What’s the best energy drink for adults? (no kidding)

Best energy drinks for adults

As an adult, work and life can sometimes take a toll on you.

We’ve all been there, tired, stressed and wondering how you’re going to get through the day in a semi-productive fashion.

What if there was a solution for times like those?

Well, there is – energy drinks.

If you don’t like the taste of coffee or just want a few more great ingredients with your caffeine than you get in the average cup of Joe, energy drinks might be the drink for you.

Energy drinks are great for adults, but they are not suitable for children or teenagers. Caffeine can have detrimental affects on young people’s development.

So, if you’re old enough, stick with me and let’s dive in to find the best energy drinks for adults.

How to find the best energy drink

With tons of energy drink brands to choose from, it can be a little intimidating.

Different prices, different brands, different flavors, different ingredients. There are literally too many things to keep track of.

To simplify things, let’s look at what I consider to be a few of the most important things to consider when comparing energy drinks.


Grains of sugar on table top
While sugar does have its benefits in providing you with a quick energy boost, too much of it can be bad news for your health. 

First and foremost, the sugar content plays an important role in determining how healthy a particular energy drink is for you.

Too much sugar can cause some serious health issues, especially in the long-term.

The American Heart Association recommends that adult males consume no more than 37.5g of sugar per day, while adult women consume no more than 25g per day.

Sugar-laden energy drinks will not only cause an increased risk of you developing type two diabetes, but they can also lead to a major sugar crash a couple of hours after drinking them.

As adults, we should cut out products that have excessive sugar in them, including energy drinks.

Fortunately, there are plenty of great sugar-free energy drinks to choose from. I don’t want you to think that all energy drinks contain a lot of sugar because that’s certainly not the case.

But, some do.

A regular Monster Energy contains a whopping 54g of sugar in a 16-ounce can. This is a clear example of how some energy drinks contain more sugar in a single can than the AMA recommends adults consume in an entire day.

Again, the recommendation is no more than 37.5g of sugar for adult men and 25g per day for adult women.


Caffeine is a common ingredient in all energy drinks, and for good reason. It’s the most important energy-boosting ingredient within them.

Caffeine is enjoyed by a huge number of people around the world each and every day. But, too much caffeine can be dangerous, so it’s important to keep track of how much you’re consuming.

The FDA recommends that adults consume no more than 400mg of caffeine per day. That’s an important number to remember, because some very strong energy drinks contain 300mg of caffeine, or even more in some cases, in a single can.

Consuming too much caffeine may cause problems for your health and well-being in the long run. The caffeine content in an energy drink varies from brand to brand, so make sure you check the label.

Personally, I prefer energy drinks with between 50 and 100mg of caffeine per serve. That’s the sweet spot for me. More 100mg of caffeine can be a bit much, leaving me unable to focus or think straight. It sometimes gives me hot flushes.

Energy drink with less caffeine like REIZE are much safer to consume more frequently compared to energy drinks with more caffeine, such as Bang. This is because REIZE contains just 50mg of caffeine per serve compared to Bang’s 300mg.

Caffeine affects different people in different ways. So, know your body and know your tolerance, but always stay under 400mg per day.

You can read more about caffeine withdrawal and caffeine addiction in my other articles if you think that these might apply to you.


This is pretty obvious, but why pay more than you need to?

There are many good energy drinks out there that are at the affordable end of the spectrum, and many others at the expensive end of the spectrum.

Paying more money for something doesn’t always mean that it’s better quality. There are plenty of examples of that in the world of energy drinks.

As a general rule, most energy drinks cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $2-$3 per drink. Some cost closer to $5 per drink, and others closer to $1 per drink.

My favorite energy drink is home delivered for around $1 per drink, making it almost unbeatable value, but more on that later.

With that out of the way, in no particular order, let me introduce…

The best energy drinks for adults

• 5-Hour Energy

Caffeine content: 200mg
Sugar: 0g
Price: about $2 per 1.93 fl.oz bottle

As the name suggests, 5-hours of increased energy and productivity levels is exactly what you’re going to get.

With 200mg of caffeine in single-serve, 5-Hour Energy contains a bit much caffeine for my liking, but it might work for you.

