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Best Energy Drinks To Stay Awake While Driving

Best Energy Drinks To Stay Awake While Driving

As a driver, it’s your responsibility to be alert with your surroundings and to have a laser focus on the road. With this, you have to be wide awake whenever you are behind the wheel.

Fortunately, when it comes to driving, you’re usually not alone on the road. You may have your passengers and/or other drivers.

However, if you ever find yourself groggy, you might need something that can give you a little boost of energy and alertness. This is where energy drinks can come in handy, giving you the energy and focus you need.

That’s why I’ve curated a list of which I think are the best energy drinks to drink while driving.

If you’re interested in the best energy drinks for focus, check the article here. Otherwise, read on to find out…

How Do You Stay Awake While Driving?

There are various methods for you to stay alert while driving. And it’s not just by drinking a cup of coffee.

Sometimes it takes a mix of different ways to get your blood pumping and your brain working.

Here are other ways that have been proven to keep you alert and awake while you are driving.

Bring Some Munchies and Snacks

Want to make sure your brain is doing something that is low cost? Try eating while driving.

By eating snacks, your facial muscles are activated, which promotes blood flow to your head. This would provide you a constant stream of energy that can help you battle fatigue in driving.

Make sure you keep them within your reach for easy access while you keep your eyes on the road, and a few examples of munchies and snacks to bring are:

  • Trail Mix
  • Dried Berries
  • Nuts
  • Protein Bars

Try Chewing Gum

Similar to munchies and snacks chewing gum can stimulate your facial muscles, which promotes blood flow to your head.

Pick a flavor of your choice and pop one into your mouth. The sugar content in chewing gums will lead to insulin production in your body, which counteracts the sugar, keeping you alert and awake.

Unlike breathing or blinking, which are unconscious activities. Chewing is a conscious activity, which activates and stimulates the brain.

The use of facial muscles while driving has the added benefit of keeping the brain active, which is helpful for staying alert.

Play Music

Sometimes, the passengers inside the car get quiet, or when you are alone, the only sound you hear is the subtle rumble of the engine. In that situation, your brain and body tend to feel sluggish and uninterested.

By playing lively and energetic music, you wake your brain up through auditory stimulation, but be mindful of the volume, you still want to hear the environmental sounds and the honks of other vehicles.

And if you want to warm up your vocal cords, you can even sing along to your favorite songs to increase your alertness. If you have a passenger, then you can do some karaoke inside the car.

Can Energy Drinks Keep You Awake?

Energy drinks help you stay awake while driving due to their caffeine and sugar content.

They give you the necessary boost to fuel your body with energy. According to a study, cold stimuli make you feel more awake and alert, so for the best effects, energy drinks are best served cold.

The cold sensation paired with caffeine and sugar is a sure way to make you feel more attentive and focused.

Caffeine is a natural stimulant that works its effects on the brain and nervous system. Besides the caffeine content, sugar is another key ingredient in some energy drinks, which gives you the energy you need.

When sugar enters the system, your body will respond by making insulin, which would increase your blood flow and make your blood thicker. This is what people would call a sugar rush.

Here are some sugar-free options if you don’t want the sugar crash after the rush.

Can Caffeine Keep You Awake?

Coffee is poured into a cup.
A cup of coffee

Caffeine triggers your brain and central nervous system, which keeps you awake.

Caffeine is an ingredient that’s found in coffee beans and tea leaves. It works by stimulating your central nervous system and brain, inhibiting adenosine, a type of sleep-regulating receptor, from functioning.

Plus, it can increase your alertness and keep you awake for long periods of time. So, going for some caffeine is a plus when you need a boost, be it to combat that afternoon slump, or while you’re driving.

One of the many ways to stay awake while you’re on the road is to have a caffeinated beverage like an energy drink.

Of course, the amount of caffeine you’ll need to keep you awake while you’re driving ultimately comes down to how fast or slow your body metabolizes the caffeine.

That said, even if your caffeine tolerance is quite high, it doesn’t give you a free pass to have as much caffeine as you like.

The FDA has stated that a daily caffeine intake of up to 400mg for healthy adults is safe. Any more than that, and you might end up with adverse effects such as:

  • Rapid Heartbeat
  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  • Restlessness / Jitteriness
  • Dehydration

Therefore, make sure to moderate your daily caffeine intake to prevent yourself from going over the limit.

For more details, here’s a video on how caffeine keeps you awake:

What Energy Drinks Keep You Awake While Driving?

Finally, for what you’ve been anticipating, I’ve curated a list below of the best energy drinks that will keep you alert throughout your travel.


