Irn-Bru Energy Drink Review (The Verdict)

A can of Irn Bru Energy drink

Launched in the summer of 2019, Irn-Bru Energy is an energy drink by UK based manufacturer, AG Barr.

There are two versions of this drink available:

  • Irn-Bru Energy (with sugar)
  • Irn-Bru Energy no sugar

Actually, it’s not the first time that AG Barr has released an energy drink product.

Back in 2006, the company released Irn-Bru 32, which was also an energy boosting beverage. It was a “limited edition” product, so it’s no longer in production.

Besides that, AG Barr also has an exclusive license from US company, Rockstar Inc. to produce and distribute Rockstar energy drinks in several countries across the globe.

Well, if you’re keen to find out more about Irn-Bru Energy, then let’s dive in and walk through my Irn-Bru energy drink review step by step.

Let’s get started…

What’s the difference between the original Irn-Bru soft drink and Irn-Bru Energy drink?

Although caffeine is one of the ingredients in the original sparkling flavoured Irn-Bru soft drink, it only amounts to 30mg within a 330ml can. According to the manufacturer, AG Barr, its function here is mainly as a flavour enhancer.

In comparison, Irn-Bru Energy contains 32mg of caffeine per 100ml of drink.

Irn-Bru Energy also contains other additional ingredients that are not present in the original soft drink version, namely taurine and some B vitamins (niacin, B6 and B12).

What flavours are available for Irn-Bru Energy?

There’s only one flavour sold for Irn-Bru Energy, and it’s none other than the iconic flavour from the original Irn-Bru sparkling soft drink. So you haven’t got much of choice here as compared to the wider selection offered by other competing brands.

But it’s worth noting though that there is the option of a sugar-free version for you if your diet demands it.

Personally, I’d prefer if AG Barr were to give us an element of choice here, so hopefully they will have more flavours planned for their energy drink range in the near future.

Irn-Bru Energy ingredients

Each 330ml can of Irn-Bru Energy contains:

  • 153 calories
  • 120mg caffeine (a little on the strong side for my liking)
  • 0g fat
  • 0g saturated fatty acids
  • 36g carbohydrates
  • 36g sugar
  • 0.5g protein
  • 0.25g salt
  • 4.8mg niacin
  • 0.42mg vitamin B6
  • 0.75mg vitamin B12

Irn-Bru Energy also contains other ingredients such as:

  • Carbonated water
  • Taurine
  • Quinine
  • Citric acid
  • Ammonium ferric citrate
  • Aspartame
  • Acesulfame K
  • Preservative E211
  • Colouring: Sunset Yellow FCF, Ponceau 4R
Ingredients label on a can of Irn-Bru Energy.
Ponceau 4R is safe for adults- but NOT for children!

Irn-Bru Energy is considered safe for adults, but it contains an additive known as Ponceau 4R. This red food colouring is said to cause increased hyperactivity in children. Products with this ingredient have actually been banned in some countries, including Canada.

The controversy over this ingredient had already surfaced long ago in the case of the original Irn-Bru soft drink, so it’s surprising that the manufacturer has still chosen to add it into their other products while they continue to claim that their drinks are suitable for all ages.

You can read more about what happens when you drink Irn-Bru energy drink every day in my other article.

Where can you find Irn-Bru Energy drinks?

If you live in Scotland, Ireland, and Northern England, you can easily find it in any of your local marts.

Or if you prefer a more effortless shopping experience, you could hop on to sites like Amazon to pick it up from there. If you’re in luck, you might discover some great deals and even find free shipping.

Irn Bru Energy drink review

On the face of it, it seems that Irn-Bru Energy is like any other standard energy drink in the market.

It might, however, score some brownie points amongst the long-time, loyal fans of the classic Irn-Bru sparkling soft drink.

Get a quick overview of the regular vs No Sugar version of Irn-Bru Energy through this video.

Effects

Both the regular and sugar-free versions of Irn-Bru Energy contain the same amount of caffeine, which is 120mg for a 330ml can.

As a long-time energy drink fan, I’ve generally made it a point to try to keep my caffeine intake to somewhere between 50mg to 100mg per serving. So what I’m getting in a can of Irn-Bru Energy is a bit higher than I’d like it to be.

According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), you should only consume up to 200mg for a single serving of caffeine. At the same time, it’s recommended that you don’t exceed a maximum of 400mg of caffeine per day.

