Best energy drink for the money (save big bucks!)

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Raise your hands if you depend on caffeine to kickstart your day.

I know I’m guilty, I usually grab an energy drink or a coffee to help power through.

But let’s be real, a daily energy drink can quickly add up to a significant monthly expense. 

How can you still get caffeinated without burning a hole in your pockets?

If you’re here, you’ve probably already calculated how much money you spend on energy drinks on a weekly or monthly basis.

That’s a good start.

There are plenty of people who grab a $4 can of energy drink every day without even giving a second thought to how much money that is over the course of a year.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to compromise on quality in order to save money on energy drinks.

Read on to discover some of the best energy drinks for the money. I’ll be recommending some good ones for you.

What to look for in an energy drink

Here are some checklist items I look at when choosing an energy drink that’s gonna be worth my money.

Ingredients in energy drinks

• Caffeine

Caffeine is the most important energy boosting ingredient in any energy drink, so I guess this should be the main thing to look out for.

Depending on what you need that day, you can choose an energy drink with an appropriate amount of caffeine.

Personally, I go for energy drinks that have between 50mg and 100mg of caffeine per serve. That’s what works for me to get a nice energy boost without side effects like jitters, anxiousness or not being able to concentrate because I’m so wired.

According to the FDA, we should limit our daily caffeine intake to no more than 400mg per day.

This means that I can drink 2 or 3 of these servings a day without worrying about overdosing on caffeine.

Some energy drinks have crazy amounts of caffeine in them.

Always read the label and know what you’re drinking.

• Sugar

Sugar contributes to giving you an energy boost when you drink an energy drink. However, sugar is unhealthy and has been linked to various serious diseases, so I recommend you choose an energy drink that has little or no sugar in it. 

Did you know that the maximum daily recommended daily sugar intake for women and men are different?

Women: 25g or 6 teaspoons

Men: 37.5g or 9 teaspoons

That’s according to the American Heart Association.

If you lead a healthy lifestyle, consuming a little sugar should not be too worrying as you’ll probably burn it off. But, excessive sugar should be cause for concern for anyone.

Fortunately, there are plenty of great sugar-free energy drinks available these days.

What does all of this mean for the price of your energy drink?

There’s usually no price difference between regular and sugar-free energy drinks, so I recommend that you choose one that is better for you by going for the sugar-free option wherever possible.

• Guarana

Guarana is derived from a Brazilian fruit. Guarana adds to the caffeine content in energy drinks, and doesn’t do much else.

Think of it as adding extra caffeine to your caffeine.

1g of guarana powder equals 40mg of caffeine.

Sometimes energy drink companies don’t include the caffeine from guarana as part of the total caffeine content, therefore pay attention to the ingredients list, especially if you’re sensitive to caffeine.

• Taurine

Taurine is naturally found in meat, fish and dairy products. It’s also present in some energy drinks and can help improve athletic performance.

Several studies have also shown that taurine can also lower blood pressure.

Taurine also complements caffeine by enhancing your mental performance. 

• B Vitamins

B Vitamins are added to energy drinks to give them a range of health benefits.

B vitamins are essential for many bodily functions and you may already be getting a good amount of them if you eat a well balanced diet, but different energy drinks have different combinations of B vitamins in them.

One thing to keep in mind with regard to B vitamins is that they are water soluble. This means that there is absolutely no benefit from consuming more than 100% of the recommended daily intake of them.

Anything in excess of what you need is simply flushed out of your body when you next visit the bathroom.

• BCAAs

Branched-Chain Amino Acids or BCAAs are quite the trend nowadays and are targeted at gym-goers and fitness enthusiasts. This is because BCAAs can help with your muscle growth and soreness while also preventing exercise fatigue. 

BCAAs aren’t present in most energy drinks, but there are some on the rise now and it seems to be a growing trend. If you’re a gym-goer, you might want to invest in energy drinks that contain BCAAs.

However, be warned that from what I’ve seen, energy drinks that claim to contain BCAA’s don’t tell you how much of them are actually contained in the list of ingredients.

My guess is that’s probably bescause there are actually very few BCAA’s inside the can. But hey, it’s a trend, so it seems like quite a few brands are jumping on board while it’s in fashion.

piggybank
Save some extra cash on energy drinks without compromising on quality.

For a more detailed look at the ingredients in energy drinks and how they work, take a look at my other article where I cover everything you need to know in a lot more detail.

Price

Let’s be real, for many people price is the most important aspect of an energy drink. Even if price isn’t the first thing that you look for in an energy drink, it’s usually pretty high on the list of things to consider.

Personally, I usually pick an energy drink that has a moderate amount of caffeine and no sugar. After that, I’ll go for whatever is the most affordable provided that I like the taste.

I’m not too picky on brand or how they market it, I just want something that does the job, tastes good, is low on sugar and has a sensible amount of caffeine.

