Are you looking for the safest energy drinks? There are many options to pick from including Red Bull, Monster, and Rockstar. One of the main issues with energy/sports drinks is they’re often loaded with white sugar and artificial additives. So while they can give you energy they can also cause blood sugar spikes that lead to type-2 diabetes over time.
Fun Fact: The global energy drink is worth over $53 billion (2018).
They also often include artificial caffeine sources, which also makes the drinks unhealthier. While caffeine is a stimulant it’s better to get it from natural sources like coffee beans or green tea. This can give you a jolt of energy that’s more natural than cane sugar. This is another unhealthy ingredient that’s highly processed from sugarcane juice.
The key is to get energy from natural sources. Some good options include caffeine, vitamins, and amino acids. The best options are ones from natural sources. This can help to prevent negative health effects from artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives. In fact, just like snack foods, you can find low-sugar energy drinks that aren’t loaded with white granules. There are also other healthier options like stevia leaf, monk fruit, and sugar alcohols. You should also look for natural/organic ingredients with minimal processing.
What Makes Energy Drinks Healthy/Unhealthy?
This is the first issue to take up before discussing the healthiest energy drinks on the market. When picking an energy drink the limited/ditched ingredients are just as important as the included ones. When we think of “energy drinks” the first ingredients we usually think of are sugar and caffeine.
It’s possible for healthy energy drinks to have these ingredients. The main factors are the sources and amounts. For example, if you want an energy boost without keeping you up all night you’ll want lower amounts of caffeine.
Meanwhile, sugar should always be limited. Sugarcane juice is the most natural sweetener from the plant. Meanwhile, all types of sugar including white, brown, and raw are highly processed. The only real difference is the amount of molasses the product contains. Brown sugar is just white sugar with added molasses.
The amount of caffeine in the drink can affect how much of an energy boost you get. For example, if you want to stay awake go for 100mg to 150mg of caffeine. Look for less if you just want a pre-workout energy boost.
There are various sources of caffeine but natural ones include tea, coffee, and guarana. These are better sources than artificial ones and the ones you should definitely consider over artificial ones.
There are also other healthy sources of energy including:
- Amino Acids
Energy drinks contain up to 21 teaspoons of sugar. That works out to 336 calories and another drawback is they’re “empty” calories without any nutritional value. Yet another downside is the sugar crash that follows a sugar rush.
Another thing to watch out for is artificial additives. That includes ones like artificial colors, flavors/sweeteners, and preservatives. These can help drinks taste good and last longer but can also cause various unwanted side effects. So it’s better to avoid them as much as possible.
Safest Energy Drinks
This is the +energy version of the popular vegetable juice. It includes healthy ingredients like carrots, sweet potatoes, and apples. You get natural tea-based caffeine, which is a healthier source than others.
This healthy energy drink is available in different flavors including:
- Lemon Lime
This is the first plant-based energy drink with matcha. There are no artificial ingredients or sugar.
This natural energy drink includes a natural caffeine source to avoid side effects from artificial ingredients. The beverage is also sweetened naturally so there are artificial sweeteners, which can be quite unhealthy.
This healthy energy drink includes acai, raspberry, and green tea. There’s a0g sugar so you won’t have to worry about negative side effects. There are other flavors to pick from.
This product includes a 12-pack bundle of 12-ounce energy drinks. You get a natural energy source from caffeine. You also get various natural fruits like raspberry and lime.
This product includes caffeine from green tea. It’s also sweetened by natural sweeteners including stevia and monk fruit. Each drink only has 10 calories with no jitters or crashes.
This energy drink is zero-calorie and zero-sugar. This makes it a good choice for those on a low-calorie and no-sugar diet. There are various flavors available like:
- Lemon Lime
- Wild Berry
This healthy energy drink is low-calorie and includes natural ingredients like acai berry and pomegranate. You get powerful antioxidants from cherry and acai berry. There’s also natural caffeine from green tea and guarana.
Top Energy-Boosting Foods
Apples are easily one of the healthiest fruits you can eat and they can literally help “keep the doctor away.” You get lots of energy-boosting nutrients like carbs and natural sugar. One of the big benefits is apples’ energy release is slow and steady. That’s a good thing versus foods like white sugar that trigger blood sugar spikes/crashes.
Make sure to go with options like tuna, salmon, and mackerel. These options are high in protein, healthy fat, and vitamins/minerals. If you’re looking for a healthy way to boost energy levels then consider options like grilled salmon, tuna sandwich, and anchovy pizza. These are some of the many options you have.
A cup of Joe is easily one of the most popular breakfast drinks due to the high caffeine level. Just as importantly it’s a natural stimulant versus artificial ones. If you want the best energy boost go with black coffee and skip 3-in-1 instant coffee. If you want to reduce the caffeine add a little real milk/cream.
This is the white potato’s healthier cousin. You get the same basic nutrients as white potatoes plus Vitamin A. While potatoes are high-carb they’re also high in “good” carbs. Make sure to keep them minimally processed. For example, baked potatoes are better than French fries and potato chips.
This is one of the top natural foods for energy. You get nutrients like carbs, Vitamin B6, and potassium. These are all nutrients that can boost energy levels naturally. In fact, one study showed that one banana before a cycling race was as energy-boosting as a high-carb drink in terms of endurance. You can also easily add bananas to stuff like oatmeal, yogurt, and PB&J sandwiches to get benefits like the safest energy drinks.