Aside from caffeine, another energy drink staple is sugar. Of course, our favorite brands can’t achieve their signature flavors without a little sweetness, right?
But each brand comes with different kinds and amounts of sugar. Some don’t even have any sugar at all! The sugar in energy drinks varies depending on the product’s needs and what kind of flavor is its goal.
It’s important that we’re aware of our sugar intake when it comes to energy drinks because they can have a big effect on our health. Not all brands are created the same and some have healthier ingredients than others.
Today, I’ll be going all-in on sugar and how it can affect the body. Hopefully, this can help you decide which energy drink is the right fit for you!
What is Sugar?
Sugar makes our drinks extra sweet and tasty.
It’s derived from glucose, which is created by plants through the process of photosynthesis. Glucose is also essential to many of our body functions.
We get sugar from plants like sugar beets and sugar cane, and it’s all-natural and no preservatives added! From then on, natural sugar can be processed, refined, and packaged.
Sugar has been used in recipes for generations because it enhances the taste of food and drinks. Aside from this, sugar is also used to balance acidity and prevent spoilage.
What Can Sugar Give You?
Sugar is a carbohydrate that the body can use as a primary source of energy. It’s stored as healthy fats that can energize you when burned.
Glucose helps primarily in producing hormones like insulin, which is vital to our pancreatic function. In addition, glucose also helps create serotonin, which enhances our mood.
Certain studies revealed that oral rehydration solutions with glucose increase exogenous carbohydrate oxidation rates, endurance capacity, and exercise performance.
Disadvantages of Sugar
Excessive sugar consumption can quickly spike your blood sugar, affect insulin levels, and cause sugar crashes.
When our bodies overload exclusively on sugar, our energy levels swing high, but the lack of protein, fat, and fiber, can cause a severe drop in our blood sugar, causing the crash.
Sugar intake can also accelerate skin aging. Advanced glycation end products (AGEs) happen because of a reaction between the sugar and protein in your body. Refined carbs and sugar can consequently make your skin age prematurely.
When taking insulin, if your liver doesn’t recognize it already produces insulin but continues to make lots of it, this could also cause diabetes. Your liver has a role to play with your sugar control as it is in charge of making glucose when needed and glucose storage.
Excessive sugar intake can also cause Type 2 Diabetes because it increases your blood glucose and insulin production. It can also result in weight gain, which increases the risk of you developing diabetes.
Here are other adverse effects of having too much sugar in your diet.
- Dental deterioration
- Fatty liver
Knowing all this, you should probably aim for energy drinks that have lesser sugar content, or you can switch to sugar-free energy drinks.
Why is there Sugar in Energy Drinks?
Aside from adding flavor, sugar bolsters energy drinks’ abilities to keep us awake and improve our physical performance.
Recently, more and more brands have been replacing table sugar with alternative sweeteners to lessen the risk of side effects.
FDA-approved artificial sweeteners are often sweeter and calorie-free, so energy drinks that use them are suited for those who have health conditions like Diabetes. Examples of these are saccharin, acesulfame potassium (Ace-K), sucralose, neotame, and aspartame.
If you have diabetes, read the number of carbohydrates in each serving of food or beverage that contains sugar alcohol. To be safe, you can test your blood sugar right after you eat food that contains sugar alcohols or artificial sweeteners so you can assess its effects on your system.
How Much Sugar is in the Average Energy Drink?
Most energy drinks contain between 35g to 40g of sugar.
However, as I previously mentioned, there are sugar-free brands available that don’t use regular sugar. In my opinion, they’re much healthier for daily consumption.
The NHS recommends that healthy adults don’t consume more than 30g of sugars daily, while children should not go beyond 24g.
Watch the video below to know more about sugar’s effects on the body!
How Much Sugar is OK for a day?
You should consume no more than 30g of free sugars a day if you’re an adult.
AHA’s guidelines suggest that most men should consume no more than 150 discretionary sugar calories per day. This dosage is equivalent to 38g or nine teaspoons (tsp) of sugar. At the same time, women should not go above the 100 discretionary calories of sugar per day. This is around 25g or 6 tsp of sugar.
But keep in mind that other food and drinks you regularly consume also contain sugar, so consuming energy drinks high in sugar can cause you to push the daily recommended limit.
Top Sugary Energy Drinks
I’ve tasted a lot of energy drinks, and here’s a list of the sweetest energy drinks!
|Energy Drink||Gram/s of Sugar per can|
|MatchaBar’s Hustle series||4|
If you’re looking to switch to brands with less to no sugar, here are my top recommendations!
Each sachet of Advocare Spark contains only 15 calories, 120mg of caffeine, and 4g of carbohydrates. It’s also packed with Vitamin A, C, and Bs, including thiamine and niacin.
Advocare Spark has ten unique fruity flavors. And did I mention Advocare Spark is sugar-free?
Even though it is sugar-free, G Fuel is sweetened with Ace-K and Sucralose.
With this drink, the sugar crash is impossible. However, you should watch its high amount of caffeine. Consuming more can get you tensed rather than energized. So better watch your intake!
REIZE (10 out of 10)
Now let me introduce you to the best sugar-free energy drink I’ve ever tasted: REIZE!
REIZE contains a low 50mg of caffeine, just enough to give you an energy boost without risking any side effects. The drink also contains Taurine, B Vitamins, and Ginseng—nutrients that will boost your physical and mental performance.
It also comes in 4g powder sachets that you can carry with you anywhere. No need to bother with bulky tubs and bottles, just whip out your REIZE and mix with water and ta-da! You have a delicious fizzy energy drink.
You can get REIZE for only around $1 and have your orders shipped to your doorstep. That’s amazing value for your money.
Try REIZE today and experience the best!
Other Alternative Brands
Sugar is not something you have to be afraid of—especially since it’s essential to a well-balanced diet. The key is to moderate your intake and watch out for side effects!
If you’re an avid energy drink fan, you’re well aware that energy drinks can contain various amounts of sugar. But some energy drink brands are sugar-free, and they can be a healthier option for you.
Always take note of your daily consumption and make sure that you won’t go overboard. Other than that, there’s no reason not to enjoy energy drinks!