Glucuronolactone In Energy Drinks: Is It Suitable And Safe?

Glucuronolactone In Energy Drinks

Glucuronolactone In Energy Drinks: Is It Suitable And Safe?

D-glucurono-gamma-lactone, also called Glucuronolactone, is a naturally occurring solid white compound used in sports and bodybuilding. Therefore, d-glucuronolactone in energy drinks is a common and main application. It can help enhance focus and improve athletic performance. Red Bull GmbH, Monster Beverage Corporation, Rockstar, Inc., PepsiCo Inc., The Coca-Cola Company, etc., are the major global energy drinks market players.

As a naturally occurring substance, it is a key component of nearly all connective tissue. In vitro, Dehydrogenase can metabolize D-glucuronolactone to D-Glucaro-1,4-Lactone (G14L). It is present in many commercial products as a mixture of active ingredients. It is also found in complex supplements along with taurine and caffeine. It can also be layered with other pre-workout ingredients like creatine, beta-alanine, and citrulline.

Glucuronolactone is known for body energy and mental focus. And it is an ingredient in some concentrated pre-workout supplements, pre-workout supplements, and weight loss proteins.

Glucuronolactone Market Size And Trend

The global glucuronolactone market is worth $388.07 million in 2022, with a compound annual growth rate of 5.46% from 2022 to 2030, and is expected to reach $593.76 million by 2030. North America has become the world’s largest glucuronolactone market, accounting for 42.39% of market revenue in 2022. The United States is the largest consumer country. North America dominates the glucuronolactone market as demand for energy drinks and nutritional supplements grows. Additionally, the increasing geriatric population, desk-working lifestyle, rising food consumption, and rising awareness about the health benefits of antioxidants are helping to drive market growth in this region.

At the same time, the market in emerging economies, such as India, Brazil, etc., has also witnessed significant growth due to increasing urbanization, rising disposable income, and changing consumer preferences. Among them, China has abundant product supplies. Coupled with increasing investment in R&D supported by the government, changes in consumer lifestyles, tastes, drinking habits, and rising health awareness will drive the growth of this market region. It can be expected that the Asia Pacific will become the fastest-growing region during the forecast period.

D-glucuronolactone is available in liquid, powder, tablet, capsule, and other forms on the market. In 2022, the glucuronolactone in powder form market dominated, with the largest market share of 42.25%. Its market revenue is around $22.50 million. This growth is attributed to the increasing health awareness among the public. Furthermore, the liquidity segment is likely to dominate the market by 2030 due to rising disposable income.

In addition to energy drinks, this ingredient is also involved in dietary supplements, pharmaceuticals, functional foods, cosmetics, and other fields. In 2022, the pharmaceutical sector dominated the market, accounting for approximately 29.19% of global revenue. This growth is attributed to the increasing use of glucuronolactone-based tablets and supplements to treat arthritis, hepatitis, and cirrhosis. The energy drinks market will likely dominate by 2030 owing to the emergence of multiple ingredients-constant players in the domestic and international industries.

However, the energy drinks market also faces challenges, such as health concerns related to excessive caffeine intake, regulatory restrictions, and the availability of healthier alternatives.

Glucuronolactone In Energy Drinks: Is It Suitable?

Why do brands like to add d-glucuronolactone to energy drinks? It’s all up to its benefits.

  1. It has stimulant properties to help increase energy levels and combat fatigue. It enhances physical performance and improves mental alertness.
  2. Some studies suggest that it may have mood-enhancing effects. It is thought to increase dopamine levels in the brain, improving mood and overall well-being.
  3. It is involved in the body’s natural detoxification processes. It eliminates harmful substances, such as drugs, toxins, and pollutants, by aiding in forming glucuronide conjugates that can be easily excreted.
  4. It can protect the liver from damage caused by toxins and promote its overall function.
  5. Its antioxidant properties can help neutralize harmful free radicals in the body.
  6. Its cognitive-enhancing effects improve memory, focus, and concentration.

Because this ingredient has properties of energy improvement, mood enhancement, etc., Glucuronolactone is suitable in energy drinks.

Glucuronolactone In Energy Drinks: Is It Safe?

A submission from the Austrian National Food Authority included ingredient lists for 32 “energy drinks.” This list is taken from the Austrian Market Beverage Review published in March 1996. Not all “energy” drinks contain glucuronolactone. These drinks contain glucuronolactone in a regulated concentration range of 2000-2400 mg/L. Based on the average Austrian consumer’s per capita energy drink intake over a year, it can be estimated that the average daily intake of glucuronolactone from an energy drink containing 2400 mg/l is 108 mg.

These estimates of energy drink intake can be compared with glucuronolactone intake from other food sources. However, only a few foods have been identified as containing glucuronolactone. In the United States, the average intake of glucuronolactone from other food sources among people who eat foods containing glucuronolactone is 1.2 mg/day. Wine is the richest source (up to 20 mg/L). According to this US estimate, the average consumer consuming two 250 ml cans of energy drinks per day (containing 2400 mg/L) may consume 500 times more glucuronolactone than other food sources.

