Energy shots are a specialized kind of energy drink. Whereas most energy drinks are sold in 250 – 500ml cans or bottles, energy shots are usually sold in smaller 50ml bottles. Energy shots are in Europe most commonly sold as “food supplements” under the Food Supplements Directive 2002/46/EC. They have the purpose to supplement the normal diet and are concentrated sources of nutrients or other substances with a nutritional or physiological effect.
Energy shots can contain the same total amount of caffeine, taurine, vitamins or other substances as their larger versions, and are concentrated forms of energy drinks.
The marketing of energy shots generally focuses on their convenience and availability as a low-calorie "instant" energy drink that can be taken in one swallow (or “shot”), as opposed to energy drinks that encourage users to drink an entire can, which may contain 250 calories or more. Consumers who don't want energy drinks, but are looking for the functional benefit of an energy boost are typically gravitating to the shots.