It also contains B vitamins which are essential in the energy production process in your body.

Bang Energy

Caffeine content: 300mg
Sugar: 0g
Price: about $2.50 per 16 fl.oz can

Bang energy is one of the best tasting sugar-free energy drinks out on the market in my opinion. Being both sugar-free and calorie-free, Bang energy isn’t like your typical sugar-ladened energy drink. Bang uses artificial sugar instead.

The biggest downside of Bang is the huge caffeine content, which is a pretty insane 300mg per can.

Keep in mind the FDA guidelines of no more than 400mg per day for adults, so you shouldn’t ever drink two cans of Bang in a single day.

It’s great for those who like a strong dose of caffeine, but be careful if you don’t have a high tolerance to caffeine because it can be too much for some people.

Bang energy also contains other ingredients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, and B12, niacin, and magnesium which are all essential for your body.

Allegedly, it’s also loaded with other great ingredients like creatine, BCAAs, and CoQ10. However, how much of these ingredients are contained in a single can are not stated and is the centre of some controversy.

Also, Bang have had a number of lawsuits filed against them for false and misleading advertising, so do your own research about Bang before taking the plunge.

You can read my complete review of Bang here.


Caffeine content: 160mg
Sugar content: 54g
Price: about $3.20 per 16 fl.oz can

Through aggressive marketing, Monster Energy Drink has grown to be one of the biggest players in the industry. 

Unlike Red Bull that comes in a smaller 8.4 fl.oz can, Monster comes in a much larger 16 ounce can. It contains 160mg of caffeine which is a bit more than I like, but not crazy.

Monster also comes with 200% of your daily recommended intake of Vitamins B2, B3, B6, and B12.

Not to mention it also contains other good ingredients like taurine and ginseng to give you an additional boost.

Best energy drink for an all-nighter Monster energy

The main downside of Monster is the 54g of sugar in a single can. That’s around twice as much as most adults are supposed to get in two days.


However, if you’re a big fan of this green beast there are also sugar-free versions of Monster Energy available. You could just opt for one of those instead of the regular version.

I’ve written extensively about whether Monster energy drink is bad for you. You should definitely check that article out if you’re considering making the switch to Monster.

Price-wise, Monster is somewhat on the expensive end of the scale, so it might not be suitable as an every day option.

Despite having double the caffeine and sugar as Red Bull, when measured on a per-fluid-ounce basis Monster and Red Bull are almost identical. If you want to get the complete picture on the difference between Red Bull and Monster, check out my other article where I cover absolutely everything you need to know about the two brands.


Caffeine content: 100mg
Sugar: 0g
Price: about $2.25 per tube

ZipFizz is an energy drink powder, sold in tubes. It’s one of the most popular energy supplements in that category.

Unlike your traditional energy drink, it comes in a single-use tube which contains powder. All you have to do is dump it into your cup or bottle and mix it with water and voila, you have yourself an energy drink.

A single-serve of ZipFizz contains an ideal 100mg of caffeine, which is sufficient enough to give you a nice energy boost. It also contains a blend of vitamins and minerals which are great for you.

The best part is that Zipfizz contains no sugar, which makes it much healthier compared to some other sugar-ladened energy drinks.

Healthiest energy drinks zipfizz is one of them
ZipFizz is one of the healthiest options for energy drinks.

You can check out my ZipFizz review where I try and rate 10 of the Zipfizz flavors.

Personally, I’m a big fan of energy drink powders, including Zipfizz. But some flavors are certainly better than others in my opinion.

One downside to Zipfizz in my eyes is the way they try to use having 41,667% of the recommended vitamin B12, like it’s something great. You can read more about this here, but basically, you just pee out anything more than 100% of your daily requirements, so it’s a little misleading to position that as a reason to buy the product.

• Rockstar

Caffeine content: 160mg
Sugar: 31g
Price: about $2 per 16 fl.oz can

Party like a rockstar, is the famous tagline behind this world-famous energy drink. 

