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Best energy drink for flu (and what to avoid)

Best energy drink for flu (and what to avoid)

You never know when you’re going to be down with the flu. Sometimes there are signs that your condition is deteriorating, other times you just wake up feeling sick. 

Whether you can get sick leave or you just to go to work or school, I think an energy drink can help you get through the day. 

Even if you can’t stop the sneezing, at least you can comfort yourself with your favorite energy drink.

I’ll be recommending some at the end of this post, so if you only want to see my recommendations, you can skip ahead to that section down below.

Ingredients in energy drinks


Caffeine is the main energy-boosting ingredient in energy drinks.

The caffeine content in energy drinks differs by brand. Some have a higher caffeine content while some are moderate or even caffeine-free.

A healthy adult can consume up to 400mg of caffeine daily, but that also depends on your caffeine tolerance. If you have a lower caffeine tolerance, it means that a small dose of caffeine can affect you more than it might affect other people and you may experience some side effects.

Other than helping you to be energized through the day, the caffeine in energy drinks is actually beneficial for you, provided you don’t overdo it. 

When you’re sick, energy drinks can help battle the grogginess and tiredness that you feel if you don’t have the luxury to spend the day laying on the couch or in bed at home.

However, keep in mind that caffeine can interfere with getting a good night’s sleep if you have too much of it too close to going to bed, so it’s a good idea to avoid caffeine in the evening unless you plan on staying up.


Sugar is an important ingredient to consider in energy drinks, since some energy drinks contain a lot of it.

However, many brands have sugar-free options nowadays, which are probably a better option.

Sugar doesn’t go well when you’re sick though. It might prevent the immune system from getting rid of the bacteria, in addition to all of the other reasons to avoid sugar.

You shouldn’t only limit your sugar intake when you’re down with the flu. Even when you’re healthy it’s a good idea to limit your sugar intake as much as possible. 

The American Heart Association recommends no more than 37.5g of sugar per day for a healthy adult male and no more than 25g per day for a healthy adult female.

Other ingredients

Energy drinks often contain many other ingredients like taurine, guarana and B vitamins.

Guarana adds to the caffeine content in an energy drink, so if the amount of caffeine is a concern for you, you should pay attention to the list of ingredients and be extra cautious if you see guarana listed.

This list is not exhaustive and you’ll often see other ingredients listed on energy drinks. You should always read the label to understand what you’re consuming and seek medical advice if you’re unsure about whether any of the ingredients are right for you.

Is it OK to consume caffeine when you have a cold?

Yes, it’s okay to consume caffeine when you’re sick with a cold or flu.  

Caffeine can help you power through the day, especially if you still need to be up and about.

The caffeine content in energy drinks can increase your brain function and your concentration to enable peak mental performance. 

However, keep in mind that when you’re sick, getting a good sleep is important in order to recover.

If you find that caffeine interferes with that, you might either want to reduce your caffeine consumption or hold back on caffeine altogether for a while until you’re healthy again.

Also, you might read that caffeine causes dehydration and infer that as a reason to steer clear when you’re sick, but that may not actually be true.

Overall, there are some pros and cons to having caffeine when you’re sick, but a little bit should be perfectly fine – especially if it brightens your day a little!

Can you drink energy drinks while sick?

Yes, you can still drink energy drinks when you’re sick with the flu. 

In fact, based on a previous study, participants with colds that consumed caffeine showed improved alertness and performance. 

Therefore, not only can you still enjoy your daily caffeinated energy drinks, they might actually be beneficial for you when you’re down with the flu.

person holding four assorted medicine tablets

If you’re on medication, you should be more cautious with energy drinks.

Do energy drinks interfere with medication?

Energy drinks may interfere with your medication, so you should check with your doctor with regard to the specific brand of energy drink that you are considering.

Of course, the safest choice is to simply avoid energy drinks while you’re taking medication if you’re unsure about things.

Can you mix energy drinks and cold medicine?

No, you shouldn’t mix energy drinks and cold medicine. 

Purposely mixing cold medicine with energy drinks is actually a trend (like mixing alcohol and energy drinks) in order to experience a high.

This is really dangerous and could potentially be fatal.

If you’re really sick and need cold medication but would also like an energy drink to get through your day, you should consume the energy drink as far apart from the medication as possible and only after consulting your doctor to confirm that it’s safe.

