That said, the vast majority of energy drinks aren’t exactly healthy, nor are they derived from natural ingredients.
Hence, in this article, I’ll be dedicating some time to the all-natural, and healthy side of energy drinks, where calories are low, and the sugar content is practically non-existent.
So if you want to learn more about all-natural energy drinks, what to look for, and which brands tick the boxes, you’re in the right place.
Let’s get started…
Table of Contents
What Are All-Natural Energy Drinks?
All-natural energy drinks are energy drinks containing ingredients that are from natural sources with minimal use of artificial sweeteners or synthetic lab-made ingredients.
Now, it’s important to make the distinction between ‘all-natural’ and ‘zero-calorie/sugar-free’, because while most all-natural drinks have low sugar and calorie content, the opposite isn’t necessarily true,
Take Bang, for example, which has zero calories and is completely sugar-free, but has a bunch of synthetic ingredients, such as caffeine anhydrous and Creatyl-L-Leucine.
In short, all-natural energy drinks have ingredients sourced from natural, plant-based sources, which makes them significantly better for your health as you’re not putting too many artificial ingredients into your body.
Are All-Natural Energy Drinks Good For You?
While they’re not necessarily good for you, all-natural energy drinks are definitely a better option than regular energy drinks due to their organic ingredients and generally lower levels of sugar and calories.
In general, energy drinks aren’t exactly good for your health in the traditional sense, acting less like a glass of fresh juice and more like a cup of coffee (or two) with extra fizz and sweeter flavors.
Now, will getting an energy drink help you stay awake and give you a distinct focus boost? Absolutely. That said, keep in mind that constantly having a bunch of caffeine and sugar isn’t ideal for a healthy lifestyle.
However, also keep in mind that even if an energy drink uses natural sugar and caffeine, it still doesn’t mean that it’s any different from synthetic sugar or caffeine, given that your body will react to it in a similar way.
Take, for example, Uptime Energy, which uses sugar derived from organic sugar cane. While it may sound healthier, it still impacts your body in the same way as regular sugar, as cane sugar is nutritionally similar to ordinary sugar.
That being said, all-natural energy drinks generally have a lower sugar and caffeine content than regular energy drinks, with some even substituting sugar for natural zero-calorie sweeteners instead.
So the best advice I can give you is that you should definitely be reviewing all-natural energy drinks on a case-by-case basis to determine whether or not it’s actually healthier than the usual fare.
Are Natural Sweeteners Better Than Sugar?
The short answer is, not always.
Some natural sweeteners, such as honey or cane sugar, have the same nutritional footprint as regular sugar, so energy drinks with these sweeteners aren’t that different to regular sugar.
As stated earlier, just because something is natural doesn’t mean that it’s better, so keep that in mind when you’re perusing through the ingredients list of a prospective new product that you might be looking to try.
As for which natural sweeteners give you the sweetness without the calories, the sweeteners listed below are generally considered some of the healthier natural sweeteners that you can find in an energy drink:
Stevia is a sweetener and sugar substitute that’s derived from the leaf of the stevia plant native to Brazil and Paraguay.
It’s about 200 to 300 times sweeter than regular sugar, but with the added benefit of having no calories, no carbs, and no artificial ingredients present in the final product.
In short, Stevia is essentially the closest-to-perfect substitute to sugar available on the market and is used in a fair number of all-natural energy drinks as well.
However, the taste of Stevia may not be for everyone, and you may find it mildly bitter. Some people even say that it tastes a bit like menthol.
Erythritol is a sweetener that is essentially sugar alcohol, although there isn’t any actual alcohol present in Erythritol.
With zero calories and practically no effect on your blood sugar levels, Erythritol is one of the better natural sweeteners you can find in an energy drink, with it even being diabetic-friendly.
If you’d like to read more about Erythritol and its general uses, check out this link.
Are Natural Energy Drinks Bad For You?
As long as you don’t have any pre-existing health conditions and live a relatively healthy lifestyle, all-natural energy drinks are no worse for you than regular energy drinks.
While you have to go on a case-by-case basis, generally speaking, all-natural energy drinks are healthier options than their regular counterparts.
This can be attributed to having fewer calories, using natural sweeteners instead of artificial ones, lower usage of synthetic ingredients, or a combination of all three.
But remember, just because all-natural energy drinks are healthier than their regular counterparts, that doesn’t mean that it’s time to ditch water completely.
As with any energy drink, moderation is key to finding the right balance between getting a nice boost or having a mild headache because you had too much caffeine.
What To Look For In an All-Natural Energy Drink
Apart from going through reviews, your best bet while looking for an all-natural energy drink is to do some research yourself regarding the source of the ingredients before making a decision about which one to get.
The easiest way to do this is by picking out several potential energy drinks, then have a look through each of their nutritional facts and ingredients lists to determine if they’re really as all-natural as advertised.
If you’re more diligent, asking the manufacturer about the ingredient sources is also an option, even through social media. Just be aware that you may not always get a straight or factual answer from them.
