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Energy Drink Nutrition Facts (Deep Dive)

Energy Drink Nutrition Facts (Deep Dive)

You often see nutrition facts labels on the bottles or cans of energy drinks. Have you ever wondered what those values mean and if they matter?

Well, in this article I will be comparing the nutrition facts between different energy drink brands.

The nutritional values of energy drinks are different from each other depending on the brand. Some brands have more caffeine than the rest and are better suited for exercise purposes, while others are more suitable for energy drink newbies.

Read on for a side-by-side comparison of the nutrition facts of a few popular energy drinks brands, a detailed discussion of their standard values, and whether energy drinks affect your diet or not.

Let’s dive in…

Energy Drink Nutrition Facts Comparison

First up, let’s take a look at the nutritional values of five energy drink brands:

Standard ValuesRed Bull (8.4fl.oz)Monster (16fl.oz)Bang (16fl.oz)Rockstar (16fl.oz)Reign (16fl.oz)
Energy110 calories210 calories0 calories122 calories10 calories
Fat (Of which saturated)0g (0g)0g (0g)0g (0g)0g (0g)0g
Carbohydrates (of which sugars)28g (27g)54g (54g)0g (0g)26g (24g)3g (0g)
Caffeine80mg160mg300mg160mg300mg
Sodium105mg370mg40mg200mg
Salt0.82g
Protein<1g0g0g2.0g0g
Calcium5mg
Magnesium5mg
Vitamin C27mg
Vitamin B23.6mg 
Vitamin B322mg46mg5mg16mg21.6mg
Vitamin B65.05mg4.6mg0.5mg1.4mg2.0mg
Vitamin B125.1μg13μg1.5μg2.5μg6.25μg
A quick comparison between nutrition facts of different energy drink brands.

Nutritional Comparison of Energy Drink Brands

Now that we’ve gone through the nutritional content of each brand, we can compare and contrast their standard values in the following sections:  

Calorie Content

Some energy drink brands are packed with lots of calories while others have only a minuscule amount that’s barely noticeable and would most likely leave no effect on your daily calorie count.

From the table stated above, Monster Energy has the highest calorie content, followed by Rockstar, Red Bull, Reign, and lastly Bang Energy.

Usually, a high-calorie content is attributable to a large amount of sugar present in the energy drink, which in Monster’s case, proves just that.

The recommended daily calorie intake is 2000 to 2400 calories for women and 2400 to 3000 calories for men. Monster Energy will definitely leave an impact on your overall diet, while Reign and Bang won’t contribute much in terms of calorie intake.

If you don’t lead an active lifestyle, I would advise against having sugary energy drinks. High consumption of calories would affect your overall health and lead to issues like weight gain, diabetes, high blood pressure, and fatty liver disease.

Also, regardless of the amount of calories energy drinks contain, they aren’t supposed to replace a nutritious and fulfilling meal, so if you’re feeling hungry, grab a healthy snack to eat instead of having another can of Monster.

If high-calorie energy drinks put you off, you can check out these great energy drink recommendations in my article about the best zero-calorie energy drinks.

Caffeine

A cup of coffee.
Caffeine is good and all, but too much may lead to a bad headache.

Energy drinks have varying quantities of caffeine depending on the brand. Caffeine is the main ingredient in energy drinks that improves your alertness and reduces the symptoms of fatigue.

Take away the caffeine from energy drinks and you’ll realize that they won’t benefit you as much. That’s how important caffeine in energy drinks are.

From the comparison table listed above, the brands that contain the highest to the lowest amount of caffeine go in the order of Bang, Reign, Rockstar, Monster and Red Bull.

Now you may wonder why some energy drinks have more caffeine than others. That’s simple. This is because they cater to different purposes.

Reign and Bang are created with the purpose to be performance beverages or pre-workouts that would help enhance exercise performance.

On the other hand, conventional brands like Rockstar and Red Bull are advertised as regular energy drinks that can supply you with energy and be used for other purposes like improving your cognitive functions.

Besides that, Reign and Bang have a higher caffeine content to compensate for the lack of sugar. Thus, it means that you’ll get most of your energy from the caffeine alone.

That said, you must consume caffeine in moderation. According to the FDA, the recommended daily caffeine intake for healthy adults is no more than 400mg.

Any more than that, and you might end up with side effects like:

  • Restlessness and shakiness
  • Insomnia
  • Dehydration
  • Headaches
  • Dizziness

To know more about caffeine, check out this video below:

Sugar Content

There are plenty of sugary energy drinks out there because it’s common fact that we just love sugar. Sugar makes everything taste good.

Of course, not all energy drinks contain sugar. Some energy drinks are sugar-free, substituting sugar with artificial sweeteners instead.

From the energy drink brands stated in the table above, the energy drink with the highest to lowest sugar content starts with Monster, Red Bull, Rockstar, Bang and then Reign.

From how I see it, you’re going to have to be more careful with brands like Monster, Red Bull, and Rockstar as they contain a high amount of sugar. When you consume a lot of sugar at one time, your blood sugar levels will spike immediately before dipping suddenly, leading to a sugar crash.

In contrast, with Bang and Reign, since they’re sugar-free, sugar crashes won’t happen because artificial sweeteners don’t cause any changes to your blood sugar levels.

Artificial sweeteners don’t have any calories and won’t trigger insulin responses either, making them suitable even for diabetics. Hence, sugar-free energy drinks make great pick-me-ups if you’re following a strict diet or want to cut back on your sugar intake.