D-glucuronide-γ-lactone is a normal human metabolite formed from glucose. It is in equilibrium with its immediate precursor, glucuronic acid, at physiological pH. Glucuronic acid is found in plants, mainly in gums. However, it is combined with other carbohydrates in an aggregated form, so it is not easily bioavailable. Glucuronic acid is an important component of all animal fibers and connective tissues. Studies have shown that when humans take glucuronolactone orally, it is rapidly absorbed, metabolized, and excreted in the form of glucaric acid, xylitol, and L-xylulose.

Existing toxicity studies are extremely limited. Acute toxicity studies have been performed in animals, such as rats, mice, dogs, rabbits, and cats, by oral, intravenous, intraperitoneal, and subcutaneous routes. The conclusion is that the acute toxicity of d-glucuronolactone is low, and the oral route is the least toxic.

The effects of energy drinks on heart rate, plasma catecholamines, endurance time, and other parameters were studied in male endurance athletes. The subjects drank an original energy drink containing taurine, glucuronolactone, and caffeine. They drank control drinks simultaneously, one without taurine and glucuronolactone and one without all three ingredients. The trials concluded that beverages containing taurine positively affected hormonal responses, leading to higher performance. However, the study’s design did not allow to distinguish the effects caused by taurine or glucuronolactone or both substances.

Due to its ability to inhibit viral and bacterial beta-glucuronidase, glucuronolactone has also been used to treat chronic carriers of typhoid bacteria. It is indicated that taking one to several grams per day will not cause problems.

Human metabolic considerations suggest that the body may process small amounts of glucuronolactone without problems. However, glucuronolactone intake from certain energy drinks may be two orders higher than other dietary sources. Very little information is available to assess the risk of glucuronolactone at such intakes. While available data do not suggest that consuming large amounts of glucuronolactone poses any health risk, there is a lack of scientific evidence to support the safety of glucuronolactone in beverages, and its concentrations may result in higher intakes than would otherwise be consumed in the diet. Two orders of magnitude higher. As in the case of taurine, there is insufficient information to set a safe upper limit for daily glucuronolactone intake.

The only study using chronic dosing was in rats, and rodents are known to metabolize glucuronolactone differently than humans. Therefore, rodents may not be a suitable model. There are currently no studies in mammalian species that include the administration of high doses of glucuronolactone to growing animals. Understanding the effects of high-dose glucuronolactone on glycemic homeostasis and metabolic pathways involving glucose will also be relevant for risk assessment in children and patients with diabetes.

Against this background, it cannot be concluded that the safety of glucuronolactone use is well established within the concentration ranges reported in energy drinks. Further research is needed to determine a safe upper limit for daily intake of glucuronolactone.

Other common ingredients in energy drinks

  • Caffeine

It is the main choice in energy drinks and provides a stimulating effect. The recommended dose is 32mg/100ml.

  • Taurine

As an amino acid, it helps improve athletic performance and reduce fatigue. The recommended dosage in energy drinks is 4000mg/L.

  • B vitamins

Energy drinks often contain various B vitamins, such as B6 and B12, which are involved in energy production and metabolism.

  • Sugar

Many energy drinks contain high amounts of sugar. It can boost energy quickly. Of course, some energy drinks also offer sugar-free options.

  • Guarana powder

This ingredient contains caffeine and is often used as a natural stimulant.

  • Ginseng powder

It is an herbal extract thought to increase energy levels and improve mental performance.

  • L carnitine powder

It is an amino acid that is involved in energy production. It is sometimes added to energy drinks to help increase endurance and reduce fatigue.


D-glucuronolactone is not banned and is used as an ingredient in energy drinks and dietary supplements. However, regulations regarding its use and dosage may vary in different countries. It is always recommended to check the specific regulations and guidelines of the country you are in before consuming any product containing it. Nutri Avenue offers common energy ingredients, including l carnitine base, glucuronolactone powder, etc., at wholesale price to support the energy drinks market growth.


  • Geiss K-R, Jester I, Falke W, Hamm M and Wang K-L (1994). The effect of a taurine containing drink on performance in 10 endurance-athletes. Amino Acids 7, 45-56.
  • The Evaluation of the Health Aspects of D-glucurono- g -lactone as a Food Ingredient. Prepared by Arendt Fox Kintner Plotkin and Kahn, Washington DC, USA, for Red Bull GmbH, Austria. November 8, 1996.
  • Register of Toxic Effects of Chemicals 1996.
  • Köhler V and Schmid W (1980). Die Behandlung gesunder Salmonellen-Dauerausscheider ( Enteritis typhi Salm.) mit Glukuronsäure-Gamma-Lakton. Therapiewoche 30, 2831-2833.

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