Includes 80 mg of caffeine and 110 calories. A dozen recyclable cans are included with purchase and boast a formula that is gluten and dairy free with a boost of taurine and B vitamins for added energy.
Classic Red Bull flavor might not be preferred by all.
Two dozen cans are included that provide 140 mg of caffeine in a tasty and carbonated black cherry flavor. Low-calorie and no sugar formula makes this great for anyone on a diet.
The high amount of caffeine may be too much for some.
Packed with a blend of taurine, guarana, green tea, caffeine, and ginger, this fruit-flavored drink provides 200 mg of caffeine. Great as a pre-workout supplement. No added sugars, dyes, or artificial flavors make this a more natural choice.
Not for casual drinking as it packs a punch of energy that needs to be used.
Includes 100 mg of caffeine and B12 to give a boost to energy and mental focus. 500 mg of vitamin C helps lift the immune system and added electrolytes help in post-activity recovery. Tubes give just the right serving size and dissolve easily in beverages.
Energy mix may create too many bubbles and fizz when added to carbonated drinks.
This energy drink has a pleasant flavor and includes creatine which can be helpful when participating in high-intensity activities. Zero sugar, zero calories, and gluten-free, this drink provides the energy you want without a lot of additives.
Be sure to brush your teeth after drinking! Drink can leave a sticky feeling on teeth.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
A lot of people have those drowsy days when they can't imagine how they'll get through that next meeting. If you’re really dragging, and coffee won’t do the trick, an energy drink is often the best option.
However, there’s a wide variety of energy drinks on the market, and they’re not all created equal. If you want a drink that provides a boost but won’t send you crashing later, you should choose an energy drink that contains the right amount of caffeine, sugar, and other ingredients to help you get through the day.
Energy drinks are formulated to deliver a boost of energy when you need it most. In most drinks, this is the result of two main ingredients: caffeine and sugar. Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that increases alertness, reaction time, and concentration. Sugar gives you a quick burst of energy by raising your blood sugar level.
In addition to caffeine and sugar, energy drinks usually contain other ingredients like ephedrine, taurine, ginseng, and guarana that are meant to increase your wakefulness and endurance.
Let’s take a look at several key reasons why energy drinks are so popular.
Energy boost: The most obvious benefit from an energy drink is that it makes you feel more awake and alert. This is particularly helpful if you haven’t had much sleep and need to go to work or school. Energy drinks are also helpful if you need an energy boost for a specific project, such as studying for an exam or finishing a presentation.
Specific amount of caffeine: The amount of caffeine in coffee and tea can vary from type to type, so you can never be sure how much you’re getting. With an energy drink, the caffeine amount is printed right on the packaging, which allows you to limit your intake if necessary.
Fast acting: Energy drinks are typically consumed cold, which makes it easier to drink them quickly. Coffee and tea, on the other hand, are usually hot, so you have to sip them, which means it takes more time for the caffeine to work its way through your system.
Variety of flavors: If you’re not a fan of the taste of coffee, energy drinks are an ideal alternative because they come in a wide range of flavors, making it easy to find an option that you like.
While caffeine is the main ingredient in most energy drinks, you want to be sure it’s a healthy amount because too much caffeine can leave you feeling jittery and agitated. Experts recommend ingesting no more than 400 milligrams of caffeine per day. Avoid any energy drinks that don’t disclose their caffeine content on the label. Look for drinks that contain no more than 300 milligrams of caffeine per 16 ounces.
Sugar is another key ingredient in energy drinks, but too much sugar in your diet can lead to diabetes, obesity, and other health problems. To make sure that an energy drink is as healthy as possible, look for options with no more than 10 grams of sugar per serving.
Energy drinks aren’t regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so it’s important to understand the other ingredients and supplements that are commonly found in them. Some of the most common energy drink ingredients include:
Ginseng: Ginseng is an herb that is thought to boost energy. However, studies show that it can actually decrease your endurance during exercise. It also lowers blood sugar, so ginseng shouldn’t be consumed if you’re on diabetes medication.
Guarana: Guarana comes from the seeds of the South American guarana plant. It contains twice the caffeine as coffee.
Taurine: Taurine is an amino acid that supposedly speeds up your metabolism and increases athletic performance. You shouldn’t consume more than 3,000 milligrams per day, though.
Carnitine: Carnitine is an amino acid that can boost fat-burning and endurance. You shouldn’t consume more than three grams per day, or you may develop an upset stomach or, in more serious cases, seizures.
Green tea extract: Green tea extract delivers a minimal amount of caffeine. It also contains antioxidants that fight cancer.
Green coffee extract: Green coffee extract delivers caffeine without the coffee flavor.
B vitamins: B vitamins, including B6, B12, niacin, and folic acid, can help boost energy. They are water-soluble, though, so they don’t stay in your system long.
Ginkgo biloba: Ginkgo biloba is derived from the leaves of the Chinese ginkgo tree. It is thought to help boost memory and ward off mental fatigue.
Many people don’t think about the calories that are in the beverages they drink, but a sugar-laden energy drink can pack plenty of calories. Check out the calories in any formula that you’re considering, and stick to those that have 150 calories or less.
When they first hit the market, energy drinks had a reputation for a pretty unpleasant, medicinal taste. These days energy drinks are available in a wide range of flavors, so it’s easy to find one that appeals to you. Some common flavors include berry, orange, lemon-lime, citrus, and tropical punch. Try a few to see which flavor is your favorite.
Most energy drinks come in cans or bottles that contain eight to 16 ounces. However, some energy drinks are smaller in size, containing two ounces or less. These concentrated formulas are meant to be consumed in a few gulps, like a shot, to provide energy as quickly as possible.
Energy drink prices vary based on the size of the cans or bottles and the number of cans or bottles in a pack.
A single 16-ounce energy drink usually costs between $1 and $5. Smaller, two-ounce energy drink shots usually run from $2 to $6.
A 12-pack of 16-ounce energy drinks usually costs between $10 and $28. A 24-pack of 16-ounce energy drinks usually runs from $20 to $40.
A 12-pack of two-ounce energy drink shots usually costs between $12 and $30. A 24-pack of two-ounce energy drink shots usually runs from $28 to $53.
Q. Are energy drinks safe to drink?
A. If you consume energy drinks in moderation, they are usually safe to drink. Try to limit yourself to just one per day. It’s important to keep an energy drink’s caffeine content in mind, and avoid consuming more than 400 milligrams a day if you’re an adult and 100 milligrams a day if you’re a teenager. However, if you have a health condition like high blood pressure or heart disease, you should consult with your doctor before consuming energy drinks.
Q. How long does it take to feel the effects of an energy drink?
A. It depends on how much caffeine the energy drink contains, how much you weigh, and what other foods and beverages you’ve recently consumed. However, it usually takes between 15 and 45 minutes for caffeine to reach peak levels in your bloodstream, so that’s when most people start to feel the energy boost.
Q. Are energy drinks effective for rehydrating during sports or exercise?
A. Unlike sports drinks, energy drinks are not formulated for rehydrating athletes during or after workouts. In fact, because they usually contain large amounts of caffeine, energy drinks are more likely to dehydrate you. If you want to rehydrate after a workout, choose a sports drink that contains electrolytes or just a bottle of water.