Dr. Andrea Middleton - Is It Bad For You? Approved by Dr. Andrea Middleton

Is Starbucks Doubleshot Energy Bad For You?

Also Known As: Starbucks Energizing Coffee Drink



Short answer

The Starbucks Doubleshot Energy can offer temporary increases in alertness and cognitive function due to its caffeine content. Yet, risks include overconsumption, leading to insomnia and restlessness, especially for those sensitive or with a lower caffeine tolerance. Its high sugar content may also contribute to health issues like weight gain and diabetes when consumed excessively. Artificial ingredients and elevated B-vitamins levels present additional health considerations. Moderation is key, and it's vital to monitor individual responses to caffeine and additional compounds in the drink.



Recommended Alternative

Long answer

Caffeine Content in Starbucks Doubleshot Energy: Risk vs. Reward

Understanding the caffeine content in Starbucks Doubleshot Energy is essential for assessing both its risks and rewards. A single can of Starbucks Doubleshot Energy typically contains about 135 milligrams of caffeine. This is comparable to a medium cup of coffee, which may provide the boost many people seek. However, the impact of caffeine on the body can vary widely based on individual sensitivity and tolerance levels.

The Rewards:

  • Increased Alertness: Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant, which can help reduce the feeling of tiredness and increase alertness.
  • Improved Physical Performance: Some research suggests that caffeine can enhance physical performance, notably in endurance sports, by mobilizing fatty acids from the fat tissues and increasing adrenaline levels in the blood.
  • Enhanced Cognitive Function: Moderate caffeine consumption has been linked to improved cognitive functions like memory, mood, reaction times, and general mental function.

The Risks:

  • Overconsumption: Consuming multiple cans of Starbucks Doubleshot Energy or combining them with other caffeinated products can lead to caffeine overconsumption, potentially causing insomnia, nervousness, restlessness, stomach irritation, rapid heartbeat, and muscle tremors.
  • Sensitivity and Tolerance: Individuals with a lower caffeine tolerance may experience adverse effects at lower doses. Certain populations, such as pregnant women, are advised to limit their caffeine intake.
  • Withdrawal Symptoms: Regular consumption of caffeine may lead to physical dependence. Withdrawal symptoms can include headache, fatigue, irritability, difficulty concentrating, and depressed mood.

Considering the dietary guidelines, moderate coffee drinking is considered to be around 3 to 5 cups per day, providing up to 400 milligrams of caffeine, which suggests that a can of Doubleshot Energy falls within this moderate range for most individuals. According to a study published in The Journal of Food Science, moderate caffeine consumption may also reduce the risk of certain diseases like Parkinson's and Alzheimer's.

However, it's imperative to consider personal health conditions and dietary needs when evaluating caffeine intake. For individuals with specific health issues like heart conditions or anxiety disorders, the caffeine content in Starbucks Doubleshot Energy might pose more risks than rewards. Consulting with a healthcare professional can help determine appropriate caffeine consumption for those with health concerns.

It's also important to note that for adolescents, the American Academy of Pediatrics advocates for a more conservative caffeine intake, suggesting an upper limit of 100 milligrams per day. They emphasize that the developing brain may be more susceptible to the effects of caffeine, and therefore, Starbucks Doubleshot Energy might not be a suitable choice for this age group.

Sugar and Calorie Count: Under the Microscope

When evaluating any energy drink's health implications, sugar and calorie content are two critical factors to scrutinize. In the case of Starbucks Doubleshot Energy, we find that a single can contains a significant amount of both, which could pose health risks if consumed in excess. Let's dissect these concerns carefully, considering that balance and moderation are key in any diet.

Understanding the Sugar Content

The sugar content in Starbucks Doubleshot Energy typically hovers around 26 grams per can. According to dietary guidelines, it is recommended that added sugars should not exceed 10% of daily caloric intake. For a standard 2,000 calorie diet, this means no more than 50 grams of added sugar per day. Consuming one can of Starbucks Doubleshot Energy will have you ingesting over half of the recommended daily added sugar limit.

Excessive sugar intake is linked to various health issues, including weight gain, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, high-sugar beverages can contribute to tooth decay and can lead to a cycle of energy 'highs' and 'lows,' due to the rapid spikes and falls in blood sugar levels.

Caloric Implications

With approximately 210 calories per can, Starbucks Doubleshot Energy can also contribute to an individual's daily caloric intake considerably. For those monitoring their weight or trying to maintain a calorie deficit, including this energy drink into their regular diet could complicate these efforts.

It's critical to contextualize these calories within your daily energy needs. Physical activity level, basal metabolic rate, and overall health goals should dictate whether a beverage like Starbucks Doubleshot Energy can fit into an individual's diet without adverse effects.