Photo of Reign Energy Drink
Reign Energy Drinks

Reign Total Body Fuel is a moderately new product in the energy drink market released by the Monster Beverage Corporation.

It has 300mg of caffeine inside one can, which is a high dosage of caffeine. This gives it a place in the ranks with the other strong energy drinks.

In terms of variety, it comes in 12 different flavors so you won’t run out of options:

  • Orange Dreamsicle
  • Melon Mania
  • Lemon HDZ
  • Mang-O-Matic
  • Razzle Berry
  • Sour Apple
  • Peach Fizz
  • Strawberry Sublime
  • Red Dragon
  • Carnival Candy
  • True Blue
  • Jalapeno Strawberry

It advertises itself as sugar-free and has no artificial flavorings and colors. Even then, I can only recommend this drink if you have a high tolerance for caffeine.

The drink also contains electrolytes, which retain and balance the water content inside your body and keep you hydrated.

You can grab one of these heavy-hitters from your nearest supermarket, convenience store, or e-commerce site.

C4 Energy Drink

Photo of C4 Energy Drink
A Can of C4 Energy Drink

Introduced to the market by Cellucor in 2006, C4 energy drink has been researched and refined for years. The energy drink has a caffeine content of 135mg and come in 7 different flavors:

  • Icy Blue Razz
  • Black Cherry
  • Freedom Ice
  • Electric Sour
  • Cotton Candy
  • Peach Mango Nectar
  • Purple Frost

They also come in sugar-free options if you don’t want to experience a sugar crash while driving.

It has an average amount of caffeine, so it’s a great choice if you want caffeine content that’s somewhere in the middle.

Red Bull

Photo of a can of Red Bull
A Can of Red Bull

Red Bull is the highest-selling energy drink in the market.

Trivia Time: Red Bull was the first-ever beverage that advertised itself as an energy drink and was made by Dietrich Mateschitz in 1987 in Austria.

Red Bull comes in three different sizes, each having a different degree of caffeine:

SizeCaffeine Content
8.4 fl.oz77.4 mg
12 fl.oz110.7 mg
16 fl.oz147.6 mg
Can Sizes and Caffeine Content of Red Bull Energy Drink

The brand also has a wide range of different versions of their drink:

  • Zero
  • Blue Edition: Blueberry
  • Sugar-free
  • Pear Edition Sugar-free
  • Red Edition: Cranberry
  • Peach Edition: Peach-Nectarine
  • Summer Edition: Kiwi-Apple
  • Orange Edition: Tangerine
  • Summer Edition: Tropical
  • Winter Edition: Arctic Berry
  • Energy Drink Classic
  • Summer Edition: Coconut Berry
  • Summer Edition: Watermelon


Picture of a bottle of Lucozade
A Bottle of Lucozade

Originally from the UK, Lucozade Energy Drink has a caffeine count of 46mg within a 380ml bottle.

You have two options when it comes to bottle size: 380ml and 500ml. And they come in 14 different flavors:

  • Original
  • Pink
  • Orange
  • Tropical
  • Caribbean Crush
  • Watermelon & Strawberry Cooler
  • Citrus Chill
  • Raspberry Ripple
  • Apple Blast
  • Pink Lemonade
  • Wild Cherry
  • Brazilian Mango & Mandarin

Lucozade is a great choice for you if you have a low tolerance for caffeine. They also offer a sugar-free option for some of their drinks, so that’s a plus if you’re looking for something healthier.


A can of Rockstar Energy.
A Can of Rockstar

Rockstar has been one of the leading brands in the energy drink industry for as long as anyone can remember.

The energy drink has around 160mg of caffeine and has 250 calories inside one 16 fl.oz can and they offer 16 classic flavors:

  • Zero Carb
  • Sugar-Free
  • Relax – Caffeine Free Tropical Guava
  • Piña Colada
  • Perfect Berry
  • Original
  • Lime Freeze
  • Iced – Peach & Tea
  • Horchata
  • Ginger Brew
  • Energy Cola – Double Strength
  • Energy Cola
  • Energisant – Bleu Glacier
  • Diet Energy Cola – Double Strength
  • Cucumber Lime
  • Coconut Water
  • Blackout – Guarana Berry
  • 2X Energy Extra Caffeine

In terms of caffeine content, it is on the middle ground. Not too high to be cautious and not too low if you’d like a big boost.


Picture of Aspire
A Can of Aspire

Aspire is a great-tasting energy drink that’s a good choice if you are driving.

In terms of nutrition, Aspire has multivitamins (C & B-Complex) and claims to be vegan-friendly, non-GMO, and gluten-free.

