Best energy drink for an exam (you’ll be surprised)

Image of a student taking an exam.

Do you want to know more about the best energy drinks to consume before an exam and what energy drinks you should avoid? Dive in for all the

Remember that gut-wrenching nervousness gripping you before entering an exam room – your palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy.

Yes, I took that right out of Eminem’s hit track “Lose yourself”. But in all seriousness, I’m pretty sure all of us have gone through that dreadful experience at some point or another.

All those all-nighters leading up to the exam date can leave you feeling tired and fatigued on the day of your exam. The remedy to that for most of us is a cup of coffee or a more potent beverage, energy drinks.

YES, energy drinks can be helpful for those all-nighters and late night cramming sessions as well as during the exam itself.  

However, with so many brands and variations to choose from, how do you know which ones are the best for an exam?

What should an energy drink contain to help when studying or taking an exam?

Let’s jump in and get to the bottom of things.

What to consider in an energy drink for an exam?

Seriously considering energy drinks for your exam? Then, you need to consider the caffeine content, sugar content, and price of the energy drinks that you’re weighing up.

These criteria will make the selection process a whole lot easier.

•Caffeine content

A cup of coffee usually contains a good amount of caffeine
Moderate caffeine consumption could help before an exam.

When it comes to choosing an energy drink for an exam, the first thing that you should have a look at is its caffeine content.

You need to choose an energy drink that contains a sensible amount of caffeine. Personally, I prefer my energy drinks to contain somewhere between 50 to 100mg of caffeine per serve.

At these dosages, you will experience the energizing effects of caffeine without all the negative side-effects of it.

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

More caffeine doesn’t always equate to more of an energy boost.

There are some energy drinks in the market that contain lots of caffeine, such as Bang energy. Bang energy drink contains a whopping 300mg of caffeine per can. This is among the strongest energy drinks on Earth.

Therefore, you might think that Bang energy drinks (click to see my review of it) are much more potent compared to energy drinks like REIZE (with 50mg of caffeine) or Red Bull (with 80mg of caffeine).

However, caffeine in high doses can cause serious side-effects such as:

Furthermore, energy drinks that contain lots of caffeine can cause you to become restless.

This makes it harder for you to concentrate and focus due to the excessive amount of energy you now have. This isn’t something that you want when you’re taking an exam.


The sugar content in the energy drink is something you need to keep a really good eye on when deciding on one brand versus another.

Energy drinks often contain lots of sugar, although there are lots of sugar-free options around. Sugar can be good for giving you a quick energy boost, but in the long-run, sugar is counter-productive to your study goals and health.

Consuming sugar in large amounts is not only bad for your health, but it can lead to lots of serious issues such as tooth decay, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and much more.

According to the AHA, healthy adult males should consume no more than 37.5g of sugar per day, while healthy adult females should consume no more than 25g of sugar in a single day.

Excessive consumption of sugar also causes you to experience a phenomenon known as a sugar crash a couple of hours after consumption.

Think about it, would you want to feel energized during the start of your exam only to feel dead tired and unable to concentrate halfway through?

Of course not!

Therefore, if you want a more sustainable energy boost, something that can last you throughout your exam, go for an energy drink that contains little or no sugar. Nowadays there are lots of sugar-free energy drinks available, such as Red Bull, ZipFizz and my personal favorite, REIZE.

Not only are they healthier for you, but they’re also much better in terms of providing a longer-lasting energy boost without a sugar crash after an initial boost of energy.


I’m sure the first thing that’s on your mind when it comes to choosing an energy drink for an exam is price. Hey, students aren’t made of money and a little thrift and economy can go a long way.

I’m sure by now you’ve already realized that most energy drinks cost between around $2 and $3 per can. However, there are better value for money options available.

For me, I like to compare the price, size of the energy drink and the ingredients contained within when choosing what’s best for an exam.

To help you with your quest in choosing an energy drink that’s best for an exam, I’ve rounded up all the energy drinks that I consider to be the very best for exams for your convenience.

In no particular order, let me introduce…

The best energy drinks for exams

Red Bull Energy Drink

Red Bull is a good energy drink to have before an exam
Red Bull was once banned in France, but is a favorite of many students before exams.

Red Bull is the world’s most popular energy drink. A single can of Red Bull contains 80mg of caffeine, which is a reasonable amount. In addition, Red Bull doesn’t seem to be all that expensive either. At around $2 per 8.4 fl.oz can it’s definitely cheaper than many energy drinks.

However, in my opinion, Red Bull contains too much sugar. Imagine gulping down 27g of sugar right before your exam. I am not a medical professional, but anyone with any common sense should know that this outcome isn’t likely to lead to a positive outcome.

If you’re considering getting Red Bull for your exam, I suggest you to go for the sugar-free version instead. It will give you about the same level of energy boost without having to deal with an energy crash during your exam.

If you’re wondering if it’s safe to drink Red Bull every day, check out my other article about that.

XS Energy

Cans of XS Energy drinks
XS Energy drinks are another decent option before an exam.

XS Energy drink is an energy drink from Amway and will give you a nice lift before an exam.

A single XS energy 8. 4 fl.oz can contains 80mg of caffeine, just like Red Bull.

XS energy is also sugar-free, meaning the energy boost that you get isn’t likely to be followed by a crash in your energy levels and it’s better for your long-term health.

The downside of XS energy drink?

For around $3 or $4 per 8.4 fl.oz can, XS energy is pretty expensive compared to many other brands. For most student’s that are on a tight budget, this is definitely not the most affordable option. 

Zipfizz energy tubes

Zipfizz is a convenient option for students before an exam
Zipfizz pink lemonade flavor.

