Celsius Energy Drink Ingredients – Are they bad for you?

Are the ingredients in Celsius energy drink healthy?

Celsius energy drink is fast becoming a firm favourite in the ever-growing energy drinks industry. Founded in 2004, Celsius showed no fear in the face of the big bad Bulls, Monsters and Rockstars that dominate the energy drink industry, and has quickly climbed to one of the top spots in a tough list to crack.

They have several varieties of the drink under their brand: Originals, Sweetened with Stevia, On-the-Go & Heat.

Whether non-carbonated and naturally-sweetened (Sweetened with Stevia) or produced primarily as a pre-workout (Heat), each drink contains the “MetaPlus” proprietary blend: taurine, guarana extract, green tea extract, caffeine, and ginger extract.

They’ve won several industry awards and are an official sponsor of Tough Mudder. They’ve even won awards for their packaging. But you can put a pig in a dress, and it’s still a pig.

We’re here to talk about the product and its ingredients, not the pretty paper it’s wrapped in.

So, which of the Celsius energy drink ingredients have won the people’s vote?

A selection of Celsius drink flavors.
Some of the “Originals” Celsius drink flavors. 

CELSIUS ENERGY DRINK INGREDIENTS

Celsius promises a proprietary “MetaPlus” blend that will boost metabolism and burn calories. It advertises itself as a fitness drink which is “clinically proven to function”.

Bold claim.

Looking at the small print:

these statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.”

Huh. How about that.

Although, some studies do show evidence that some of Celsius energy drink’s ingredients have metabolism-boosting properties.

Celsius “Originals” ingredients:

  • Vitamin C (60mg)
  • Riboflavin (1.7mg)
  • Niacin (20mg)
  • Vitamin B6 (2mg)
  • Vitamin B12 (6mcg)
  • Biotin (300mcg)
  • Pantothenic Acid (10mg)
  • Calcium (50mg)
  • Chromium (50mcg)

(Plus Carbonated Water, Citric Acid, Fruit & Vegetable Juice for Color, Sucralose, Natural Flavour). 

A can of Celsius watermelon from the "originals" line.
A can of sparkling watermelon from the Celsius “Originals” range.

Celsius “Naturals” ingredients:

  • Dietary Fibre (2g)
  • Vitamin C (60mg)
  • Riboflavin (1.7mg)
  • Niacin (20mg)
  • Vitamin B6 (2mg)
  • Vitamin B12 (6mcg)
  • Biotin (300mcg)
  • Pantothenic Acid (10mg)
  • Calcium (51mg)
  • Chromium (50mcg)
  • Sodium (5mg)

(Plus Carbonated Water, Erythritol, Citric Acid, Natural Flavor, Stevia Rabaudiana Leaf Extract, Vegetable Juice (color).)

Celsius “On-the-Go” ingredients:

This is Celsius energy drink in powder form (hey, great minds, right?). One stick is equivalent to one can.

  • Vitamin C (60mg)
  • Riboflavin (1.7mg)
  • Niacin (20mg)
  • Vitamin B6 (2mg)
  • Vitamin B12 (6mcg)
  • Biotin (300mcg)
  • Pantothenic Acid (10mg)
  • Calcium (50mg)
  • Chromium (50mcg)

(Plus Citric Acid, Natural Flavor, Sodium Bicarbonate, Sucralose, Erythritol, Annato, Silicon Dioxide)

Celsius “Heat” ingredients:

  • Vitamin C (60mg)
  • Riboflavin (1.7mg)
  • Niacin (20mg)
  • Vitamin B6 (2mg)
  • Vitamin B12 (6mcg)
  • Biotin (300mcg)
  • Pantothenic Acid (10mg)
  • Calcium (50mg)
  • Chromium (50mcg)
  • Citruline (2g)

(Plus Carbonated Water, Citric Acid, Natural Flavor, Fruit & Vegetable Juice (color) and Sucralose)

And a massive 300mg of caffeine – more on that below.

Some Celsius Heat drink flavors.
A selection of Celsius Heat flavors.

All varieties contain the Celsius “MetaPlus proprietary blend” ingredients (1.81g):

  • Taurine
  • Guarana
  • Caffeine
  • Glucuronolactone
  • Ginger extract
  • Green Tea extract

Green Tea Extract

Celsius uses a special Green Tea extract with a specific ratio of EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate). Scientists have found EGCG boosts metabolism, which burns more calories and banishes more fat.

Research does suggest that green tea could have benefits for weight loss. A study published in the Clinical Nutrition Journal, observed significant weight loss, decreases in BMI and waistline circumference after 12 weeks of high-dose green tea extract. There weren’t any side effects either, and even an improvement in cholesterol levels.

Good old green tea, right? Can’t go wrong. It’s top of the list of Celsius energy drink ingredients, so you know it’s good.

However, the Celsius can doesn’t say how much green tea extract is actually included in a can, so we don’t know if it’s just a tiny pinch for marketing purposes or if it’s enough to reach what’s known as the clinically effect dose.