This does not just refer to what you’re getting from energy drinks, but includes all your other sources of caffeine throughout the day like chocolate, coffee, tea and more.

But don’t get me wrong though. Being a interested in fitness, I appreciate having a decent amount of caffeine in my energy drink to get me going for the day.

I found that having a can or two of Irn-Bru Energy provided me with enough strength, stamina, and endurance to hit cardio for hours. In fact, I feel like it helped me burn calories even more by increasing my metabolic rate.

Truth be told, it gave me the push I needed for one whole gym session.

But did it feel any superior to other energy drinks I had before? Not really in my opinion.

It’s worth noting though that I didn’t experience any of the side effects that might be expected with a high dose of caffeine while I was reviewing the Irn-Bru Energy drink.

Just to give you an idea, some of the symptoms that you might suffer if you overdose on caffeine include:

  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness, anxiety, and agitation
  • Stomach irritation
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Increased heart rate and rapid breathing
  • Headache and ringing in the ears
  • Chest pain and convulsions
A handheld can of Irn-Bru Energy with green foliage in the background.
I had a productive session in the gym after a can of Irn-Bru Energy.

And, if you think that’s bad, here’s what happens to you in the long run if you continue to consume caffeine without restraint:

  • Sleep and anxiety disorders
  • High blood pressure
  • Hypertension
  • Heart failure
  • Stroke

Bear in mind too that everyone’s level of caffeine tolerance is different, so what is safe for me may or may not be suitable for you. Please exercise caution since excessive caffeine intake can, in extreme circumstances, be fatal.

Meanwhile, in terms of sugar content, Irn-Bru Energy has 36mg of sugar in each can.

As a point of reference, the American Heart Association (AHA) recommends the daily intake of sugar for men to be less than 37.5g and below 25g for women.

GenderIntake
Men150 kcal/ 37.5 g/ 9 tsp
Women100 kcal/ 25 g/ 6 tsp
Recommended maximum daily intake of sugar by AHA

In the case of the regular Irn-Bru Energy drink with sugar, you’d already be exceeding the recommended daily limit after just having one can.

This would be true no matter whether you’re male or female. And this is without even taking into account the sugar content that you’re getting from the other food in your diet.

I don’t have a sweet tooth, to be honest. In fact, I often practice a low-calorie diet, so drinking a can of Irn-Bru Energy with sugar in it is totally out of the norm for me.

Nevertheless, I thought I’d give it a try for the sake of this review.

I felt a jolt of energy buzzing through my veins not long after I had consumed the drink. The results were quick, and it really did help me get my workout done.

But within two hours of that single serving, my energy hit a slump. Out of nowhere, I suddenly felt the symptoms of a sugar crash.

Handheld can of Irn-Bru Energy showing the product's nutrition information.
One serving of Irn-Bru Energy contains 36g of sugar!

For your info, some of the common signs that you’re experiencing a sugar crash are:

  • Hunger
  • Irritability
  • Jitters
  • Excess sweat
  • Difficulty to focus
  • Discomfort
  • Fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Headaches
  • Shakiness
  • Dizziness

What other noteworthy ingredients are there in Irn-Bru Energy?

Besides caffeine and sugar, other ingredients in Irn-Bru Energy that are worth mentioning include taurine, B Vitamins and quinine.

However, it’s not stated how much of each nutrient has been included in the drink, so it’s hard to tell whether the quantity that’s in the drink is sufficient to cause a noticeable difference in your wellbeing.

Do I favour Irn-Bru Energy No Sugar instead?

Yes, I do. With this No Sugar version, I definitely had a better experience. I didn’t feel any energy crash after drinking it.

The two artificial sweeteners that were used here, aspartame and Ace-K, might be the reason why.

These FDA-approved ingredients add no calories to this sugar-free version of Irn-Bru Energy while still retaining its tasty flavour.

So I’d say this might be the safer option for you if you need to watch your sugar intake in order to prevent health issues such as excessive weight or diabetes.

If you want to read more about whether Irn-Bru energy is bad for you, check out my other article where I cover everything you need to know.

What does Irn Bru Energy taste like?

At first sip, it gave me that nostalgic, refreshing taste of the original Irn-Bru soft drink. It’s a kind of fruity and aromatic flavour that’s sweet and bubblegum-like. Later on, I found I was left with an aftertaste similar to that of Red Bull.