In any case, here are some of the more notable ingredients you should be looking out for when selecting an all-natural energy drink:
The caffeine content in most energy drinks range from 50 to 300mg, depending on the brand you choose. For context, a regular cup of coffee usually contains around 95mg of caffeine.
Personally, I prefer energy drinks with 50 to 100mg of caffeine per serving, as I find that they provide me just enough to keep me going, but not too much that I get overwhelmed by the effects of caffeine.
Naturally, how much caffeine you need depends on your caffeine metabolism and your overall tolerance to caffeine, so try to find the serving size that best suits your personal preferences.
As with all good things, more doesn’t always mean better, and the same principle applies to caffeine, so don’t go too overboard with the caffeine content.
Therefore, it’s important to take note of how many energy drinks you have in a day and also take extra precautions before adding in other caffeinated beverages into your diet to prevent going over the limit.
Coffee, tea, sodas and even chocolate contain varying amounts of caffeine and it all contributes to your total intake for the day, which should always be under 400mg.
Contrary to popular belief, sugar by itself isn’t all that bad for you in small doses. In very small amounts, sugar can help to improve your mood and raise your dopamine levels, along with giving your cells some quick and easy energy to work use.
The problem with sugar is that it’s often overused and is far too common in our daily diets, leading to many dietary issues, most notably metabolic syndrome.
Considering that the AHA recommends a maximum daily added sugar intake of 25g for women and 36g for men, it’s safe to say you should be aiming for an energy drink with a sugar content much lower than that to be on the safe side.
Apart from staying on the healthier side of life, going for energy drinks with a lower sugar content also means you’ll get to avoid sugar crashes, which aren’t something you want from an energy drink.
In any case, the best way to keep your energy levels high after drinking an energy drink is to make sure that the sugar level in the drink is relatively low; there are plenty of healthier ways to get your calories.
Looking at the positives, artificial sweeteners are a lot better for you than ordinary sugar, as they have no effect on your daily caloric intake, with the most common ones being Sucralose and Acesulfame Potassium.
That being said, they’re not exactly something you want in an all-natural energy drink, mostly due to the fact their artificiality clashes quite a bit if you’re looking for energy drinks with fully naturally-sourced ingredients, which they are not.
So while artificial sweeteners aren’t worrying in moderation, it’s understandable if you want to keep your intake of them to a minimum.
For more information on artificial sweeteners and how safe they are, take a look at this video:
The Best All-Natural Energy Drinks
|Runa||150mg||2g (organic cane sugar)||10 calories|
In no particular order, here are some energy drinks that more or less fit the all-natural bill that you should look out for the next time you’re itching for an energy drink.
The most classic energy drink entrant on this list, Celsius is a sugar-free energy drink that boasts some refreshing ingredients whilst keeping artificiality to a minimum.
Each 12 fl.oz can of Celsius contains 10 calories, 200mg of caffeine, and a bunch of other beneficial ingredients including Vitamin C, which is a bit of a rare find in energy drinks.
Best of all, they offer a variety of fruity flavors to suit your taste, which is a plus, especially if you enjoy switching between flavors.
However, I should note that Celsius isn’t entirely all-natural, so depending on just how natural you want to go, Celsius may not be for you.
If you want to read more about Celsius, I’ve written all about it in an article discussing Celsius’ caffeine and ingredients right here.
Advertized as a plant-based energy drink with no synthetic stimulants or processed ingredients, TeaRiot is an energy drink made with the health-conscious energy drink enthusiast in mind.
Each regular 16 fl.oz can of TeaRiot has 50 calories, 6g of sugar, and 160mg of caffeine, along with 100mg of L-Theanine and a handful of B12 for good measure.
Perhaps the best thing about TeaRiot is that it’s not a carbonated energy drink, something that I appreciate, using brewed tea and maple water instead, which is a definite plus if you’re not too fond of fizzy energy drinks.
Made with organic ingredients, RUNA is another all-natural energy drink that’s made with health in mind, though the downside is that it has a higher price than most other energy drinks.
A regular 12 fl.oz can of RUNA has 10 calories, 150mg of caffeine, and 2g of organic cane sugar, with a flavor that’s reminiscent of brewed tea with a light, fruity finish.
Free of artificial sweeteners and certified USDA-organic, RUNA is definitely an energy drink you should have on your radar if you’re looking for an all-natural boost to your daily routine.
REIZE (my fav)
If you’re looking for a drink that’s low on calories and sugar that gives you a mild and long-lasting energy boost, then REIZE might be exactly what you’re looking for.
While not entirely all-natural, REIZE is a great powdered energy drink that comes in convenient 4g sachets. With a very sensible 50mg of caffeine, it’s completely sugar-free and has just 11 calories per serving.
REIZE also contains a great mix of taurine, ginseng, and B-group vitamins. This smart mix of ingredients combines to give you the perfect energy boost without the crash afterward.
Best of all, you can get REIZE shipped right to your door for only about $1 per drink.
That’s amazing value for money.
Try REIZE today and I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s the smarter choice when it comes to energy drinks.