Comparison to Dietary Standards

When juxtaposed with dietary recommendations, it becomes clear that the sugar and calorie content of Starbucks Doubleshot Energy warrants attention. Here's a comparison:

Nutrient Starbucks Doubleshot Energy (per can) Recommended Daily Limit
Calories 210 Varies by individual*
Sugar 26g ≤50g**

*Individual caloric needs vary based on age, sex, weight, height, and level of physical activity.

**Based on the Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Expert Opinions and Recommendations

Nutritionists and health experts generally advise that energy drinks should be consumed sparingly. The sugar and calories in such beverages can undermine a balanced diet if not accounted for. Some experts recommend hydrating with water, unsweetened teas, or other low-calorie beverages as an alternative for those seeking energy without excess sugar or calories.

Overall, being aware of the sugar and calorie content in your energy drinks is crucial. Individuals might choose Starbucks Doubleshot Energy for a quick boost, but understanding the potential dietary impact of its sugar and calorie content can help consumers make informed choices and maintain an overarching commitment to health and wellness.

Artificial Ingredients and Preservatives: What's Inside the Can

When assessing the impact of a beverage like Starbucks Doubleshot Energy on our health, a close look at the artificial ingredients and preservatives is essential. These components are added to enhance flavor, appearance, and shelf life, but they may have implications for health. Here, we dissect what's inside the can and examine the potential health effects associated with these substances.

Artificial Sweeteners: Many energy drinks, including some varieties of Starbucks Doubleshot Energy, opt for artificial sweeteners to reduce calorie content while maintaining sweetness. For instance, ingredients like sucralose and acesulfame potassium are common. While they are approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), debates remain regarding their long-term health implications. Some studies suggest that excessive consumption of artificial sweeteners may disrupt the balance of gut microbiota and even influence glucose metabolism.

Synthetic Flavors: Synthetic flavors are chemicals designed to mimic natural flavors. The exact makeup of these compounds is often proprietary, and therefore not disclosed to consumers. Chronic exposure to certain artificial flavoring agents has raised concerns among nutritional scientists, particularly when consumed in large amounts over time. It's crucial to note that while these flavors are considered safe in small amounts by regulatory agencies, individual sensitivities can vary.

Color Additives: To achieve the appealing look that consumers expect, Starbucks Doubleshot Energy includes color additives. These may include caramel color and other certified dyes depending on the flavor variant. While they pass safety standards for consumption, some food colorings have been linked to hyperactivity in sensitive populations, particularly children, though more research is needed.

Preservatives: Preservatives such as potassium sorbate and sodium benzoate are found in these cans to inhibit microbial growth and prolong the product's shelf life. Although these preservatives are generally recognized as safe (GRAS) by the FDA, there is ongoing research into their potential effects on human health. In particular, when sodium benzoate is combined with ascorbic acid (vitamin C), it may form benzene, a compound known to be carcinogenic. However, the levels found in beverages are typically well below the limit considered safe.

Critical appraisal of these components is vital for consumers who are monitoring their intake of artificial substances for personal health reasons. Understanding the full extent of what goes into the can help inform better dietary choices. It is advisable for those with specific health conditions or concerns to consult with healthcare professionals or dietitians to understand how these ingredients might affect their health.

Always remember, moderation is key, and what may be tolerable in small or occasional doses can become problematic with regular, high intake. By scrutinizing the artificial ingredients and preservatives in our beverages, we can take proactive steps towards maintaining a healthy diet and lifestyle.

References to studies and expert opinions that support the aforementioned points:

  • Swithers, S. E., "Artificial sweeteners produce the counterintuitive effect of inducing metabolic derangements." Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism, 24(9), 431–441 (2013).
  • Food and Drug Administration, "Overview of Food Ingredients, Additives & Colors," (April 2010, Revised April 2013).
  • McCann, D., et al. "Food additives and hyperactive behaviour in 3-year-old and 8/9-year-old children in the community: A randomised, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial." Lancet, 370(9598), 1560-1567 (2007).
  • Potter, C. "The Carcinogen Benzene and Its Occurrence in Beverages." Food Safety Magazine, December 2007/January 2008.

Taurine and B-Vitamins: Evaluating the Added 'Energy' Components

Starbucks Doubleshot Energy drinks are infused with taurine and B-vitamins, ingredients commonly found in energy beverages. These components are added to enhance the drink's energizing effects, but their health impacts warrant a closer look.


Taurine, an amino sulfonic acid, is a conditionally essential nutrient found in various bodily tissues and plays a role in cardiovascular function, development of the nervous system, and the regulation of antioxidants. The addition of taurine to energy drinks, like Starbucks Doubleshot, is thought to help improve mental and physical performance, though research provides mixed outcomes.

