A fruity new beverage that comes with a jolt of energy is now available at Starbucks. On Tuesday, the coffee chain introduced its Iced Energy drink containing enough caffeine to fuel you right into the weekend.

The drink contains up to 205 milligrams of caffeine for the largest size, which is, well, a lot. For reference, a cup of coffee has approximately 95 milligrams. A person would have to drink four cups of coffee, or six cans of Coca-Cola to hit that many milligrams.

“Elevate the day with a boost of sugar-free energy with the new, handcrafted Starbucks Iced Energy beverages,” Starbucks’ press release on the new addition reads. “These drinks combine sparkling fruit flavors with iced tea for the ultimate jumpstart and are available at stores in the U.S. year-round.” The Starbucks energy drink comes in three fruit flavors, including one only available through the app. In stores, you can get Melon Burst or Tropical Citrus.

[Photo: Starbucks]

In addition to a hefty dose of caffeine, the drinks also contain taurine, an amino acid found in many foods that can also be taken as a supplement. Taurine is found in most energy drinks and is said to improve exercise performance. However, some evidence suggests that for adolescents, caffeine and taurine can negatively impact brain development. And despite that energy drinks generally have warning labels that say they are not intended for people under the age of 18, it has seemed in some cases like that’s exactly who these drinks have appealed to.

Energy drinks seem to be all the rage right now with the Gen Z crowd. Despite a recent lawsuit against Panera that claimed its Charged Lemonade energy drink contributed to two deaths and led to the chain discontinuing it, drinks with high levels of caffeine are everywhere. Not only can you snag anything from Prime to Red Bull at Target, Walmart, and a variety of convenience stores, a number of chain restaurants are now selling them, too.

In February, Dunkin introduced its own line of energy drinks, SPARKD’ Energy. The iced drink comes in two flavors, berry burst and peach, and “provides a revitalizing burst of energy, made with vitamins, minerals and a kick of caffeine,” according to Dunkin’s press release.

You can also order energy drinks at Dutch Bros. The up-and-coming coffee brand has an entire lineup of energy drinks, which account for about a quarter of its sales. McDonald’s hasn’t slept on the trend, either. Its CosMc’s menu has a variety of energy drinks containing caffeine syrup, such as the Island Pick Me Up Punch.

The Starbucks energy drink does have less caffeine than Panera’s, which contained 390 milligrams in a large. Still, up to 205 milligrams is a lot, even for a seasoned caffeine consumer—but if people are buying, then the chains are selling.


4 thoughts on “Gen Z’s beloved energy drinks are everywhere—Starbucks has one now too”
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