I’ve previously written a very detailed post about energy drinks that discusses their ingredients, caffeine content and prices among other things.

You should check that out for more information about specific brands.

Availability

There’s no use staying loyal to a certain energy drink if you have to go to great lengths to get it. Sometimes you want a can of energy drink immediately but there’s no store nearby that sells what you want.

Of course, nowadays with Amazon and other online retailers, you can easily order energy drinks in bulk and store them at home for later.

There’s no doubt that ordering in bulk is cheaper and saves you money compared to if you were to buy a can a day at the store. You could also store a few at your office’s pantry to drink while your at work.

Another trend in energy drinks is the rising popularity of powder energy drinks, like REIZE.

These powders are typically more affordable than their ready-to-drink counterparts.

They’re also more portable and convenient to carry around. 

What is the average cost of an energy drink?

On average, individual energy drinks usually cost between $1.50 and $3.50 per 8 fl.oz can. 

However, there are some energy drinks that are even better value for money than that. Of course, there are also some more expensive brands too.

Why are energy drinks expensive?

Energy drinks are expensive for a variety of reasons, including:

• Costs of Production – including testing and market research

• Transportation and shipping – it’s not cheap to ship a container load of energy drinks from one country to another

• Advertising and marketing

• Distribution networks – often retailers want to take a large cut of the final retail price, which adds to the price that a consumer needs to pay

For further explanation on the costs of energy drinks, you should check out my other article which goes into a lot of detail on the topic.

What drinks can give you energy?

All caffeinated beverages can give you an energy boost. Coffee, tea, sodas and of course energy drinks are all included in that category. 

Caffeine is a natural psychoactive stimulant that blocks adenosine and increases your norepinephrine and dopamine levels that can lead to an increase in energy levels, mood and better brain function. 

Other than caffeine, coffee also contains polyphenols, which can help reduce oxidative stress that would enable the body to function better. 

If you’re sensitive to caffeine, how about trying green tea?

You’ll get a healthy all-natural energy buzz. For me, I’ll brew my green tea sugar-free and consume it in the morning or if I have to work late at night, so that I can still get a good night’s rest afterwards.

Of course, energy drinks can also definitely give you a nice energy boost.

The caffeine in energy drinks in combination with the other ingredients all work together to lift your energy levels.

The key is to try to find an energy drink that strikes the right balance of boost without overdoing it. Again, I like my energy drinks to have between 50mg and 100mg of caffeine per serve.

I find that to be the sweet spot.

Do energy drinks really work?

Yes, energy drinks really work to give you an energy boost. And before you ask, no, energy drinks are not placebos.

This is primarily due to the caffeine content, which boosts your energy, stamina and concentration. However, the other ingredients also play an important part in why energy drinks are so awesome at giving you some extra energy.

Energy drinks are a great partner on many occasions.

Maybe you’re a student that needs to stay up studying. Or you’re planning to run a half marathon. Spoiler alert, energy drinks can help you to reach the finish line.

Don’t worry, there’s an energy drink for everyone, including the elderly.

If you’ve previously had a bad experience with energy drinks, maybe take another look at the caffeine content in whatever you drank.

If you’re someone with a lower caffeine tolerance, energy drinks with high caffeine content might not work for you. 

Even if you’re someone with a high caffeine tolerance, try not to drink too many energy drinks in a day.

Remember, moderation is key. 

What’s the strongest energy drink?

The strength of an energy drink depends on its caffeine content. So, the higher caffeine content, the stronger it is. 

According to my research on the topic of the strongest energy drinks, Spike Hardcore is the strongest energy drink on the market at the moment, with an eye-watering 350mg of caffeine in a single serve.

You can check the current price on Amazon here. #ad

I would say energy drinks with more than 300mg of caffeine are very strong. Actually, in my opinion they’re too strong.

It’s also pretty close to the FDA recommendations of no more than 400mg of caffeine daily, so be careful of your intake.

When energy drinks start getting up into this range of caffeine, they start to straddle the line between energy drinks and pre-workouts. Sometimes it’s not exactly clear on which side of the fence they actually belong.

Also, a stronger energy drink doesn’t necessarily mean it’s more expensive. You can often get a stronger energy drink for less money.

Price is often determined by how much money the brand spends on marketing and advertising as opposed to the strength or quality of the ingredients.

Red Bull sugar-free is best energy drinks for daily use.
Red Bull might be a great energy drink, but the sugar-free version is best for daily use in my opinion.

Is Red Bull a cheap energy drink?

A 8.4 fl. oz can of Red Bull costs about $2. Seems pretty cheap and affordable right?

Taking a look at the contents, it contains 80mg of caffeine, 27g of sugar and 110 calories.

These numbers are fairly average and are approximately the same as many energy drinks.

Overall, I wouldn’t say that Red Bull is particularly cheap or expensive compared to other energy drinks. It’s roughly middle of the road in terms of price.