  • A study published in Amino Acids reported that taurine supplementation could have beneficial effects on physical performance and may reduce exercise-induced DNA damage.
  • Conversely, the relationship between taurine and improved cognitive function is less clear, with some studies indicating no significant benefits.


B-vitamins, a group of water-soluble vitamins, play vital roles in cellular metabolism and energy production. In Starbucks Doubleshot Energy, you will typically find a mix of B3 (niacin), B6 (pyridoxine), and B12 (cobalamin) among others. These vitamins are crucial for converting food into energy, making them a seemingly appropriate addition to an 'energy' drink.

  • B3 (niacin) aids in the metabolism of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates.
  • B6 (pyridoxine) is essential for amino acid metabolism and neurotransmitter synthesis.
  • B12 (cobalamin) is necessary for red blood cell formation and neurological function.

However, it's important to note the following considerations:

  • While B-vitamins are essential for energy production at the cellular level, excess intake, particularly in the form of supplements or fortified foods, does not translate into increased energy levels for those with adequate B-vitamin status.
  • High doses of B-vitamins, particularly niacin and B6, can lead to adverse effects. For instance, high levels of niacin can cause skin flushing and potential liver damage, while excess B6 has been linked to nerve damage.

The amount of these vitamins in Starbucks Doubleshot Energy often exceeds the daily recommended values, which is concerning given that most individuals with a balanced diet do not require additional supplementation. Studies suggest that the fortification of energy drinks with such high levels of B-vitamins may be unnecessary and could potentially pose health risks if consumed excessively.

In conclusion, while taurine and B-vitamins can support certain body functions, their role in energy drinks like Starbucks Doubleshot Energy is nuanced. The consumption of these components through natural dietary sources is generally safe and beneficial, but their synthesized inclusion in high doses in beverages necessitates moderation and consideration of individual dietary needs and health status.

The Potential for Addiction and Sleep Disturbance

When discussing caffeinated beverages such as the Starbucks Doubleshot Energy, it's critical to explore how these drinks can influence habits and sleep patterns. Caffeine, the primary stimulant in these drinks, has been extensively studied for its addictive properties and impact on sleep.

Understanding Caffeine Addiction:

  • Dependence Potential: Regular consumption of caffeine can lead to dependence, as the body adapts to its stimulating effects. This adaption can lead to cravings and withdrawal symptoms such as headache, fatigue, and irritability when caffeine is not consumed.
  • Tolerance Development: Over time, individuals may find they require higher doses of caffeine to achieve the desired alertness, potentially increasing consumption of caffeinated beverages.
  • Reinforcement Mechanisms: Caffeine stimulates the central nervous system and can enhance mood and concentration, which may reinforce habitual intake. A study published in the journal Psychopharmacology confirms this reinforcing aspect of caffeine that may contribute to its addictive potential.

Impact on Sleep:

  • Disruption of Sleep Patterns: Caffeine intake, especially later in the day, can interfere with the natural sleep-wake cycle, making it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep through the night.
  • Reduction in Sleep Quality: Even if a person can fall asleep after consuming caffeine, the restorative quality of sleep may be compromised, resulting in non-restful sleep.
  • Shortened Sleep Duration: A study from the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine reveals that caffeine consumed even six hours before bedtime can significantly reduce total sleep time.

The Starbucks Doubleshot Energy contains considerably more caffeine than a standard cup of coffee, which means that these risks may be amplified for consumers. Awareness and moderation are key when incorporating such products into your daily routine. Remember that individual tolerance to caffeine varies, and those with lower tolerance may experience these effects more acutely.

For those seeking to limit their caffeine intake or those who are particularly sensitive to its effects, it's advisable to pay close attention to your body's responses to the Starbucks Doubleshot Energy. Monitoring consumption and timing can help mitigate the potential for addiction and sleep disturbances.

Lastly, consult with a healthcare provider or a sleep specialist if you notice significant changes in your sleep patterns or if you find it difficult to reduce caffeine consumption despite negative effects. Professional guidance can help you navigate the balance between enjoying caffeinated products and maintaining overall health and well-being.

Starbucks Doubleshot Energy in Context: Compared to Other Energy Drinks

When considering Starbucks Doubleshot Energy drink, it's essential to compare it to other prevalent energy drinks on the market to gain perspective on its health implications. Energy drinks often vary significantly in their ingredients, caffeine content, sugar levels, and presence of additional stimulants or supplements.

Caffeine Content: A standard 15 fl oz can of Starbucks Doubleshot Energy contains 145 milligrams of caffeine. This is less than what you'd find in some of the more potent energy drinks which can contain up to 300 milligrams per serving, but it is notably higher than the caffeine content in a 12 oz can of a typical soft drink which has about 30-40 milligrams. The recommended daily limit of caffeine for most adults is up to 400 milligrams, according to the FDA.

