Let's face it, everyone - we're all tired and in need of a boost. But we also want to be healthy when we do it. Sure, coffee tastes excellent for most of us, and tea is a staple, but what if you want to shake it up a bit?
That's where energy drinks come into play. Unfortunately, the mainstream drinks we sometimes find in the local convenience stores are not great for us - the calories and sugar are off the charts, for starters, and on top of that, the ingredients can have adverse effects.
Therefore, we went over Amazon with a fine-tooth comb to see what the best and healthiest energy drinks were. After all, some contain fruit and vegetable juices, do not have added sugars or sweeteners/flavors, and even have brain boosters and vitamins included.
Choosing A Healthy Energy Drink
You don't have to look far for a healthy boost of energy - you can just check our list! However, if you will be shopping in your local supermarket, here are some things to look for when seeking an energy drink.
- Added Sugars - Look for energy drinks that have zero sugar if possible. If this is not possible, you want to look for less than 10g sugar per 8oz serving of the drink. Anything higher than that should be reserved for use before working out.
- Caffeine Content - Daily caffeine intake should be kept to 400mg. Everybody's sensitivity level is different, and even if you think you can handle more, just keep it at or below the recommended limit. After all, the side effects aren't fun. People have reported anxiety, heartburn, heart palpitations, insomnia, and dehydration, to name just a few of the bad things that can happen when you take too much caffeine.
- Adaptogens - Some energy drinks have added goodies to help boost your well-being. These may come in the form of antioxidants, adaptogens, and minerals. However, the added amount of these may be so low that it won't even make a difference. Don't be fooled into buying a high-sugar, calorie bomb just because it lists some fancy "healthy" ingredients.
- Vitamins - The massive lettering advertising “contains Vitamin B!" or some other vitamins can be an enormous seller for some of us; after all, it's good to have this and other vitamins in our diet. But they may not actually give you that much of a boost in your energy level. B vitamins are inserted into many of the popular energy drinks on the market today thanks to their ability to help our bodies break down and make use of the energy we get in food. However, your body does not improve on its digestion because of this additive. So, don't choose your drink of choice based on this alone.
Top Energy Drinks in 2023
Rockstar Energy Drink
1. Just Chill
Inspired by the flavors of pomegranate and raspberry, this is a drink that probably had you wondering if I was off my rocker. After all, these are ENERGY drinks, right?
Well, you actually are at your best when you are calm and focused on the task at hand. Think about it-do you really do your best when you are running around frantically?
The secret is in the nootropics, or brain boosters, in this drink. Namely, L-Theanine. It is an amino acid typically found in green tea that can help lower your stress and get you into a mellow mood.
It’s calorie and sugar free and tastes great. Grab some now!
Looking for energy that goes and goes? It gives you 4-6 hours of great energy. Just put some in your backpack or purse and mix it up with a bottle of water. No need to pop open a loud can or worry about the can getting shaken up on the way to work or the gym.
There are plenty of great vitamins and antioxidants included in this drink, and you will feel alert and hydrated at the same time when you use this. It's got 100mg of caffeine, which will keep you within the daily limit and taste great.
3. VPX Bang
Unicorns are hard to find, but a good energy drink is not. Bang is an excellent example of this. Bang is actually not in the business of drinks but instead pharmaceuticals.
They know how to craft a great energy drink that is loaded with all you need to get through a busy day. The caffeine content is pretty high at 300mg, so be careful and assess your tolerance before drinking.
There are no cals and no sugars, but you do get BCAA and creatine, not to mention a delicious candy flavor with this drink.
You know about V8 thanks to their tomato juice, but they’ve stepped into the ring of energy drinks, and it’s so good. It gives you 80mg of caffeine, along with plenty of nutrients, Vitamin C, and iron plus B vitamins.
You get most of the energy from green tea, and the flavor comes from sweet potato juice, carrots, and purple carrots. There are plenty of flavors to try. Our favorite was the Kiwi Melon.
It is a great way to integrate fruits and veggies into your diet, also.
5. Clean Cause
It has only 30 calories per can, and the caffeine is clean-it all comes from green coffee bean extract while the flavors come from fruit juice and other natural sources.
It’s slightly sweet, but not overly sugary. And, with 16oz of liquid in each can, you will be sipping this all day long and reaping the benefits at work or school.
Lastly, everything is USDA certified organic, so drink easy knowing it's clean and safe.
6. Rockstar Energy Drink
You may think that a brand like Rockstar would not make the cut, and many of their drinks did not. But this one is different. It's free of carbs, cals, and sugar.
You also get a great blend of B vitamins in the mix, plus infusions of guarana and ginseng to boost your energy but also keep you focused and calm.
Try it if you need a big boost - but be sure to assess your caffeine tolerance first.
Runa uses only organic and fair-trade non-GMO products to create their drink. It is an organic and natural drink that will help you feel alert and ready to work in a healthy way.
There are three flavors you can choose from. And, the magic comes from the guayusa leaf - it is this natural source that brings the user energy and focuses with no crash. You will get 105 mg of caffeine-a safe amount for most users and within the daily recommended limit.
8. HiBall Energy
I'd like to note how impressed I was that there are just six ingredients in this HiBall energy drink. Carbonated water, guarana, ginseng, caffeine, and vitamins plus natural flavor are the only things in this can. The fizz makes it a real treat, especially for soda lovers seeking a healthy alternative.
There are 160mg of caffeine and herbs, which will keep you at a safe limit for the day. The caffeine here is natural, so it will reduce the risk of having an energy crash after consumption.
Got a big deadline or workout coming up? Get hold of this because the can contains 120mg of natural caffeine. There are no cals or sugar, so you can easily get that fire lit and get going without breaking your diet.
There are plenty of refreshing flavors like grapefruit and mango ginger to choose from, among others. One flavor, Kola, is excellent for people who are trying to get off soda but miss the taste and fizz.
The ingredients are clean, and so is the energy. Carbonated water, natural flavors, and stevia are pretty much all you get in these cans. Drink on.
Calling all tea fans! If you love tea as much as we do, this is going to be one for you to try. It is organic energy tea, and the best thing about this besides the great taste is the fact that the organization behind the drink donates part of their earnings back to places that support honeybees.
Hey, we need them to live, and you need this energy drink for work and school-it's a win-win. In all seriousness, the organic and natural ingredients are GMO-free and safe for gluten-free folks, too.
You get 100mg of caffeine from green tea and yerba mate, which are great antioxidants. Try it!
These energy drinks are here because they are actually good for you. I personally love the Bang brand but go try them and see for yourself which one is your favorite! How will greater energy improve YOUR life?
Free e-Book: 101 Nootropic
Discover the 7 important facts about nootropics for a complete beginner.