Love energy drinks but want to cut down on sugar?
Well, you’re in the right place.
Whether you’re trying to lose weight or stay on track with your health goals, it can be hard finding energy drinks that give you a boost while still tasting great without the added sugar.
Your search ends here. In this article, I’ll be covering everything you need to know about sugar-free energy drinks including their benefits and effects on your health, followed by a list of recommendations that you’ll love.
Let’s get started…
Table of Contents
Are Sugar-Free Energy Drinks Good For You?
Sugar-free energy drinks can be good to a certain extend. They’re healthier than sugary energy drinks but can become bad if you consume too many of them.
Whether or not sugar-free energy drinks are good for you boils down to how much you consume these drinks and how you’re looking to benefit from drinking them.
In the case of reducing weight and calorie intake, sugar-free energy drinks are suitable for that, since they have almost zero calories. Plus, sugar-free energy drinks won’t raise your blood sugar levels so you’re less prone to crashes after consuming them.
However, keep in mind that energy drinks often use artificial sweeteners as a substitute for sugar to maintain their sweetness and appealing taste. These artificial sweeteners aren’t exactly the gold standard of a healthy diet either.
Don’t worry, I’ll cover that in more detail a little later in this article.
Besides that, sugar-free energy drinks still contain a lot of caffeine and other ingredients that might cause side effects. The FDA recommends a daily caffeine limit of no more than 400mg for healthy adults. Excessive consumption of caffeine may lead to negative effects like:
- Restlessness and shakiness
Hence, it’s really important that you regulate your consumption of energy drinks even if they don’t contain any sugar.
Do Sugar-Free Energy Drinks Make You Gain Weight?
Sugar-free energy drinks won’t directly make you gain weight BUT sugar-free energy drinks might increase your appetite, thus leading you to consume more calories if you don’t control your portion sizes.
According to an article from ScienceDaily, artificial sweeteners can actually stimulate your appetite by changing the way you perceive sweetness in your foods and drinks.
Despite the fact that artificial sweeteners contain very few calories, the sweetness can trigger the food reward pathway in your brain. This can cause an increase in appetite and cravings since these sweeteners aren’t completely rewarding without the calories.
As a result, you’re more likely to consume more during your meals to increase satiety. Of course, you can avoid these effects by consciously controlling your portion sizes in each meal.
Also, as long as you aren’t frequently having food and drinks that have artificial sweeteners, you won’t feel its effects too significantly.
To maintain balance, switch it up with water, juice, coffee, or tea for energy every now and then instead of always turning to energy drinks.
Can Sugar-Free Energy Drinks Cause A Sugar Crash?
Sugar crashes are caused by the sudden rise and fall in your blood sugar levels. Since sugar-free energy drinks don’t contain any sugar, you won’t experience any sugar crashes.
One of the perks of sugar-free energy drinks is that you can avoid these crashes from occurring at all.
But, having too much caffeine at a time can lead to a caffeine crash and other side effects, so you should stay within the recommended daily caffeine limit of 400mg or you may experience some negative effects.
Can You Drink Sugar-Free Energy Drinks If You’re Diabetic?
Artificial sweeteners don’t cause significant changes in your blood sugar levels, so you shouldn’t be affected severely if you consume sugar-free energy drinks.
Though, it’s a better idea to consume these drinks in moderation to avoid adverse effects from the caffeine and other ingredients in them.
If you’re still unsure, you should first discuss it with your doctor before making sugar-free energy drinks a regular feature in your diet.
What Are Artificial Sweeteners?
Artificial sweeteners are also known as sugar substitutes that are added to foods and beverages to improve their taste without the extra calories.
Artificial sweeteners are safe for consumption as they’ve been approved by the FDA. These sweeteners undergo rigorous review and approval before they’re allowed to be used in food and drinks.
Generally speaking, artificial sweeteners are about 200 to 700 times sweeter than regular sugar. Some of them contain a small number of calories, but it’s so few that it won’t impact your daily calorie intake at all.
A few examples of sweeteners approved for use in food and drinks are Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose, and Aspartame.
Products like energy drinks, baked goods, candy, canned food, and soft drinks that usually contain these artificial sweeteners are often marketed as ‘sugar-free’ or ‘diet’.
Are Artificial Sweeteners Better Than Sugar?
Artificial sweeteners are healthier than sugar since they don’t cause weight gain, cavities and have very few calories. But if you don’t consume them in moderation, these sweeteners can still cause unpleasant side effects.
If you have a sweet tooth but want to reduce your calorie and sugar intake, artificial sweeteners are the best way to go since they can satisfy your cravings for sweets without affecting your blood sugar levels.
Plenty of people prefer sugar-free products to help them lose weight. Of course, logically, just consuming artificial sweeteners without putting in extra effort to burn calories won’t really help shed many pounds.
With that in mind, remember that these sweeteners aren’t entirely good for you to consume all the time. Regardless of the seemingly wonderful benefits, it’s still best to maintain a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle.
What Are The Side Effects Of Artificial Sweeteners?
Artificial sweeteners have been associated with many adverse effects, including depression.
The consumption of artificial sweeteners has been linked to a disruption in your gut health. Apparently, these sweeteners can hinder the growth of good bacteria, thus decreasing its amount, which could lead to an imbalanced gut causing you to experience symptoms like bloating and gas.
There are also studies that found that sugar substitutes could increase the risk of diabetes, obesity, and cardiovascular diseases.