Sugar Content: Starbucks Doubleshot Energy boasts 26 grams of sugar per can, which is moderate compared to some energy drinks that can pack in over 50 grams per can. This amount does, however, contribute to over half of the American Heart Association's recommendation of no more than 36 grams of added sugar per day for men and 25 grams for women.

Other Stimulants: Unlike some other energy drinks that include additional stimulants like taurine, guarana, or ginseng, Starbucks Doubleshot Energy relies primarily on coffee and added vitamins for its energy-boosting effects.

Vitamin Content: Looking at the vitamins, Starbucks Doubleshot Energy includes a variety of B vitamins, which are common in many energy drinks due to their role in energy metabolism. The B vitamins found in this beverage are typically within safe consumption levels as the body excretes excess amounts of these water-soluble vitamins.

Calories: Regarding caloric content, the drink contains 210 calories per can, placing it in the mid-range compared to other energy drinks. Calories in energy drinks can vary widely, from zero in sugar-free versions to over 200 in full-sugar, full-calorie offerings.

Ingredient Transparency: A key factor to consider is the transparency of ingredients. Starbucks Doubleshot Energy lists its ingredients and nutritional information on the can, making it easier for consumers to know exactly what they're consuming compared to some other brands that might not be as forthcoming.

While the Starbucks Doubleshot Energy drink may be a convenient pick-me-up, consumers should keep in mind that moderation is key, as is the case with any caffeinated beverage. When comparing it to other energy drinks, it could be considered a moderate choice in terms of caffeine and sugar content, but it's still important to factor in one's overall diet and health objectives. Health experts often advise against regular intake of energy drinks, suggesting that more natural methods of energy enhancement, such as adequate sleep, regular physical activity, and a balanced diet, may be more beneficial in the long run.

In-depth comparisons of energy drinks should be made with an understanding of individual dietary requirements and lifestyle. Always consult with a health professional before adding a new or frequent energy drink into your routine, especially for individuals with pre-existing health conditions or those who are sensitive to caffeine.

Frequently asked questions

The B-vitamins in Starbucks Doubleshot Energy are generally safe when consumed within the beverage, as water-soluble vitamins are excreted by the body if taken in excess. However, exceeding nutrient needs, particularly with regular consumption of multiple servings, can potentially cause adverse effects. Individuals who already have a sufficient intake of B-vitamins from their diet should consume these fortified beverages in moderation.

Pregnant women are advised to limit their caffeine intake to 200 milligrams per day. A can of Starbucks Doubleshot Energy contains about 135 milligrams of caffeine, which is within this limit; however, because it also contains a high level of sugar and artificial ingredients, it's recommended that pregnant women consult with their healthcare provider before consuming energy drinks like Starbucks Doubleshot Energy.

A can of Starbucks Doubleshot Energy contains approximately 210 calories, which may be higher or lower than a standard Starbucks coffee depending on the size and additives like milk and sugar. For example, a 16oz Starbucks Caffe Latte with whole milk has about 230 calories, making the Doubleshot Energy slightly lower in calories; however, black coffee contains virtually no calories.

Due to the high sugar content of 26 grams per can, Starbucks Doubleshot Energy could significantly impact blood sugar levels. Individuals with diabetes should be cautious and ideally consult a healthcare professional before incorporating it into their diet to ensure it aligns with their specific health needs and dietary restrictions.

Ask a question about Starbucks Doubleshot Energy and our team will publish the answer as soon as possible.

Possible short-term side effects

  • insomnia
  • nervousness
  • restlessness
  • stomach irritation
  • rapid heartbeat
  • muscle tremors
  • headache
  • fatigue
  • irritability
  • difficulty concentrating
  • depressed mood

Possible long-term side effects

  • weight gain
  • type 2 diabetes
  • cardiovascular disease
  • tooth decay
  • disrupted sleep patterns
  • non-restful sleep
  • potential liver damage
  • nerve damage
  • hyperactivity in children

Ingredients to be aware of


  • increased alertness
  • improved physical performance
  • enhanced cognitive function
  • reduced risk of parkinson's and alzheimer's disease
  • reduced exercise-induced dna damage

Healthier alternatives

  • water
  • unsweetened teas
  • low-calorie beverages

Our Wellness Pick (what is this?)

Sambazon Amazon Energy

  • Low calorie
  • Natural caffeine
  • Rich in Vitamin C
  • Vegan friendly
  • Non-GMO & Kosher
Learn More!

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Diane Saleem
Published on: 03-17-2024

Thank you for your feedback!

Written by Diane Saleem
Published on: 03-17-2024

Random Page

Check These Out!