Best energy drink for flu (and what to avoid)

a table with tissues and glasses

We can never know when we’re going to be down with flu. Sometimes there are telltales, sometimes you just wake up feeling sick. 

Whether you can get a sick leave or you just to go to work or school, I believe an energy drink would help you get by your day better. 

Even if you can’t stop the sneezing, at least you have a nice can of your favorite energy drink. 

I’ll be recommending some at the end of this post, so you might want to stay on for that. 

Ingredients in energy drinks 


Caffeine is the main ingredient in energy drinks, it supplies the energy you get from drinking it. The caffeine content in energy drinks differs depending on brand. Some have a higher content while some are moderate or even caffeine-free. 

A healthy adult can consume up to 400mg of caffeine daily, but that also is dependent on your caffeine tolerance. If you have a lower caffeine tolerance, it means that a small dosage of caffeine can affect you by giving you some side effects. 

Other than enabling you to be energized throughout the day, caffeine in energy drinks is actually beneficial for your health in the long run. 

While you’re sick, energy drinks can help battle the grogginess you’ll be feeling as some might not have the luxury to spend the day recuperating at home. 

However, keep in mind that caffeine can keep you awake and when you’re sick, you need to get a good night’s rest. 


Sugar too is important in energy drinks although many companies have gone sugar-free, replaced by artificial sweeteners. That’s a better option. 

Sugar however doesn’t go well when you’re sick. It might prevent the immune system from getting rid of the bacteria.

You shouldn’t only limit your sugar intake when you’re down with flu. Even when you’re healthy it’s good to keep away from sugar to your best ability as sugar is generally unhealthy. 

Other ingredients

Energy drinks contain many other ingredients like taurine, guarana and B vitamins. I know for a fact that guarana adds to the caffeine content in an energy drink, so if the amount of caffeine is your concern, you should pay attention to the list of ingredients. 

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 functions and your concentration to enable peak mental performance. 

However, when you’re sick, getting a good sleep is important in order to recover. If you find caffeine hindering that, you might either want to lessen your caffeine consumption or hold back on caffeine for a bit until you’re much better. 

Can I drink energy drinks while sick? 

Yes, you can still drink energy drinks while sick with the flu. 

In fact, based on a previous study, participants with colds that drank energy drinks showed an improve in alertness and performance. 

Therefore, not only can you still enjoy your daily energy drinks, it’s actually beneficial when you’re down with the flu. 

person holding four assorted medicine tablets
If you’re on medication, you might want to be more cautious with energy drinks.

Do energy drinks interfere with medication? 

It depends. The caffeine content in energy drinks might or might not affect medication. 

It’s best to consult your doctor first, on whether you can still consume energy drinks if you’re on medication. 

However, if you’re self-medicating, but would still like a can of energy drink, it might be wise to not consume them together. Space out the time in between your medication and your energy drink. 

Can I 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 for one to be in a state of euphoria. This trend should not be followed and could potentially be fatal

If you’re really sick and need cold medication but would also like an energy drink to go through your day, you might want to consume the energy drink an hour or two after your medication

Are energy drinks hydrating? 

No, energy drinks aren’t designed with properties to hydrate you. There are energy drinks nowadays that contains electrolytes supposedly to help with hydration but not the usual energy drinks. 

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

Can energy drinks help me 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’ll also be having the malaiseMalaise’s symptoms include a feeling of weakness and overall discomfort whereby your alertness and psychomotor functions are reduced. 

The caffeine in your energy drinks can boost your energy and dispose of the unwell feeling you have so you can go by your day. 

Can I drink Red Bull if I 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, it has 80mg of caffeine, 27g of sugar and 110 calories. 

I think the moderate caffeine amount is suitable when you’re down with flu, it should be able to boost your energy levels without giving you extreme side effects that you definitely don’t need with the flu. 

The sugar and calorie content however is alarming and I wouldn’t suggest that for the long run. If you do still want a can of Red Bull a day, maybe opt for Red Bull Total Zero instead. 

Other beverages to drink with the flu 

• Water 

Drinking a lot of water is essential if you want to quickly recover. During this sick period you’re most probably losing a lot more fluid, so you should stay hydrated well. Water too helps loosen the mucus and relieve stuffiness that occurs with flu. 

hot herbal tea
A cup of hot herbal tea could do wonders for your 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 (better if juiced on your own) contains a ton of vitamin C and folic acid, beneficial to boost our immune system to allow us to feel better is no time. 

Best energy drink for flu 

Monster Zero Ultra 

If you’re a fan of Monster Energy Drink, you might want to consider Monster Zero Ultra instead. You still get the familiarity of the brand without the extra unnecessary 54g of sugar and 190 calories. 

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

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

Check the current price of Monster Zero Ultra on Amazon

Advocare Spark Energy Drink 

Going down the levels of caffeine, here 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 can be mixed with 8 fl. oz of water. 

I actually like the concept of energy drinks in a sachet, it’s so convenient to carry around and mix whenever I need it. 

It’s also supposedly cheaper, but Advocare Spark costs $2.50 with shipping, so you might want to think twice. 

Check the latest price on Amazon.

XS Energy Drink 

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

It also has 2 caffeine free options: 

• Caffeine-free cranberry-grape blast

• Caffeine-free mango pineapple guava 

Check the latest prices on Amazon.

REIZE Energy Drink 

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

Also, REIZE Energy Drink is a powdered form like Advocare Spark but way cheaper as 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 the best energy drink for you when you’re down with flu. 

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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