Is Emerge Energy Drink Bad For Your Health? (The Truth)

A can of Emerge Dual energy drink

Emerge is a big hit among energy drink lovers in the UK, ranking as the sixth most popular brand here.

Produced by Cott Corporation, it’s usually sold around 50p per can, and features everything from sugarless options to fruit-flavoured varieties to suit various taste buds.

Have you ever wondered whether Emerge is actually good or bad for your health?

Well, it’s time we found out the answer.

What Is Emerge Stimulation Drink?

Essentially, Emerge is a carbonated, mixed-fruit flavoured energy drink that contains taurine, B Vitamins, caffeine, sugar, and sweeteners.

Emerge stimulation drink first made its debut back in 2004. Since then, it has introduced quite a few product lines, namely Original, Zero, Flavoured and Dual.

What Ingredients Are In Emerge Energy Drink?

Information found on the back of an Emerge 250ml tells us that it contains the following ingredients:

  • 53 calories
  • 75mg caffeine (Pretty ideal, in my opinion)
  • 0g protein
  • 0g total fat
  • 0g saturated fatty acids
  • 11.2g total carbohydrate
  • 11.2g total sugar
  • 0g protein
  • 0.09g salt

In addition, you’ll also find these items in small amounts in Emerge:

  • Carbonated water
  • Sugar
  • Citric acid
  • Taurine (0.3%)
  • Sodium citrate
  • Flavourings
  • Ammonia caramel (colouring)
  • Riboflavins (colouring)
  • Sodium benzoate (preservative)
  • Sucralose (sweetener)
  • Acesulfame K (sweetener)
  • Niacin
  • Pantothenic acid
  • Vitamin B6
  • Vitamin B12
  • Inositol
Nutrition information as seen on a can of Emerge Dual Sugar-Free.
Nutrition information as seen on a can of Emerge Dual Sugar-Free.

Emerge Product Range

Emerge Original

Emerge Original was launched as the first product under the Emerge brand. You can purchase it in two sizes: A 250 ml can or a 1L bottle.

Both sugar and artificial sweeteners have been added to the blend and you’ll find 21 calories in every 100ml.

That’s 52.5 calories per 250ml can.

Other ingredients that are included as part of the Emerge Original are taurine, B Vitamins, and caffeine.

Emerge Reduced Sugar

Emerge Sugar Free

Personally, I’m not too excited about the massive amount of sugar and artificial sweeteners you have in a serving of Emerge Original. So it’s great to have Emerge Sugar Free as an alternative option. 

This variant offers only 10 calories per 250ml serving.

These calories come from naturally occurring sugar from its ingredients. However, you’ll still find low-calorie sweeteners, aspartame and acesulfame potassium (also known as ace-K) making an appearance here to enhance the drink’s overall taste.

Emerge Zero Sugar

As its name suggests, Emerge Zero Sugar has no added sugar. It’s got only 3 calories in every 100ml, which is a much better deal than what you saw in the other Emerge variants I discussed.

Again, you still have aspartame and ace-K in Emerge Zero, but being the low-calorie sweeteners that they are, they certainly aren’t going to have an impact on your waist size.

You’ll find Emerge Zero Sugar available in two serving sizes: A 250 ml can or a 1L bottle, so take your pick.

Emerge Flavoured

Emerge Flavoured was released to put more smack into the existing Emerge lineup. 

Products in this collection are sold in 250 ml cans only.

There’s 12g of sugar in one serving of Emerge Flavoured. Meanwhile, you’ll be getting 53 calories in total.

As you might have expected, aspartame and ace-K are also part of the mix here too.

Tangy Tropical

Unlike other Emerge drinks, Tangy Tropical has some unfamiliar ingredients in the list. I’m guessing that’s what’s responsible for creating the unique flavour.

The ingredients I’m referring to are acacia gum, glycerol esters of wood and rosins (which also function as product stabilisers), and ascorbic acid (that acts as an anti-oxidant too).

Juicy Berry

Love berries? This one definitely tastes just like it. You’ll find fruit and vegetable concentrates like black carrot and safflower being added to the blend here.