ZipFizz is a powdered energy drink and provides a nice energy boost. It’s one of the most popular energy brands out there and doesn’t even come ready to drink. ZipFizz is a powder that comes in a tube. Mix the powder with water and, just like REIZE, you’ve got an instant energy drink.

Each serving contains 100mg of caffeine, which I think is a good amount.

Another thing I like about Zipfizz is the fact that it’s sugar-free. That means no sugar crash during your exam.

At around $2.25 per tube, ZipFizz isn’t as expensive as some of the energy drinks on the market, but is definitely far from being the best value for money. There are lots of other energy drinks that represent better value for money.

In fact, my favorite REIZE ships right to your door for around $1 per drink. That’s less than half the price of Zipfizz.

If you are interested to read more, I recommend that you read my review of Zipfizz.

• Gfuel

Gfuel is the popular youtube star Pewdiepie’s choice of energy drink.

Just like ZipFizz and REIZE, Gfuel is a powdered energy drink that needs to be mixed with water first before you can drink it. Gfuel is also sugar-free, so you won’t have to worry about dealing with any sugar-crashes while you’re sitting for an exam.

At around $1 per serve, GFuel is around the same price as REIZE. Well…that’s only if you exclude the shipping fees. If you calculate the shipping fees altogether, it’s definitely not as cheap as it seems at first glance.

GFuel contains 150mg of caffeine in a single-serve. This almost equates to the caffeine in two cups of coffee. In my opinion, this is too much caffeine. It will certainly give you a strong boost, but I don’t think it will allow you to think straight or concentrate during your exam.

My advice is to go for something with a little less caffeine. I like the 50-100mg per serve range the best for a nice boost of energy that won’t blow your head off during an exam.

•REIZE (recommended)

REIZE is a powdered energy drink that contains 50mg of caffeine per serve. This sensible amount of caffeine is blended together with B vitamins, ginseng and taurine to give you a nice and long lasting energy boost that might be the perfect choice before an exam.

Not to mention, REIZE is also sugar-free so you won’t have to worry about dealing with any negative side effects from drinking it.

At around $1 per drink including shipping, REIZE might just be the most affordable option that you can get your hands on.

Do energy drinks help with your exams?

Yes, energy drinks do help with exams.

Energy drink help to improve your focus and alertness levels during your exam. This is because of the caffeine that’s in energy drinks.

This study showed that energy drinks can indeed help boost cognitive function. This means that you’ll be sharper during your exam and be well positioned to do your best.

I’ve also written another article all about the best energy drinks to have before an exam. I strongly suggest to check that out once you’re done reading this one.

Is it a good idea to drink Red Bull before an exam?

It might be a good idea to drink Red Bull before an exam, but I recommend choosing the sugar-free version instead of the regular version. 

The caffeine boost will give you a nice lift and Red bull contains a sensible amount of caffeine that is unlikely to leave you unfocussed and unable to concentrate unless you’re sensitive to caffeine.

If you’re considering drinking Red Bull before an upcoming exam I suggest that you give it a trial run a few days before your exam to see how it affects you while you’re studying.

If it helps, do it on the day of the exam. If it makes it difficult to concentrate, give it a miss on the big day.

Alcohol and energy drinks among students

It’s often mentioned that students are more likely to engage in risk-taking behavior and also often mix alcohol with energy drinks more than non-students.

However, this study by the Centre for Human Psychopharmacology at Swinburne University in Melbourne might have debunked that myth.

The study found “non-students drink more alcohol, drink more frequently and are involved in a greater number of negative alcohol-related consequences than students, regardless of whether AMED (alcohol mixed with energy drinks) or AO (alcohol only) is consumed.”

I definitely don’t condone mixing alcohol with energy drinks, but this study is interesting because it shows that students aren’t necessarily the risk-taking alcohol-binging group that they are often portayed as.

Other great alternatives for an exam

Besides all the energy drinks that I’ve listed above, there are still lots of other energy drinks out there that are great for an exam.

Here are a few other energy drinks that you can consider getting for your exam:

Cans of Monster Khaos energy drinks
Monster Khaos could be a good alternative for exams.

Monster Khaos

Rip It




Bang Energy


• Rockstar

• Mountain Dew Kickstart

There are also some other powder energy drinks, that are worth checking out:

Advocare Spark

• Sneak Energy Drink

• Controlled Labs Gamer Up Powder

There are also other great caffeinated products such as Make it Mio. It gives your water a great energizing flavor with a touch of caffeine.

If you’re bold enough to try something completely different, you could try Vivarin Caffeine pills. They’re caffeinated pills that contains 200mg of caffeine per pill.

It’s definitely much easier and quicker to take than liquid energy drinks. The only drawbacks are that they don’t come with the same great taste, and lack the other great ingredients found in most energy drinks.

In addition, you could read what I wrote about the best energy drinks for concentration here.

The absolute best for your exam needs (10 out of 10)

If you’re looking for the absolute best energy drink for your exam, I highly recommend that you get REIZE energy drink.

REIZE is the most versatile energy drink in my opinion. You can mix it with regular water or almost any beverage of your choice. Not to mention, REIZE is also sugar-free, which means no sugar-crash while you’re in the midst of your exam.

REIZE Energy Drink is very convenient.
REIZE is the best energy drink for an exam in my book.

REIZE also contains tons of other great ingredients such as taurine, ginseng, and B vitamins, which are sure to give you a great energy boost with no sugar crash.

At around $1 per drink including shipping, REIZE might just be the most affordable energy drink that you can get your hands on.

What are you waiting for?

Try REIZE yourself today! You might just find that REIZE is the perfect solution to keep you awake and alert while taking an exam.

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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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