Are energy drinks hydrating?

No, energy drinks aren’t hydrating.

There are energy drinks nowadays that contains electrolytes, supposedly to help with hydration, but most energy drinks are not hydrating.

If you’re sick, it’s important to stay hydrated and the best way to do that is to drink plenty of water. 

Can energy drinks help you recover from fatigue due to flu?

Yes, energy drinks can help you recover from fatigue due to flu. 

When you’re down with the flu, not only is your nose runny, you might also have a general malaiseMalaise’s symptoms include a feeling of weakness and overall discomfort whereby your alertness and psychomotor functions are reduced.

The caffeine in energy drinks can boost your energy and help to overcome those feelings of lethargy so that you can still function and get stuff done during the day.

Can you drink Red Bull if you have the flu?

Yes, you can drink Red Bull even if you have the flu. 

Let’s look at the contents in an 8.4 fl. oz can of Red Bull energy drink. a regular can has 80mg of caffeine, 27g of sugar and 110 calories in total. 

I think the moderate amount of caffeine in Red Bull is sensible when you’ve got a cold or flu. It’s enough to boost your energy levels without giving you extreme side effects that you’ll want to avoid when you’re already sick.

The sugar and calorie content is a bit alarming however, and I wouldn’t suggest regular Red Bull as a daily habit for the long run.

If you do still want a can of Red Bull a day, maybe opt for Red Bull Total Zero instead.

If you’re wondering about exactly how Red Bull and Monster are different from each other, check out my other article where I cover everything you need to know about the two brands.

Other beverages to drink with the flu


Drinking a lot of water is essential if you want to recover quickly. During this sick period you may also be losing more fluids than normal, so you should stay hydrated well.

Water helps loosen the mucus and relieve stuffiness that comes with the flu. 

hot herbal tea

A cup of hot herbal tea could do wonders if you have the flu.

Hot herbal tea

Other than clearing congested airways, hot drinks can actually help to relieve a runny nose, sneezing, coughing, sore throat and fatigue. 

The steam from a hot cup of herbal tea can be soothing and warming for temporary pain relieve.

Orange juice

Fresh orange juice contains a ton of vitamin C and folic acid, which are beneficial to boost your immune system and allow you to feel better in no time. 

Best energy drink for flu

In no particular order, here are a few good choices if you’re wondering what to drink when you have the flu.

Monster Zero Ultra

If you’re a fan of Monster Energy Drink, you might want to consider Monster Zero Ultra.

You still get the familiar Monster brand taste without the extra unnecessary 54g of sugar and 190 calories that you get in a regular can of Monster. 

It contains 140mg of caffeine, which is quite a lot in my opinion, especially if you’re sick with the flu.

But like I said, if you only drink Monster Energy Drink this is a good switch, especially in the long run.

Advocare Spark Energy Drink

Going down the levels of caffeine a little, we have Advocare Spark Energy Drink with 120mg of caffeine.

It’s also sugar-free, but with 15 calories (which honestly doesn’t bother me).

This is a powdered form of energy drink, whereby 1 sachet of Spark powder can be mixed with 8 fl.oz of water.

I love powdered energy drinks, they’re so convenient to carry around and mix whenever you need them.

It’s Powdered energy drinks are also usually cheaper than their canned cousins, but Advocare Spark costs around $2.50 with shipping, so you might want to think twice as making this your flu-recovery drink.

XS Energy Drink

XS Energy Drink has 80mg of caffeine, 10 calories and zero sugar. The contents are pretty moderate and should be suitable for you if you’re down with flu.

XS also has 2 caffeine free options: 

• Caffeine-free cranberry-grape blast

• Caffeine-free mango pineapple guava

REIZE Energy Drink (10 out of 10)

REIZE Energy Drink is very convenient.

REIZE is home delivered for your convenience.

Whether I’m sick or as healthy as an ox, I always go for REIZE Energy Drink as it only has 50mg of caffeine, 11 calories and is sugar-free. 

The sensible amount of caffeine gives me just the right boost of energy without worrying about side effects or a sugar-crash afterwards.

Also, REIZE Energy Drink is super-affordable. It ships right to your door for around $1 per drink, including shipping.

That’s amazing value for money.

Try REIZE Energy Drink today, and you might just find that it’s also the best energy drink for you when you’ve got the flu.

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