Energy drinks are caffeinated drinks meant to increase your energy levels and make you more alert.
Nowadays, energy drinks are one of the most popular beverages. They’re typically used prior to a workout session or a meeting to help the mind perform more efficiently.
If you’re wondering whether energy drinks are healthy or not, then keep reading. I’ll try to answer all of your questions in this article.
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Are Energy Drinks Healthy?
Whether energy drinks are healthy or not depends on the brand you’re going for and how much you consume.
Energy drinks are caffeinated drinks specially designed to boost your energy and increase your focus.
Also, some energy drinks contain sugar. If you have diabetes, then you might want to avoid having sugar through energy drinks, and you might want to go for sugar-free energy drinks.
Furthermore, if you’re attempting to reduce weight, you might want to choose energy drinks with no calories or fewer calories since high-calorie energy drinks might ruin your diet and harm your health.
Furthermore, energy drinks are not recommended to pregnant women since they contain caffeine which can be dangerous for you if you’re expecting.
If you’re sensitive to caffeine, avoid having energy drinks with high caffeine content. This also applies to children because energy drinks, or caffeine in general, aren’t healthy for them.
Ingredients In Energy Drinks
Energy drinks contain different ingredients, depending on which brand you’re going for. There are some ingredients that are common in some energy drinks, such as:
Amino Acids are Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) that are quite popular for improving your muscles. They’re one of the main ingredients found in energy drinks.
Your body can’t produce amino acids naturally, so you have to consume them from outside sources. Amino acids offer the following health benefits:
- Reduced fatigue
- Increased muscles growth
- Prevent wasting of muscles
- Decreased muscle soreness
Essential B Vitamins
Energy drinks also contain some B vitamins, which play an important role in providing energy to your body. Here’s a table containing the most common B vitamins used in energy drinks:
|Niacin (vitamin B3)
|Blood fat levels may be reduced as well as the risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, it enhances mental clarity and skin radiance.
|It boosts your immune system and improves your mental well-being. PMS symptoms can be alleviated with this remedy as well.
|It aids in the production of DNA and maintains the health of your body’s blood and nerve cells.
Sucralose is a synthetic sweetener that is widely found in sugar-free energy drinks and other products.
Sucralose is a zero-calorie artificial sweetener 600 times sweeter than regular sugar. It’s safe to consume since FDA approves it.
Sucralose can be better than regular sugar in the following ways:
- No aftertaste
- 600 times more sweeter
- Helps in calorie control
Things To Consider When Choosing A Healthy Energy Drink
One of the most important components of an energy drink is caffeine, and the caffeine content in an energy drink varies depending on the brand.
When choosing an energy drink, you should consider the caffeine content of the drink.
You should go for energy drinks containing caffeine according to your tolerance. If you have low caffeine tolerance, then an energy drink with high caffeine content might not be good for you.
Different brands contain different amounts of caffeine. Some brands have high caffeine content while others have a moderate amount of caffeine.
Caffeine also offers the following health benefits:
- Boost energy
- Increased focus
- Improved physical performance
- Improved memory
- Improved brain functions
- Improved reaction time
- Lower the risk of type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heart rate
Here’s a video explaining whether or not caffeine is healthy for you:
Another factor that is very important when choosing a healthy energy drink is the drink’s sugar content.
The drink’s sugar content can vary depending on the brand you’re going for.
Consuming sugar in moderate amounts can have the following advantages:
- Immediate burst of energy
- Store energy for later
- Boost your mood instantly
- Can improve thinking skills
For your reference, a woman’s sugar intake shouldn’t be more than 24g of sugar, while a man’s sugar intake shouldn’t be more than 36g of sugar in a day.
You should have sugar under the daily recommended intake of sugar to avoid the following side effects:
- Skin ageing
- High risk of heart disease
- Increased risk of cancer
- Tooth decay
- Low energy
Also, energy drinks come in sugar-free versions.
Sugar-free energy drinks are likely to be more healthy compared to energy drinks with sugar since they won’t increase your blood sugar levels.
Besides that, drinking sugar-free energy drinks can reduce your sugar intake, which can have the following positive effects on your health:
- Higher energy levels
- Better sleep
- Boost immune system
- Weight loss
- Improved gut health
Another factor that should be considered when choosing a healthy energy drink is the calorie content of the drink.
Calories are the main source of your energy. You get calories from the food you eat, and the more you eat, the more your calorie intake will be.
When choosing a healthy energy drink, you should know how many calories the energy drink contains.
In context, a woman’s body needs around 2000 calories a day, while a man’s body needs around 2500 calories in a day.