They boast their energy drinks as having no calories, sugar, or carbs on top of a diverse selection of 9 flavors:

  • Lemony Lime
  • Tropical
  • Orange Pineapple
  • Peach Tea Lemonade
  • Dark Cherry Lime
  • Raspberry + Acai
  • Mango Lemonade
  • Cranberry
  • Apple + Acai

A 12 fl.oz can of Aspire contains 80mg of caffeine, which is on the lower end of the caffeine spectrum, being perfect for you if you have a low tolerance to caffeine.

Aspire Energy Drink can be found in your local convenience stores, big-box supermarkets, and various online stores.


A Picture of Venom Energy Drink
Venom Energy Drink

Previously known as Elements Energy, Venom Energy Drink contains 162mg of caffeine in one 16 fl.oz can

Venom offers 8 different flavors:

  • Black Mamba
  • Death Adder (Fruit Punch)
  • Killer Taipan (Mango)
  • Mojave Rattler
  • Black Cherry Kiwi
  • Citrus
  • Strawberry Apple
  • Watermelon Lime

They also offer a low-calorie version of their energy drink, which you may like if you are calorie-conscious.

5-Hour Energy

picture of 5-hour energy
A Small Bottle of 5-Hour Energy

A tiny bottle of 1.93 fl.oz, 5-Hour Energy Drink has a whopping 200mg of caffeine, which is a high amount of caffeine, considering its size.

The energy drink claims to be sugar-free, zero net carbs and only has a calorie count of 4. The brand offers 17 various flavors:

  • Berry
  • Blue Raspberry
  • Cherry
  • Cool Mint Lemonade
  • Grape
  • Lemonade Tea
  • Orange
  • Peach Mango
  • Peach Tea
  • Pink Lemonade
  • Pomegranate
  • Raspberry Tea
  • Sour Apple
  • Strawberry Apple
  • Strawberry Watermelon
  • Tropical Burst
  • Watermelon

This drink is incredibly hardcore, so I would only recommend it if you have a strong tolerance for caffeine and if you are going on a long drive.

So only drink this if you know you can handle the caffeine content. Otherwise, stick to the other ones with lesser caffeine content.


picture of cans of bang energy drink
Cans of Bang Energy Drink

First introduced in the market by Vital Pharmaceuticals, Bang Energy Drink is the third highest-selling energy drink.

It also has one of the highest caffeine content on this list, having a heavy dosage of 300mg. So only drink this if you have a high tolerance for caffeine.

They offer 24 flavors and another 8 flavors for their caffeine-free counterparts.

Classic flavors:

  • Bangster Berry
  • Birthday Cake Bash
  • Black Cherry Vanilla
  • Blue Razz
  • Candy Apple Crisp
  • Champagne
  • Cherry Blade Lemonade
  • Citrus Twist
  • Cotton Candy
  • Delish Strawberry Kiss
  • Frose Rose
  • Key Lime Pie
  • Lemon Drop
  • Miami Cola
  • Peach Mango
  • Pina Colada
  • Power Punch
  • Purple Guava Pear
  • Purple Haze
  • Radical Skadattle
  • Rainbow Unicorn
  • Root Beer
  • Sour Heads
  • Star Blast

Caffeine-free flavors:

  • Birthday Cake Bash
  • Black Cherry Vanilla
  • Candy Apple Crisp
  • Cherry Blade Lemonade
  • Cotton Candy
  • Miami Cola
  • Purple Guava Pear
  • Sour Heads

While Bang is sugar-free, I wouldn’t recommend the classic series to you if you have a low tolerance for caffeine.


picture of a can of monster energy drink

Made by Hansen Natural Company, Monster Energy Drink is one of the best-selling energy drinks in the world.

In a 16 fl. oz. can of Monster, 160mg of caffeine is contained, which is a moderate amount. They offer a wide range of products: low carb, sugar-free, and their own 300mg caffeine energy drink.

Monster has a list of 6 classic flavors:

  • Original
  • Assault
  • Import
  • Mule
  • Cuba Libre
  • M3

REIZE Energy Drink (10 out of 10)

REIZE Energy Drink

While all the mentioned energy drinks are great for driving, I think the best energy drink out of the bunch is REIZE Energy Drink.

With only 50mg of caffeine, REIZE has just enough to keep me mentally sharp and focus while I’m on a drive.

The packaging is pretty nifty as well. All you have to do is open the sachet, mix it in a tumbler or reusable water bottle, and you’re pretty much good to go.

REIZE is also sugar-free and calorie-free, so you don’t have to combat the sugar crash nor worry about your calorie intake.

Plus, you can get REIZE shipped straight to your door for only about $1 per drink. That’s a good value for money!

So give REIZE a try, and you might find that it’s the best energy drink for keeping you energized and alert during your drive.

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