Guarana Seed Extract

Intrepid Celsius scientists ventured deep into the Amazon rainforest to source a key ingredient for the blend: guarana. (Well, guarana comes from the Amazon, anyway). It is a natural source of caffeine and is apparently pretty potent.

It’s been used in traditional Amazonian medicine for centuries, a stimulant reportedly known as ‘the elixir of long life’.

Celsius uses the seeds (not the roots) which contain twice the caffeine content of a regular coffee bean.

Ginger

Ginger, or “Zingiber officinale” if you’re feeling formal, is enjoying some time in the spotlight as a superfood these days. It’s been proven to stimulate digestion, regulate blood sugar, reduce inflammation, and more.

Strictly speaking, it hasn’t made its name as a metabolism booster, but apparently a more efficient digestive system frees up more of the body’s energy elsewhere.

We’ll let this one slide, Zingiber.

This Celsius energy drink ingredient is also celebrated for its “wonderful spicy flavour” (untraceable in a can of Sparkling Orange, however).

Vitamin Complex

Celsius proudly packs several essential vitamins and minerals into its product. These vitamins are considered essential for metabolism and energy production, as well as all-round good health.

Vitamin B12, for example, helps make our DNA and red blood cells. Biotin helps break down fats and proteins. Vitamin C supports the immune system.

Celsius state that a can contains 100% of the recommended daily value of these essential nutrients. However, a closer look at the Celsius energy drink ingredients and their doses tells a slightly different story.

OK, true, they DO contain 100% – but in some cases, way over the necessary value. 300mcg of Biotin per serving is ONE THOUSAND percent of the recommended daily amount.

Overkill, much?

Besides, B vitamins are water soluble, which means our bodies absorb what they can, and then “expel” the rest. That’s 900% of your Biotin down the basin.

Not only does Celsius tell you what’s contained in a can, it also tells you what isn’t. Celsius energy drink ingredients do not include sugar, no artificial preservatives, flavors or colors, and no high fructose corn syrup or aspartame. It’s Certified Vegan, Gluten Free, Kosher, and Non-GMO.

Someone give this drink a Boy Scout badge!

Celsius energy drink "Originals" flavors.
Celsius “Originals”.

Taurine

Taurine is an essential amino acid in brain and body function. It occurs naturally in our bodies, but is in common use as a supplement and energy drink ingredient. The “wonder molecule” helps maintain hydration, supporting the central nervous system, and regulating the immune system. Smart choice, Celsius!

Taurine also has exercise-boosting benefits. It improves muscle endurance, reduces damage, and increases fat burning during workouts.

IS CELSIUS VEGAN?

Yes, Celsius Energy Drink is vegan-friendly.

Not only vegan-friendly, but kosher, soy, gluten and sugar-free. It’s probably one of the least offensive drinks out there after water.

WHEN SHOULD I TAKE MY CELSIUS DRINK?

Celsius is marketed as “a fitness drink that accelerates metabolism, burns body fat and provides healthy energy*”. Take it before working out or any kind of moderate activity.

Although it’s been around since 2004, it’s evolved with the energy drink industry over the last decade. New trends and new tastes were appearing everywhere to keep up with the ever-busier and faster-paced lives of the millennial generation.

Much like Monster Energy Drink, Red Bull and Rockstar, Celsius saw themselves as not just a power-boosting product, but a lifestyle brand.

Given the ingredients in Celsius energy drink, and their proprietary metabolism-boosting, fat-burning formula, they decided to officially rebrand and reposition as a ‘Fitness Drink’.

It seemed to go down well, as they won the InnoBev ‘Best Functional Drink’ at a big fancy gala dinner in Frankfurt, Germany. Judges recognised their “innovation … interesting flavors … [and] sleek packaging design”. Ticking all the boxes there, Celsius!

In fact, Celsius can be a good pick-me-up during the day, especially after a late night. However, you should avoid drinking it within five hours of bedtime.

200mg of caffeine will have you counting sheep for a while.

Celsius also have a ‘proper’ pre-workout version: Celsius Heat, containing 300mg of caffeine.

If you’re struggling to hit that PB in the gym, or you’ve decided to run from LA to New York in three days, take this “trainer grade” version and call me from the road.

Always remember to consume all energy drinks in moderation.

DOES CELSIUS REALLY BURN CALORIES?

Well, technically yes. Celsius Energy Drink ingredients have been shown to have a calorie-burning effect over a 3-hour period.

Celsius claims a can will burn a minimum of 100 calories. Does this sound too good to be true? Simply drink a can and burn calories? Sounds like the perfect fitness plan for the couchiest of couch potatoes.

To be fair, the shakes alone from the extremely high caffeine content (more on that later) will probably equate to a good ten minutes’ skipping.

They base its calorie-burning claim on the concept of thermogenesis: increasing your heart rate and your body temperature. Celsius energy drink ingredients such as green tea, guarana and ginger are proven thermogenics.

Celsius themselves have six separate scientific studies as sources on their website as proof. Between them, these studies appear to have found that Celsius encourages an increased metabolic rate and higher rate of weight loss.

However, the weight loss equation isn’t always that simple, and there’s no quick fix for a sedentary lifestyle without putting in some effort yourself (and no, lifting the can to your mouth doesn’t count as a bicep curl).

