Best energy drinks for health (healthier options)

a lady stretching after exercise in the woods

Energy drinks have been around for decades. They’ve helped many get through long nights studying or a long journey.

The rocketing sales is testament to the effectiveness of these energy drinks. 

However, have you ever wondered how do energy drinks affect your health?

“Energy drinks can’t be healthy. They’re all completely loaded with sugar.” 

That’s a myth.

In my opinion, even the healthiest things can become unhealthy in excess. The key is moderation. 

Settle in while we dissect the issue of how healthy (or unhealthy) energy drinks are.

Is caffeine healthy?

Yes, caffeine has a range of health benefits if consumed in moderation.

Caffeine is a natural stimulant commonly found in coffee, tea and chocolates among other foods and beverages. Caffeine is also an ingredient that is common to all energy drinks.

Caffeine stimulates our brain and central nervous system, enabling us to stay awake and alert. 

Other than that, caffeine is also a mood booster. It works by increasing our dopamine and norepinephrine. Studies have also shown that consuming caffeinated coffee lowered the risk of suicide by 45% and also a reduced rates of depression by 13%. 

Wow, drink up.

Caffeine can also help to protect against diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. 

Not to mention, something most of us would be more excited about – caffeine helps to boost our metabolism by 11% and indirectly can speed up our weight loss by 13% by burning fat. 

While there are a bunch of health benefits of caffeine, that doesn’t mean that you should start chugging cups of coffee or cans of energy drinks.

Caffeine addiction is a genuine concern and can pose a real threat to our health.

Did you know that the recommended daily intake for caffeine is 400mg and you shouldn’t consume more than 200mg per dose? 

If you consume more caffeine than you can tolerate, you might experience these side effects:

• anxiety

• restlessness

• tremors

• irregular heartbeat

• trouble sleeping

• headaches or migraines

Also, if you’re on medication, are a diabetic, are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should pay close attention to your caffeine intake.

Is sugar healthy?

Sugar is everywhere, is a huge part of our daily food and drinks intake, but it’s not healthy. 

Sugar occurs naturally in fruits and vegetables, which is fine. It’s the sugar that’s “hidden” in many foods and drinks that causes us to exceed the recommended daily intake of sugar, which is teaspoons. However, the average American female consumes around 18 teaspoons per day.

That’s triple the recommended amount!

Always read the label on your food and drink items, including energy drinks to identify how much sugar is in them.

It can be in forms of cane sugar, corn syrup, honey and apple juice concentrate (anything that sounds sweet). Also, items that ends with the suffix “-ose” like sucrose, glucose and fructose are also types of sugar.

Here are some reasons why you should cut down on your sugar consumption:

• sugar triggers acne

• sugar can increase your risk of depression

• sugar can accelerate the skin ageing process

Also, as much as sugar provides you with short term energy, it also drains your energy.

You will often find yourself in a sugar crash situation and will end up feeling lethargic. In order to avoid a sugar crash, consume less sugar. Having a little here and there is OK, but don’t overdo it.

How about artificial sweeteners? Some say they’re worst than sugar.

In the short term, artificial sweeteners won’t cause weight gain, or increase your glucose level, thus avoiding potential diseases that regular sugar might trigger. However, in the long run, artificial sweeteners might also pose some health risks.

The fact is that there isn’t conclusive data either way on the issue. To stay safe, reduce your intake of both regular sugar and artificial sweeteners.

Cutting down on sugar is one of the smartest things you can do for your health.

When it comes to choosing the best energy drink for your health, choose one with little or no sugar, like REIZE, which is sugar-free.

a women holding a sugary sweet donut
Did you know that sugar is in our DNA? Studies show that we have two sweet-receptor genes that can predict a preference for sweets.

Are sugar-free energy drinks healthy?

Yes, zero-sugar energy drinks are healthier than sugar-filled energy drinks, but they usually have artificial sweeteners in place of sugar. Artificial sweeteners have no calorific value, thus you would not put on extra weight and your glucose levels won’t sky rocket.

However, this doesn’t mean you should replace nutritious meals with sugar-free energy drinks. 

Energy drinks are not a replacement for healthy eating, but they can provide supplementary energy when you need a boost.

What is the healthiest energy drink?

For me, I personally prefer an energy drink that is sugar-free, contains few calories and has a caffeine content between 50 and 100mg per serve.

This combination allows me to have an energy drink without having to worry about health issues.

I’ll recommend a few of the healthiest energy drinks for you in a moment.

Is coffee healthier than energy drinks?

Coffee and energy drinks seem to be pretty similar, both in terms of caffeine and sugar.

However, coffee is more “natural” as compared to energy drinks which are manufactured. Energy drinks also have many other ingredients in them compared to a cup of coffee.

On the surface, it appears that coffee is healthier than energy drinks, but it also depends on what type of energy drinks you’re consuming. Also, depending on what you add to your coffee, it may not be healthier than the average energy drink at all.

Red Bull can against a city skyscraper
Did you know that Red Bull was once banned in France

How many Red Bulls can I drink in a day?

I would recommend to limit your Red Bull intake to only 1 or 2 cans per day. 

A can of Red Bull contains 27g of sugar, 80mg of caffeine and 110 calories.

The 27g of sugar alone already exceeds the recommended daily sugar intake, which is why you should be aware of your consumption.

If you still want to drink Red Bull, I suggest you go for Red Bull Total Zero which is the sugar-free and zero calorie version.  

Is it healthy to drink energy drinks daily?