A single can of this rock and rolling energy drink is bound to give you the energy to party like a rockstar. Well, that’s not much of a surprise since a single 16 ounce can contains 160mg of caffeine and about as much sugar as you should consume in an entire day.

Rockstar also contains tons of other great energy-boosting ingredients like B vitamins. In fact, a single can contains 200% of your recommended daily intake of niacin and 400% of vitamin B2.

However, just like Zipfizz, anything above 100% of your daily requirements are sent straight into the toilet bowl on your next visit.

On top of those ingredients, it also includes herbal extracts such as guarana seed extract and Panax ginseng root.

Rockstar is a popular energy drink among adults, I suggest you try it for yourself and see if you like the way it makes you feel.

Red Bull

Caffeine content: 80mg
Sugar: 27g
Price: about $2 per 8.4 fl.oz can

The granddaddy of all energy drinks, Red Bull is the world’s most popular energy drink. The Red Bull that we know and love today is actually a spin-off from it’s Thai’s version Krating Daeng.

Every 8.4 ounces of this bad boy contains 80mg of caffeine – almost equivalent to an average cup of coffee.

Just like REIZE Energy Drink, Red Bull also contains other great ingredients such as taurine which is beneficial for muscle recovery and reduces physical fatigue. Besides that, Red Bull also contains lots of B vitamins such as B3, B5, B6, and B12 which are all great for enhancing energy production and cellular efficiency in your body.

Similar to Rockstar and Monster, Red Bull contains quite a bit of sugar with 27g per 8.4 fl.oz can.

That’s more than the recommended maximum amount an adult woman should consume and 72% of the amount an adult male should consume. A second can would put you well past the recommended maximum.

With all this sugar you might be wondering whether it’s safe to drink Red Bull everyday or whether Red Bull is bad for you. I wrote entire articles about that which you should check out if you’re concerned about what a daily Red Bull habit might mean for your health.

However, Red Bull does also come in a sugar-free version, which uses artificial sweeteners like aspartame to replace sugar.

This is a much better choice in my opinion.

Best energy drink for adult energy needs
The grand-daddy of all energy drinks, but did you know that Red Bull was banned in France at one time?


Caffeine content: 50mg
Sugar: 0g
Price: about $1 per drink, including shipping

REIZE is my favorite energy drink.

Like Zipfizz, REIZE is a powdered energy drink. REIZE contains a more sensible amount of caffeine though – 50mg per drink, which is enough to give you a nice energy boost without overdoing it.

The caffeine works together with other great ingredients – taurine, ginseng and B group vitamins, to give you a perfect energy boost, with no sugar crash.

Not to mention, REIZE is also sugar-free meaning it’s much healthier for your health compared to some other sugar-loaded energy drinks.

At around $1 per drink including shipping right to your door, REIZE is by far the best value for money of all the energy drinks on this list.

Other great energy drinks

The energy drinks that I’ve listed above are the ones I consider the best for adults and are some of my favorites. However, there are tons of other great energy drink brands out there that you could also try such as:


XS energy



If you’re looking for other great powdered energy drinks, you can check out:

• Gfuel

Advocare Spark

Seriously, you can’t go past REIZE

If you’re looking for a great energy drink that gives you a nice energy boost at an affordable price, REIZE might be just the drink for you.

Did I mention the fact that it’s also delicious?

REIZE Energy Drink is one of the best energy drinks for adults.
REIZE is hands down the best energy drink for adults in my opinion.

The fact that REIZE has a sensible amount of caffeine, gives me an amazing energy boost, is sugar-free and very affordable make it the clear winner in my opinion.

If you’re trying to reduce the amount of caffeine that you drink, REIZE could be a nice transition to quitting caffeine completely since it contains less caffeine than most other energy drinks. Quitting caffeine is something that some people struggle with.

Choose between monthly deliveries (set and forget) or one-time purchases, whichever you prefer. Talk about convenience.

Try REIZE today and you might find that REIZE is the best energy drink in your eyes too.

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Marty Spargo

I started my own energy drink brand in 2014 and am passionate about educating people about energy drinks so that they can properly understand the ingredients, benefits and risks without being influenced by the marketing messages put out by some brands. You can read my full bio here.

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