and the b-vitamins as well. Not all have the same exact ingredients, but they all contain a lot of acidic-bitter flavors. #2: The abnormally sour 'bite' actually stimulates the brain to release adrenaline and/or serotonin in most people, in the same way spicy foods do, generally. It's a cheap 'extra kick'. #3: Many people have a very mild 'addiction' to sour/sweet flavors. Like the candy, Sour Patch Kids, which is the most popular non-chocolate candy on the market, people have a strange enjoyment of the sour-sweet combination. Much like salty and sweet as well. They compliment each other. However, drink in moderation because they are very unhealthy unless you buy organic versions.

  • Sour patch kids? Really? Not like, Skittles or Starburst or something?
    – SourDoh
    Commented Nov 29, 2016 at 3:11

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