Check the current Red Bull price on Amazon. #ad

If you’re not satisfied with Red Bull, stay with me, I’ll be recommending some other good choices that you might want to take a look at below.

How much does Monster Energy Drink cost?

A 16 fl. oz can of Monster Energy Drink costs around $3.20. Seems reasonable for the amount you’re getting (almost double the size of a regular Red Bull).

A regular Monster also contains 176mg of caffeine, 54g of sugar and 190 calories. So I guess you’re getting your money’s worth cause they’re definitely not stingy with those amounts.

That was sarcastic…

I would actually prefer them to hold the sugar and the calories. The caffeine is a touch on the high side for my liking, but it’s certainly not a crazy amount compared to some other brands out there.

If Monster sounds like it might be your choice, you can grab is on Amazon here. #ad

If you want to know exactly how Monster and Red Bull are different, check out my other article on that where I cover everything you need to know about the two leading brands.

Best energy drink for the money

Here are some energy drinks that are around the $2 price range or less, that I think are good value for money.

Ultimately, you should compare them yourself and see which one works best for you.

Bang Energy Drink

Sugar – 0g

Caffeine – 300mg 

Calories – 0

Price – around $2.20 per can (16 fl.oz)

Starting with a literal bang, Bang Energy Drink has a serious amount of caffeine. 300mg definitely qualifies it to be in the strong energy drink category and with that amount of caffeine, Bang might not be right for everyone.

Bang Energy Drink is often the choice of gym-goers and physically active people, not only for its high caffeine content but also as it supposedly contains BCAAs as well.

Although, the the ingredients and health claims have been the point of a fair amount of controversy and even some law suits.

For the high amount of caffeine, the price range is pretty affordable. It’s also sugar and calorie free, a plus point from me.

I also think Bang tastes great, even though I don’t drink them very often, mainly due to the caffeine content.

You can get some Bang on Amazon. #ad

3D Energy Drink

Sugar – 0g

Caffeine – 200mg 

Calories – 15

Price – $2.10 per can (16 fl.oz)

If 300mg of caffeine is too much for you, here’s a 200mg option by 3D Energy Drink. It’s also about 10cents cheaper than Bang, depending on where you get it.

3D is also sugar-free, but does contain 15 calories, something that might be important for you to consider.

You can purchase 3D energy from Amazon. #ad

Rockstar Energy Drink

Sugar – 31g

Caffeine – 160mg 

Calories – 140

Price – about $1.40 per 16 fl.oz can

Here’s a cheaper option, with less caffeine but loaded with sugar and calories. I wouldn’t recommend it just for that reason unless you’re super active so that you can easily burn those calories and all of that sugar off.

Keep in mind, drinking any drinks that are high in sugar often leads to a nasty sugar crash afterwards.

However, there is also Rockstar Zero Carb Energy Drink with zero sugar and calories, but with added caffeine content – 240mg.

You can grab regular Rockstar on Amazon here.

Or you can grab the zero carb, sugar-free version of Rockstar on Amazon here. #ads

Mountain Dew Kickstart

Sugar – 20g

Caffeine – 92mg 

Calories – 80

Price – $1.30 per can (16 fl.oz)

Mountain Dew Kickstart is another cheaper option with less sugar, calories and caffeine compared to Rockstar.

Even though it has less sugar than Rockstar, it’s still more sugar than I would like and more than half of the recommended daily limits, according to the AHA.

You can Mountain Dew Kickstart on Amazon. #ad

Xyience Energy Drink

Sugar – 0g

Caffeine – 176mg 

Calories – 0

Price – about $4 per can (16 fl.oz)

Yes I know, this isn’t a cheap option. But, I wanted to include it to show that energy drinks can cost $4 or more per can.

With this in mind, when you find something for only $1-$2 per serve, it seems like a great deal.

To be fair, I don’t think that Xyience is the most expensive energy drink on the market. But they certainly aren’t the cheapest option either.

If you would still like to try Xyience Energy Drink, you can pick some up on Amazon. #ad

REIZE Energy Drink (10 out of 10)

REIZE Energy Drink is very convenient.
REIZE is home delivered for around $1 per drink.

Sugar – 0g

Caffeine – 50mg 

Calories – 11

Price – around $1 per drink, including delivery

I know what you’re thinking – this is too good to be true.

Well, believe it, because it’s for real.

For around $1 per drink including shipping right to your door, you can enjoy a sugar-free energy drink with a moderate amount of caffeine that tastes great.

REIZE Energy Drink also contains many other great ingredients like taurine, ginseng and B vitamins to give you a perfect energy boost with no sugar-crash.

REIZE comes in powdered form and in convenient sachets, unlike conventional ready-to-drink energy drinks.

You can carry a few sachets around with you and mix them fresh any time you need a boost. Instant energy, just add water!

What are you waiting for?

Give REIZE a try for yourself and you might just find that it’s the best value energy drink for the money. 

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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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