Emerge Dual

Take a few calories off from Emerge Original, and you’ll get Emerge Dual. Manufacturer, Cott Corporation launched three variants for the Dual collection: Emerge Dual, Emerge Mixed Berry Dual and Emerge Dual Sugar Free.

Cans of Emerge Dual energy drink.
Emerge Dual contains lower sugar content than the Original.

Emerge Dual

This drink has 15 calories in every 100ml, and that’s six times lower than what you’ll get in Emerge Original. Here, you have just 7.5g of sugar in a 250ml can  so you can give this variant a try if you find the calorie count and sugar content in Emerge Original too overwhelming.

Besides in your standard drinking can size, you also have 1L bottles for sale for Emerge Dual.

Emerge Mixed Berry Dual

To keep flavor fatigue at bay, you can opt for this Mixed Berry version of Emerge Dual. 

Just as before, you’ll find a much lower sugar and calorie content here: Just 3g of sugar and 15 calories for every 100ml of the beverage that you drink.

Emerge Dual Sugar Free

The sugar-free version of Emerge Dual gets all its sweetness from non-nutritive sweeteners, aspartame and ace-K. That’s what gives it  a much low calorie count of only 10 kcal.

How Much Caffeine Is There Inside A Can Of Emerge?

All Emerge energy drinks contain 75mg of caffeine per 250ml can.

Notice that it’s quoted in a percentage format on the can as 0.03% of the total ingredients list, which I think is a little confusing.

All we have to go along with that is a warning that the drink has “high caffeine content”.

So, you can make whatever you can out of that, or you can do the maths for yourself, which is what I chose to do.

How Much Caffeine Is Too Much?

According to the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the recommended daily caffeine intake for an average healthy adult is 400mg.

Furthermore, you should aim to limit yourself to only 200mg of caffeine at a time.

Exceed that and you may end up in hot soup.

Okay, maybe not literally, but there’s a lot of health risks you’ll have to contend with such as:

  • Nervousness and restlessness
  • Insomnia
  • Heart conditions
  • Muscle tremors
  • Extreme fatigue
  • Poor appetite
  • Intestinal complications
  • High blood pressure
  • Dizziness
  • Increased thirst and frequent urination
  • Death (Only in rare cases where caffeine consumption exceeds 10g)

With regards to Emerge energy drinks, assuming it was your only caffeine source for the day, you could actually have up to five cans. But it’s more likely the case that you’re already getting caffeine from other foods in your diet. 

So it’s better to play it safe and drink much less than that. 

Even so, there’s still a chance that you might experience some minor side effects from the caffeine in Emerge. For example, you might experience an inability to sleep, heart palpitations and so on.

Frankly speaking, you’re actually getting a rather low dose of caffeine from Emerge. In fact, the average espresso shot has even more caffeine than what you’ll get from a can of Emerge.

So, I’d say there really isn’t anything to worry about when you drink Emerge as long as you consume it in moderation. You can quite safely enjoy at least one to two cans at in a day.

Ingredients list from an Emerge Dual can.
Consume Emerge energy drinks in moderation to avoid any side effects from having too much caffeine.

How Much Sugar Is In A Can Of Emerge?

There’s between 8g to 12g of sugar in every 250ml of Emerge energy drink (it varies depending on which version of Emerge you’re having).

Meanwhile, the calorie count per serving ranges between 38 kcal to 53 kcal.

It irks me to see that there’s not much information given by the manufacturer with regards to the types of sugar used in Emerge. I decided to assume that it was all more or less complex sugars, but it would be better if the nutrition information on the product label could tell us more. 

Overall, the sugar content that you’ll find in Emerge is quite alright as far as energy drinks go. Other brands like Red Bull contain double the amount of what you see here in Emerge.

In any case, just note that you might hit a sugar crash some time in your day if you’re taking any of the sugar laden versions of Emerge.

According to the National Health Service (NHS), we should only consume up to 30g of free sugars in a day

The term “free sugars” here includes any sugar that you add to your food while you eat as well as those hidden sugars that you’ll find in processed food and drinks. Stuff like honey and syrups are also taken into account here.

Here are some health risks that you might face in the long run if you don’t curb your sugar intake:

Can You Drink More Than One Can Of Emerge In A Day?