I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s healthy, but it is safe to drink energy drinks on a daily basis.

It’s also important to choose ones that are low in sugar, calories and with only a moderate amount of caffeine.

What’s the worst energy drink for my health?

If I have to name one, I would say Monster Energy Drink, just because it contains 54g of sugar in a single can. That’s almost triple the maximum recommended daily sugar intake.

However, I don’t think that Monster energy drink is particularly unhealthy for you either. But, if I need to single one out, in my opinion, I think that the high sugar content in Monster makes it a candidate.

Having said that, there are plenty of other ways that you could determine the most and least healthy energy drinks that would not see Monster finish last. Actually, on some of those measures, Monster might actually perform well against the alternatives.

In fact, I think it’s perfectly fine to drink Monster every day as long as the rest of your diet is balanced and healthy.

But, for me, I try to avoid sugar. For that reason alone, Monster gets my vote.

I don’t think that any energy drinks are terrible for your health, despite them often getting a bad rap as an entire category.

For a closer look at whether Monster energy drink is bad for you or not, check out my other article where I cover the topic in a lot more detail.

Energy drinks for men’s health

I’m sure it’s no surprise that men are the target market for most energy drink brands. This is also because energy drinks are heavily associated with vigor and power, which are very appealing to men.

Men are also supposedly more “powerful” and may be more likely to turn to energy drinks to help get even more power and energy.

Sound cliche? 

There’s no harm in that though, gaining extra energy is healthy – just choose an energy drink that can satisfy your needs and you’ll be good. 

Look for an energy drink with a sensible amount of caffeine, that’s sugar-free, contains taurine and is low in calories. My favorite energy drink, REIZE, ticks all of those boxes and as an extra bonus, it also contains ginseng, which is used as an aphrodisiac in some Asian cultures.

Energy drinks on a healthy diet

Part of being healthier is making changes to your diet. That means you need to cut out certain food and drink items. Ideally, you should be choosing low fat, low sugar and low calorie options.

If you’re on a diet to lose weight then energy drinks are probably beneficial for you. This is due to the caffeine content that increases your metabolic rate and helps you to shed those pounds faster.  

Energy drinks are also safe to consume in moderation while you’re on a keto diet or an intermittent fast. I have also previously written an extensive post on the best energy drinks for diet, you might want to check that out too if you’re serious about getting the most benefits out of your dieting efforts.

Energy drinks for exercise

Regular exercise is a big part of being healthy. Exercising leads to better overall health and you also get to build muscles or lose weight too.

Energy drinks can actually be a good exercise partner. This is because energy drinks, with their energy boosting properties can aid your athletic performances. 

It’s also recommended to consume your energy drink 45 minutes before your work out session for maximum effectiveness.

I would also like to point out that energy drinks are not designed for hydration, so after sweating a lot during a cardio session, you might want to grab a water or sports drink for rehydration instead of an energy drink.

But, you could also take an energy drink to replenish your energy levels if you feel like you need a boost.

an assortment of energy drinks grouped together
There’s a vast market of top energy drinksso choose wisely!

Best energy drinks for health

Like promised, I will be sharing some energy drinks that could help your health journey.

Remember to consult your doctor for the final word on energy drinks before making dietary changes.

XS Energy Drink

Sugar: 0g

Calories: 10 

Caffeine: 80mg 

I think XS Energy Drink is a pretty good option, is low in calories and has zero sugar. It also has a moderate amount of caffeine, something that I personally appreciate.

XS also comes in 18 different flavors, with 2 caffeine-free options, if you would prefer that.

I have personally reviewed XS Energy Drink, which you can read about.

I gave it a 7/10.

You can check the current price and purchase it from Amazon.

Celsius Energy Drink 

Sugar: 0g

Calories: 10 

Caffeine: 200-300mg 

I personally am not a fan of energy drinks with a ton of caffeine, but this is a considerably good choice if you would like that extra caffeine kick.

Celsius Energy Drink comes in a few different flavor options and in 3 categories: Originals, Naturals and Celsius Heat.

I have given Celsius Energy Drink a 7.5/10 for taste.

Read my full Celsius review here.

Check the current price on Amazon.

Rockstar Zero Carb Energy Drink

Sugar: 0g

Calories: 0 

Caffeine: 240mg 

If you’re not a fan of any calories (the previous 2 options were low-calorie options), then you might want to try out Rockstar Zero Carb Energy Drink. But, only if you’re a fan of energy drinks with a high caffeine content.

As I’ve previously mentioned, I like my energy drinks with less caffeine, preferably under 100mg.

If you are going to go for this option, maybe drink it in the morning. Drinking it late in the afternoon or evening might cause you to have trouble getting a good night’s rest – which in turn, isn’t very healthy.

You can check the current price on Amazon.

REIZE Energy Drink 

REIZE Energy Drink is very convenient.
REIZE is home delivered for your convenience.

Sugar: 0g

Calories: 11 

Caffeine: 50mg 

REIZE is my favorite energy drink for overall health and daily use.

REIZE is sugar-free and has just 11 calories per serve. It also has only 50mg of caffeine, something I love. This sensible amount of caffeine, along with the added taurine, ginseng and B group vitamins combine to give a perfect and long lasting energy boost, with no crash.

REIZE Energy Drink keeps me healthy and I don’t have to worry about  sugar crashes or caffeine jitters.

Best of all, REIZE only costs about $1 per drink (including shipping right to your door).

Give REIZE a try today and you might also find that it’s a wise choice for your health.

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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