They themselves state that “CELSIUS alone does not produce weight loss in the absence of a healthy diet and moderate exercise”.

It’s also worth noting that brands don’t have to disclose the concentration of components in their ‘proprietary’ blends.

So, while the individual ingredients in Celsius energy drink have been independently proven to have varying degrees of effect on weight loss and metabolism, there’s no way of knowing if the amount of ingredients in the blend are anywhere near the effective threshold to achieve their respective health promises.

Drinking Celsius does not cause weight loss.
Drinking Celsius alone does not cause weight loss.

HOW MUCH CAFFEINE IN CELSIUS ENERGY DRINK?

Celsius energy drink contains a colossal amount of caffeine in a can: 200mg of the energy-boosting bean.

This is 40mg more than a can of Monster Energy Drink (160mg in a bigger can), over twice as much as Red Bull (80mg of caffeine) and three times as much as a cup of espresso coffee (50-60mg).

No doubt it will give you a powerful pick-me-up. The can does warn you that you shouldn’t exceed two servings a day.

Probably a smart move, as you’ll be flirting with ‘unsafe’ territory for daily caffeine consumption.

TASTE

I’ve got to admit, Celsius tastes awesome.

I tried Sparkling Wild Berry and Sparkling Orange and both are crisp, light, refreshing and flavorful. Sparkling Wild Berry is like a breeze in a summer orchard. Sparkling Orange bright like the golden sun. Look, they’ve got me looking like a low-rent Shakespeare.

Not ashamed to say I drank one pretty quickly and then immediately looked around for another. Although, probably a good thing I didn’t drink another – 400mg caffeine would have me seeing double.

But overall, I have to agree with the many other positive reviews that Celsius energy drink have earned for their product.

Some people have noted that the drinks have an artificial or chemical taste, but I can report no cloying effect or sickly aftertaste in the cans I’ve consumed.

Celsius Sparkling berry tastes really nice.
Sparkling Berry Celsius tastes great.

IS CELSIUS ENERGY DRINK GOOD FOR YOU?

Well, they’d certainly like to think so.

Celsius markets themselves as firmly in the “healthy” category. Sugar-free, traditional ingredients, packed full of vitamins, nutrients and minerals… and 100 calories burnt per can, what’s not to like?

Well, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

If you’re caffeine-sensitive, you should certainly seek medical advice before consuming any kind of high-caffeine energy drink, but you should take special care with Celsius. 200mg of caffeine is at the top end of a pretty jittery scale.

And after such a high, there comes an inevitable crash. One energy drink alternative, REIZE, is specially formulated to avoid the dreaded fall back to earth. It’s also in powder form, so you can mix it as you please.

And while a calorie-burning concoction sounds like an attractive proposition, again, even Celsius insist that this should be part of a daily diet including healthy eating and moderate exercise. One can containing 200mg of caffeine a day suddenly doesn’t sound so good.

Many of Celsius energy drink’s ingredients are quite common to the market, so in many ways, it’s no better or worse that many of their competitors. Their main selling point is the metabolism-boosting blend of ingredients. As I said, however, while they state the “MetaPlus” blend as being 1.81g per can, there’s no breakdown of the blend, so we simply don’t know how effective it is.

Oh, and it does contain a load of artificial ingredients.

So much for ‘Naturals’.

VERDICT?

Bottom line? It tastes great, is low-calorie, sugar-free, and contains more than enough caffeine to give you some serious energy. Before the gym or after a big night out, Celsius is a smart choice for a pick-me-up. Just don’t drink four cans a day in the hope of reducing your waistline without any exercise.

If you want to read an in-depth review of Celsius check out my other article.

If you’re simply looking for the best place to buy Celsius online, the answer is Amazon. It’s worth checking the current prices because there are sometimes some really good deals to be had.

Alternatives to Celsius

Some alternatives to Celsius drinks.
Some great alternatives to Celsius drinks.

Celsius is very good, no question about it. Although I do have concerns about their health and “all natural” claims, I am a fan of the product overall.

But, there are loads of other great products out there that you might like even more than Celsius. Why limit yourself to just one?

Here’s a list of some great products and flavors that I suggest you take a look at…

Ready-to-drink cans:

• Red Bull

Bang energy drink

• Rockstar

Rip It energy drink

Xyience drink

Monster Import

XS Energy Drink

Guru drinks

Bing

Powder energy drinks:

Zipfizz (check out my review of Zipfizz here too)

Advocare Spark (I also made a review of Spark)

G Fuel

• REIZE Energy Drink (10 out of 10)

Or if you don’t like the sound of any of those you might also want to consider Mio water enhancer drops or caffeine pills as another way to stay caffeinated and energized.

Either way, there are literally hundreds of awesome energy drinks out there just waiting to be discovered.

Better than Celsius

If you’re looking for a great alternative to Celsius that’s also sugar-free, low-cal, tastes awesome and comes at a much more affordable price point (including shipping), then you might want to take a look at REIZE Energy Drink.

REIZE provides a great energy boost and ships right to your door for around $1 per drink.

Give it a try and you might just find that you prefer it to Celsius.

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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