Having tasted both the regular as well as sugar-free versions of Irn-Bru Energy, I must say they tasted practically the same to me. So, you’re not missing out in any way regardless of which option you decide to go for.

The flavour of this energy drink is undoubtedly its main selling point as many out there are faithful fans of the brand’s distinctive taste.

However, I do hope AG Barr will introduce more new varieties of this drink in the near future because only having the brand’s classic taste to choose from may make it not so desirable if you’re consiming it on a daily basis.

Visuals

For me, the look and feel of the can was pretty decent. However, you could say there wasn’t anything too unique about Irn-Bru Energy’s product design either.

A can of Irn-Bru Energy that's partially submerged in water.
A can of Irn-Bru Energy looks more or less like any other energy drink I’ve ever seen before.

I did wish the details on the back of the can were organised better though. In my opinion, the nutritional facts, ingredients, and warning labels were all a little too closely crammed together.

Nevertheless, the fonts were fairly clear, thanks to the white text being displayed against a black background.

Overall, the blue and orange theme on a can of Irn-Bru Energy does have a certain appeal of its own.

Besides that, it’s easy to distinguish between the two variations of Irn-Bru Energy (regular and No Sugar) because the manufacturer used a black theme for the one containing sugar and a shade of grey for the sugar-free version.

Price

On Amazon, a pack of 12 Irn-Bru Energy 330ml cans cost about $10.

For a single serving, that comes up to just $0.83 per can. I don’t know about you, but this is absolutely value for money.

This is purely based on what I saw on Amazon at the time I wrote this review though, so do remember to check the site regularly as there may be better deals out there.

Also, I think this price excludes the cost of getting the cans actually delivered to your house, so that will add a bit to the price too.

Irn Bru Energy: The final verdict

Is Irn Bru Energy all that it claims to be?

Based on my personal experience trying out Irn-Bru Energy, I’d give it a 6 out of 10.

Despite the hype over its distinct flavour, I find it to be like any other energy drink on the market.

My two cents: The high dose of sugar that comes with the regular version of Irn-Bru Energy isn’t worth it as you’ll probably suffer a sugar crash later on.

So if you do reach for a can, opt for the No Sugar option instead.

Does Irn-Bru Energy actually work?

In my opinion, it does although I felt that the Irn-Bru Energy drink isn’t as special as its advertising claims.

Flavour-wise, I think it’s quite tasty. But will I grab a can every single morning? I highly doubt that.

However, it does make a good go-to energy booster to get you through the tougher days.

A can of Irn-Bru Energy placed on the floor.
Not exactly my ride-or-die kind of drink.

With its 120mg of caffeine per serving, you might find it to be a bit overwhelming if you’re not typically used to that much caffeine consumption.

While I am personally not in favour of the high sugar content in the regular Irn-Bru Energy, perhaps AG Barr had intended to satisfy a certain market segment when it came up with the formula for this drink.

Personally, I would recommend you go for the the Irn-Bru Energy No Sugar option instead.

Lastly, I think it’s superb that the beverage contains many of the energy drink essentials such as taurine, B vitamins, and quinine. However, it would be more appealing had the manufacturer been more transparent about the actual quantities of each ingredient that we would find in a single serving of Irn-Bru Energy.

Alternatives to Irn-Bru Energy drink

If you’re looking for something similar to Irn Bru Energy, try experimenting with these noteworthy alternatives:

By the way, if convenience and versatility are important to you, you might want to consider the powdered versions of energy drinks too. Here are some you can consider:

REIZE Energy Drink

A sachet of REIZE powdered energy drink next to a glass of the drink itself.
Enjoy your REIZE energy drink anytime, anywhere without any fuss.

REIZE is a powdered energy drink that comes in compact and convenient sachets.

It offers you greater flexibility than your average canned energy drink as you can add it into any of your favourite beverages including soda, juice, or water.

With 50mg of caffeine and a sugar-free ingredient list, you can get the boost you need without having to worry that it will have a huge impact on your health.

REIZE makes a great addition to any low-calorie diet plan since there’s only 11 calories in each serving.

Besides that, REIZE also contains taurine, B vitamins, and ginseng, making it a wholesome, nutritious addition to your existing diet.

In fact, it will only cost you about $1 per drink INCLUDING shipping fees to have it delivered right to your doortep.

Give REIZE energy drink a shot and you might find yourself a new energy drink favourite.

Last Updated on

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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