Yes, you can have more than one can of Emerge in a day if you choose one of the sugar-free versions of the drink.

However, I wouldn’t recommend taking anything more than two cans. 

All Emerge products contain the same 75g of caffeine per serving.

So there really isn’t a difference between one Emerge product and another on these grounds. What it comes down to then is whether you’re opting for a regular sugar-filled version of Emerge or one of the sugar-free varieties. 

You’ll want to cap your consumption at three cans of Emerge if you’re taking the regular versions of Emerge that have sugar in them. Otherwise, you might end up surpassing the daily limits for sugar consumption as advised by the NHS.

On the other hand, if you were to go for a sugar-free variant like Emerge Sugar Free Dual, you’ll have a smaller chance of running into health issues with it (though it’s not realistic to completely rule it out either). 

A can of Emerge Dual energy drink.
Stick to a maximum of three cans of sugar-free Emerge within a day.

What Sweeteners Are Used For Emerge Energy Drink?

Two low-calorie sweeteners, aspartame and acesulfame potassium (also known as ace-K) are used for all Emerge products.

I say “all” because you’ll find it used in both the regular sugar-filled Emerge drinks as well as in the sugar-free variants. 

The trouble here is that Cott Corporation didn’t disclose the actual quantities of these non-nutritive sweeteners that were used though so we can’t really accurately gauge the impact it will have on our health.

If you’re well versed in aspartame usage, you would probably already know that it’s 200 times sweeter than your regular sugar. But at the same time, since it’s not metabolised by our bodies, you won’t end up gaining calories from consuming it. 

Many food and beverage regulatory agencies across the globe including the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved it for use as an artificial sweetener, with over 100 studies supporting its safety.

However, it’s worth noting that there are yet other studies out there such as this one that was conducted by Research Nursing & Health that claims that aspartame can cause nasty side effects such as mood swings, depression, irritability, and impaired spatial orientation.

Ace-K is no stranger when it comes to processed food and drinks nowadays as you’ll find it used widely in many of the products on your supermarket shelves. Similar to aspartame, ace-K tastes 200 times sweeter than sugar. 

There are more than 90 studies that claim it’s safe to use in your food. Nevertheless, ace-K isn’t without its critics. For example, It’s been said that ace-K may cause cancer or affect the early development of a baby during pregnancy.

There isn’t exactly enough concrete evidence at the moment for us to draw any conclusions on whether these artificial sweeteners are harmful in the long run. 

So, in my opinion, the best way around this is to proceed with caution and to only consume drinks like Emerge moderately in order to avoid any health consequences that may result from having too much of these artificial sweeteners.

What’s The Impact Of Having B Vitamins In Emerge?

In general, B Vitamins are good for you, hence they are great ingredients to have as part of your energy drink.

In particular, Emerge has included four types of B vitamins in its blend: 

  • B3 (Niacin)
  • B5 (Pantothenic acid)
  • B6 (Pyridoxine)
  • B12 (Cobalamin)

That’s basically half the contents of the vitamin B complex already.

B Vitamins, in general, aid some key functions in your body such as:

  • Cell health
  • Growth of red blood cells
  • Energy levels
  • Good eyesight
  • Healthy brain function
  • Smooth digestion
  • Healthy appetite
  • Proper nerve function
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Muscle toning

Do remember, however, that less is more. You shouldn’t take too much of vitamin B supplements at one go.

Overdosing on B Vitamins can lead to nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, skin conditions, blurry vision, excessive thirst, and increased urination.

Is It Safe To Drink Emerge Every Day?

Yes, Emerge is safe to drink every day if you’re taking it in reasonable amounts. 

This is assuming you’re not pregnant, breastfeeding or having any pre-existing health issues, of course. 

If you’re planning to make Emerge a regular feature in your long term diet plan, my suggestion is for you to only drink a maximum two cans a day. 

Ideally, you might even want to have some days where you lay off drinking Emerge at all.

I say this because a constant intake of energy drinks like Emerge may increase your chances of suffering from a health problem as a consequence.

A can of Emerge Dual energy drink
Emerge may cause you to experience some side effects if you drink too much of it.

What Are The Effects Of Drinking Emerge?