Energy drinks with fewer calories or zero calories are considered to be healthier than energy drinks with a lot of calories, though this still depends on your needed calorie intake.
Benefits Of Energy Drinks
Energy drinks have several health benefits if you drink them in a moderate amount.
Energy drinks are great for boosting your focus and getting some extra energy. They can help you focus better on your task and increase your physical performance drastically.
Besides that, energy drinks also have some other ingredients which are beneficial for you. Many energy drinks contain amino acids and vitamins which are suitable for your overall health.
Energy drinks have the following benefits:
- Boost of energy
- Improved focus
- Improved physical performance
Side Effects Of Energy Drinks
Energy drinks don’t have any side effects if you drink them responsibly.
To get the best out of energy drinks, you need to drink them in moderation since energy drinks work best when you consume them occasionally. Excessive consumption of energy drinks can lead to the following side effects:
- Weight gain
- Heart diseases
- Caffeine overdose
- Sugar overload
- Rapid heart rate
- High blood pressure
- Chest pain
Healthiest Energy Drinks
Here’s a table containing the most famous energy drinks in the market and how much caffeine, sugar, and calories do they contain:
|C4 Natural Zero
|Red Bull (sugar-free)
|G Fuel Powder
Celsius BCAA is a sugar-free drink with the least amount of calories compared to other energy drinks of Celsius. It has only 10 calories in each serving.
Also, it has 100mg of caffeine which is relatively moderate compared to other energy drinks with high caffeine content.
Apart from the few amount of calories, caffeine content, and sugar content, this drink offers BCAA, which are very beneficial for your health.
Celsius BCAA is a gluten-free energy drink that comes in two flavors: Sparkling Tropical Twist and Sparkling Blood Orange Lemonade.
C4 Natural Zero
If you want a higher caffeine content, then C4 Natural Zero is an option for you.
C4 Natural Zero has 120mg of caffeine which is the average amount of caffeine compared to energy drinks.
It’s also a sugar-free and calorie-free energy drink, so that’s a plus since it won’t increase your sugar intake and calorie intake.
Moreover, it comes in three different flavors: Blueberry Lemonade, Cherry Limeade, Strawberry Coconut.
You can get C4 Natural Zero energy drink for around $2 on Amazon. It’s quite affordable as a lot of energy drinks cost about $3.
Red Bull Sugar Free
The sugar-free version is good if you only want a minimal amount of caffeine in your drink without consuming sugar.
Red Bull’s sugar-free version contains 80mg of caffeine which is the same as the original version of Red Bull.
However, the original version has 27g of sugar, which is a lot of sugar to consume at once.
However, Red Bull sugar-free does have 25 calories which can be a drawback.
Drinking a can of Red Bull will add 25 extra calories to your daily calorie intake, which can be a problem if you’re trying to restrict your calorie intake.
Aspire Energy Drinks
Aspire offers a tiny amount of caffeine with zero sugar and calories.
Aspire Energy has 80mg of caffeine, which is quite a moderate amount of caffeine. Also, it has no added sugar and zero calories.
Aspire energy also has other great ingredients like vitamin Bs and C, which are super beneficial for your health. Plus, it comes in 9 different flavor options.
Moreover, Aspire Energy is a keto-friendly energy drink. So if you’re following a keto diet, you can still have this drink.
G Fuel Powder
G Fuel Powder is a powdered energy drink that comes in a tub and sachets. It has 150mg of caffeine, which is a little high for people with low caffeine tolerance. But it’s perfectly fine if you have high caffeine tolerance.
Moreover, it has no added sugar, which is a plus since it won’t increase your blood sugar level and add extra sugar to your daily sugar intake.
The only downside of this drink is that it has 25 calories. It will increase your daily calorie intake by 25 calories which can be an issue for people who are following a specific diet.
Xtend Energy is also one of the healthiest energy drinks available in the market because it has a moderate amount of caffeine which is 125mg.
It has no calories and zero sugar and BCAAs, which can help enhance your physical performance and increase your muscles endurance.
In my opinion, energy drinks are not entirely healthy beverages to drink every day or too often. But there are some energy drinks that are healthy compared to other drinks in the market.
Every brand has different ingredients and nutrition facts, so it depends on which brand you’re going for.
Energy drinks with a moderate amount of caffeine and with zero calories and no sugar are healthier than other energy drinks.
If you consume responsibly, you will be able to get all the benefits offered by energy drinks without facing any side effects.
Also, you shouldn’t have more than one serving of energy drink in a day. One serving has enough caffeine to get you through a hard day.
That being said, enjoy your energy drink, but consume in moderation.