Artificial sweeteners may also have an effect on your appetite. Instead of satisfying your cravings and leaving you feeling full as you usually would after having sugar, these sweeteners may increase your appetite, prompting you to consume more and leading to an increase in calorie intake.
If you’re curious to learn more about artificial sweeteners, take a look at this interesting video:
What’s The Difference Between Sugar-Free, No Sugar Added And Unsweetened?
The terms ‘sugar-free’, ‘no sugar added’, and ‘unsweetened’ are often seen on the labels of food and drinks, but what do they actually mean?
According to the AHA, these are called health and nutrient claims that are regulated by the FDA and they inform consumers about the ingredients a certain product contains.
Some of these terms have been used interchangeably as they have a very similar definition. But, to tell the truth, these terms mean different things, and knowing what they mean can help you to make wiser and healthier choices when you’re out grocery shopping.
For your easy reference, here’s a quick table on some of the sugar claims commonly found on nutritional labels:
|Types of Sugar Claims on Products||What It Means|
|Sugar-free||Contains less than 0.5g of natural or added sugars|
|No Added Sugars||No sugar or ingredient containing sugar was added to the product, however it could contain artificial sweeteners or sugar alcohols|
|Unsweetened||Don’t contain any free sugars, artificial sweeteners but might have naturally occurring sugars like milk and fruit|
Is Sugar-Free Red Bull Really Sugar-Free?
Sugar-Free Red Bull meets the criteria to be classified “sugar-free” and uses artificial sweeteners in place of regular sugar. This version of Red Bull is a healthier option than regular Red Bull and still contains the same 80mg of caffeine per 8.4 fl.oz can.
See the table above for the definition of “sugar free”.
I’ve covered absolutely everything you need to know about the ingredients of Red Bull, including it’s sugar content in this other article that I’ve linked to here. It’s definitely worth a look.
Is One Sugar-Free Monster A Day Bad For You?
Drinking one sugar-free Monster a day isn’t bad for you if the rest of your diet is healthy and you don’t have any pre-existing health issues.
In my opinion, choosing to drink sugar-free Monster is a much better choice than going for regular Monster, which contains an awful lot of sugar.
I’ve written an in-depth article that talks about whether it’s safe to drink Monster every day (with a focus on regular Monster), so check that out if you have any more questions about this.
What Sugar-Free Energy Drink Works Best?
Time for some specific recommendations for you to consider checking out.
In no particular order, here are some of my top picks for the best sugar-free energy drinks…
Advertised with the slogan ‘Total Body Fuel’, Reign is a popular energy drink that contains a boatload of amino acids, B vitamins, and minerals that makes it a great pre-workout type of drink.
Reign Energy contains a solid 300mg of caffeine, just 10 calories, and is completely sugar-free. If you’re a workout enthusiast or just need a strong boost to get you through your exercise, Reign might be a good energy drink for you.
The main downside with Reign is the fact that each can contains a whopping 300mg of caffeine, which I consider to be excessive.
In terms of cost, a can of Reign is usually around $1.50 to $2, which is a pretty affordable price, in my opinion.
For a detailed look into Reign and its benefits, you can check out my detailed review on Reign here.
Celsius is an energy drink that comes in three varieties, with each consisting of different flavors. You also have the option of having Celsius in ready-to-drink cans or a powdered form in sachets.
Celsius also contains a high amount of caffeine, ranging from 200mg to 300mg depending on the category you go for. Celsius has a small number of calories that won’t negatively impact your overall diet and it’s sugar-free as well.
In regards to the taste of Celsius energy drinks, I’ve only tried a few flavors so far and they didn’t disappoint. The fruity flavors are awesome and I didn’t get any weird aftertaste like I usually do with a lot of energy drinks.
A can of Celsius costs about $2.50, which doesn’t make it the most affordable option out there but it’s still not extortionate.
You can read my review of Celsius energy drink and all of its ingredients in this article here.
Zipfizz is a powdered energy drink that comes in tubes and needs to be mixed with water to make your energy drink.
Every serving of Zipfizz has 100mg of caffeine, 20 calories and contains zero sugar.
Besides that, Zipfizz also has a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, and a few natural ingredients like green tea extract and guarana. One of the perks of Zipfizz is that there are many flavors for you to choose from.
As for how it tastes, it’s not bad and I found that it gives me a nice energy boost, though it left me feeling quite thirsty afterward.
Each tube of Zipfizz is about $2, which is fairly affordable, but again, there are certainly better-value options available.
If you’re curious about Zipfizz and what goes into it, check out my article about Zipfizz’s caffeine and ingredients for more details.
REIZE (10 Out Of 10)
Sugar-free energy drinks are healthier for you but sometimes they don’t come with the most affordable price tag. So, how about giving an energy drink that’s sugar-free, has very few calories, and is also affordable a try?
Meet REIZE, a great powdered energy drink that comes in convenient 4g sachets, which makes it really easy for you to carry in your bag or pocket without any extra weight.
With a sensible 50mg of caffeine, REIZE is sugar-free and has only 11 calories per serving. Thus, with REIZE, you won’t need to worry about your daily calorie count or a sugar-crash.
If that doesn’t sound healthy enough to you, here’s more: REIZE contains a smart blend of awesome ingredients like ginseng, taurine, and B vitamins that all work together to give you a smooth energy boost – with no crash afterward.
The best part?
REIZE ships right to your door for only about $1 per drink.
That’s excellent value for money and a great deal more affordable than other sugar-free energy drinks.
Try REIZE today and I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s the smartest sugar-free energy drink choice.