Just like any other food or drink out there, energy drinks like Emerge are only effective when you consume in the right amount: Not too much yet not too little.

And what amount is that, you might ask? 

Well, that really depends on how your body reacts to the ingredients in Emerge. For example, how well you tolerate the caffeine and sugar content. And of course, whether you stayed within the daily recommended limits for both these substances. 

Here are some possible side effects that you might experience if you drink too much of Emerge:

  • Insomnia
  • High blood pressure
  • Diabetes
  • Caffeine addiction
  • Weight gain

How Long Will Emerge Energy Drink Stay In Your Digestive System?

It really depends, since not everyone has the same caffeine metabolism.

In other words, the rate at which caffeine exits your body isn’t exactly fixed. It depends on things like your caffeine dosage and other personal factors like your age, body weight, or sensitivity to caffeine.

In general, the effects from the caffeine in Emerge will peak within 30 to 60 minutes. 

That’s also the average time when you’ll start to experience the jitters, which is where you’ll  experience anxiety, shortness of breath and even feel a bit shaky as part of the after effects of consuming caffeine. 

If you’re someone with caffeine sensitivity, these side effects may even be more severe for you or may last for some time. 

In order to derive a more concrete figure, you will probably need to test things out for yourself. In other words, get your hands on a can of Emerge and note the changes in your body once you drink it.

However, I think other energy drink brands like Monster or Bang have caffeine and sugar content that is even more potent than Emerge, so in comparison, Emerge may be the lesser of two evils at times that you really need your energy drink fix badly. 

Are Emerge Energy Drinks Bad For Your Health?

No, I don’t think Emerge energy drinks are bad for your health.

But the key here is to make sure you’re always drinking it in moderate amounts.

If you’re taking any of the versions of Emerge which contain sugar, a single can ought to be the limit. 

But if you’re going for the sugar-free variants like Emerge Sugar Free Dual, you might be able to have up to three cans at a time. 

However, as with all other things that may have an impact on your health, please reach out to your doctor for professional advice on any areas of concern regarding your energy drink consumption if you have any doubts.

Where Can I Buy Emerge And What’s Its Price?

Since Emerge is such a big hit in the UK, most physical stores around you would probably have it in stock if that’s where you reside. This includes major supermarkets like Tesco, Poundland, B&M Stores, Sainsbury’s, Home Bargains and the like. 

If you prefer a more convenient way, then you can head online to make your purchase instead. 

Good places to start your hunt for Emerge include the virtual stores for all your favourite supermarkets (like the ones I just listed). You can also take a look at Amazon, eBay or Star Bargain to see if they have any deals worth going for. 

Don’t fret though if you don’t live in the UK. There are plenty of other sites on the Web where you can order your stash of Emerge without too much hassle such as The British Corner Shop. 

On average, you’re going to be paying around 50p per can of Emerge.

Alternatives To Emerge Energy Drink

Looking for other options to drink besides Emerge? Check out these brands:

Another great alternative that I’ve grown to love is powdered energy drinks. They are so convenient and affordable, sometimes even more friendly to your wallet than the ready-to-drink beverages I listed above.

If you’re keen to give it a go, here are a few worthy names you should try:

REIZE Energy Drink

A sachet of REIZE next to a glass of ready-made REIZE drink.
REIZE give you greater flexibility in the way you enjoy your energy drink.

With 50mg of caffeine in each sachet alongside a great blend of ingredients which includes 1000mg taurine, ginseng, and B Vitamins, REIZE is a great energy drink choice. 

It makes a great complement to your weight watching regime too as it only has 11 calories per 4g sachet. And it’s sugar-free too. 

Unlike Emerge, you have greater flexibility in the way you enjoy your energy drink as you can mix our REIZE powder with any beverage you like. 

And that’s not all. You can also adjust the strength of the drink to your liking too, adding or topping up on your liquid volume to achieve your desired effect. You might even want to mix in an extra sachet on the days you need a stronger energy boost. 

Last but not least, REIZE gets delivered directly to your doorstep for only 81p per sachet, and there are no additional shipping costs involved. 

Go on, grab some REIZE sachets and give it a try for yourself. I reckon you’re going to be glad you did. 

Find out what others think of REIZE in this video review.

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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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