Updated at: 14-08-2023 - By: John Lau

Are you a college athlete curious about why certain energy drinks are off-limits? Some popular options like Celsius and Xyience are banned by the NCAA due to specific ingredients.

This article will provide an extensive list of prohibited energy drink brands, detailing their questionable contents such as guarana and taurine.

Dive in to keep your performance clean and your health top-notch!

Energy Drinks Banned by the NCAA

Celsius Energy Drink

What Energy Drinks Are Banned By The Ncaa (1)

The NCAA has put a ban on the Celsius energy drink because it contains several prohibited substances. The ingredients, including ginseng, L-carnitine, taurine, and guarana are all considered illegal for NCAA athletes.

Even caffeine, a primary component of many energy drinks including Celsius, is deemed as a restricted substance by the NCAA and its high content in these beverages is another reason for their disapproval.

Stakes are high when consuming such drinks due to potential health risks and unfair performance enhancement that they can induce.

Sports drinks with excessive caffeine amounts fall foul of the regulations set by the authority to maintain fair competition and ensure athletes safety.

Ingredients containing prohibited substances

Energy drinks banned by the NCAA contain various ingredients that are prohibited substances. These include:

  1. Guarana extract: This ingredient is often found in energy drinks and contains high levels of caffeine, which is considered a banned stimulant by the NCAA.
  2. Ginseng: Another common ingredient, ginseng is also classified as a banned substance due to its potential performance-enhancing properties.
  3. L-carnitine: Found in many energy drinks, L-carnitine is another prohibited substance due to its potential health risks and performance enhancement effects.
  4. Taurine: This amino acid is often added to energy drinks for its supposed benefits in increasing athletic performance. However, it is also on the NCAA’s list of banned substances.

NCAA Banned Substances and Policies

What Energy Drinks Are Banned By The Ncaa (2)


Celsius energy drink, along with other banned substances, contains stimulants that are not permitted by the NCAA. These stimulants include ginseng, L-carnitine, taurine, and guarana.

Xyience drinks are also prohibited due to their high doses of caffeine and guarana.

The NCAA has specific guidelines in place to ensure fair competition and athlete safety by restricting the use of energy drinks with these banned ingredients.

Anabolic agents

Anabolic agents are substances that are banned by the NCAA due to their potential to enhance athletic performance.

These agents, such as anabolic steroids, increase muscle mass and strength, but they also come with serious health risks.

Athletes found using anabolic agents can face severe penalties, including suspension from competition.

The NCAA strictly enforces its policy on anabolic agents in order to maintain fair competition and prioritize the well-being of its athletes.

Substance abuse prevention programs and testing protocols are in place to ensure compliance with these regulations.

Alcohol and beta blockers

Alcohol and beta blockers are both substances that are banned by the NCAA for collegiate athletes.

The use of alcohol is strictly prohibited as it can impair judgement, coordination, and overall performance during athletic competitions.

Beta blockers, on the other hand, are banned because they can lower heart rate and blood pressure, potentially giving athletes an unfair advantage in sports that require endurance or steady hands.

It’s important for athletes to understand and adhere to these regulations to ensure fair competition and maintain their own safety while competing at a collegiate level.


In conclusion, the NCAA has banned certain energy drinks like Celsius and Xyience due to their inclusion of prohibited substances such as guarana, ginseng, L-carnitine, and taurine.

The use of these ingredients can enhance athletic performance and pose potential health risks.

The NCAA’s regulations aim to maintain fair competition and prioritize athlete safety by prohibiting the consumption of these energy drinks.