Sugar has a reputation for being one of the most unhealthy ingredients in lots of our foods and drinks, but it can be useful by providing us with a brief energy boost or being fuel for our brains in the form of glucose.

Cubes of sugar in a chalice on a tray.
Sugar is the hidden ingredient in many foods and drinks.

While a small amount of sugar can be good, having too much spells trouble for your health. The recommended maximum daily sugar intake suggested by AHA is 25g and 36g for women and men respectively.

If you don’t control your sugar intake, many health problems may arise in the long run:

  • Acne
  • Obesity
  • Diabetes
  • Tooth decay
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • High blood pressure

However, whether an energy drink has sugar or not, it’s best to have a moderate consumption of energy drinks in general regardless.

B Vitamins

You’ll find B vitamins present in almost all energy drinks, listed in the ingredients label. Energy drinks can have varying quantities of B vitamins, and in most cases they run at two extremes, they’re either insufficient or exceed the recommended daily intake.

I’ve listed the benefits of the B vitamins which are commonly found in energy drinks below. If you want to learn more about B vitamins, the Harvard website provides thorough explanations about their functions in your body.

Types of Vitamins PurposeTolerable Upper Intake Level
Vitamin CMaintains healthy cells, skin, blood vessels and bones; helps in wound healing2000mg
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)Helps in cell growth and energy production; Breaks down fats  
Vitamin B3 (niacin)Helps the body release energy; keeps the skin healthy.35mg
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine)Store energy from protein and carbohydrates; formation of red blood cells100mg
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)Release energy from food; forms red blood cells; keeps the nervous system healthy
Details of vitamins that are typically found in energy drinks.

Are Energy Drinks Nutritious?

Energy drinks are beneficial when it comes to keeping you awake and improving your performance, but they’re not nutritious for you.

According to the Cambridge dictionary, the meaning of nutritious is to ‘contain plenty of the substances needed for life and growth’.

Energy drinks are generally loaded with caffeine, sugar, and other ingredients that work to boost your energy levels. Besides that, energy drinks can also increase your athletic and mental performance when consumed in the right doses.

However, energy drinks aren’t nourishing and shouldn’t be part of your staple diet. Energy drinks shouldn’t be consumed regularly as you would vegetables and fruits.

Sure, energy drinks contain certain vitamins, minerals, and natural ingredients, but they’re typically present in trace amounts that may not be enough to even provide any benefits.

Plus, energy drinks can contain a high amount of caffeine and sugar, which are unhealthy and can lead to a number of health-related issues. While energy drinks can stimulate your senses and temporarily increase your performance, they don’t necessarily benefit your health.

How Bad Is One Energy Drink A Day?

Top view of a can.
Energy drinks are best consumed in moderation.

Having one energy drink a day isn’t bad for you as long as you’re a healthy adult without any medical conditions.

Of course, this is also assuming that you have an active lifestyle combined with a balanced diet to lower the risk of significant health issues in the future.

Though, for most adults, it’s okay to include energy drinks in your daily routine, provided you’re also drinking healthy beverages like water and herbal tea to even out all that caffeine and sugar.

But for sugary energy drinks like Red Bull, Monster and Rockstar, I recommend going for the sugar-free versions if you plan to feature these drinks frequently in your overall diet.

For Bang and Reign, although they’re sugar-free, having one can of either is enough since the caffeine content of one can is already pretty close to the daily caffeine limit.

Because energy drinks have different amounts of caffeine and sugar, you need to experiment with which energy drinks contain just the right amount of caffeine and sugar to benefit you.

Are Energy Drinks Bad For Your Diet?

Energy drinks are not a bad addition to your diet if you consume them in moderation.

Energy drinks can in fact be good for your diet because they supply you with energy for workouts and improves your physical performance.

Plus, caffeine increases your metabolism and the breakdown of fatty acids, which makes it easier for you to burn those calories.

Furthermore, with sugar-free energy drinks, you can satisfy your sugar cravings without the extra calories.

However, including energy drinks in your diet becomes futile if you’re having energy drinks without exercising or you consume more calories than the ones you’re burning.

Some studies found that artificial sweeteners actually cause you to eat more because it doesn’t induce satiety but rather make you feel hungrier even after you’ve eaten.

In my opinion, as long as you’re having energy drinks in moderation alongside a healthy lifestyle, you’ll be fine.

Energy Drink Recommendations

If Red Bull, Monster, Bang, Rockstar, and Reign aren’t up your alley, here’s a list of other great energy drink alternatives for you to try:

Powdered energy drinks are also great since they’re more affordable and are convenient to bring around:

REIZE (10 Out Of 10)

Water being poured into a glass of REIZE energy drink.
REIZE is an awesome energy drink.

Perhaps you’ve had enough of the regular energy drinks and are looking for something different.

Let me introduce you to REIZE.

REIZE is a powdered energy drink that comes in lightweight 4g sachets, making it convenient for you to take REIZE wherever you’d like.

With a sensible 50mg of caffeine, REIZE is also sugar-free and has only 11 calories.

The best part about REIZE is that it’s customizable. You can mix REIZE with almost any beverage you like whether juice or sparkling water.

REIZE is also loaded with helpful ingredients like taurine, ginseng and B vitamins that combine together to provide you with a smooth energy boost without any sugar crashes afterward.

REIZE ships straight to your door for only $1 per sachet.

That’s outstanding value for money.

Give REIZE a try, and you might agree that it’s a smarter option than the other energy drink brands.

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