Energy shots may not improve 5K times: study

Think taking an “energy shot” before a 5K will shave a few seconds off your PB? A new study suggests these shots may not do much at all.

The study, just published in the journal Nutrients, tackled the emerging trend of consuming energy shots before competition. The study followed six male runners to see if taking a caffeinated energy shot improved 5K performance.

The researchers gave the runners a placebo (with no caffeine), a Guayaki Yerba Maté Organic Energy Shot with 140 mg of caffeine or a Red Bull Energy Shot with 80 mg of caffeine. The runners than ran a 5K time trial on a treadmill.

The study found no differences in performance between runners who took the Red Bull, Yerba Maté or placebo. Given the extremely small sample size, however, the researchers have recommended further research into the effects of energy shots on performance.

The full study is available on the Nutrients website.