Although many conventional energy drinks claim to rely on caffeine or natural herbs for their potency, a large part of what gives them their oomph is excessive sugar content. One can of some of these energy drinks has more sugar than a king-size Snickers bar, a bag of Skittles or a red-velvet cupcake; six times the amount of sugar in a glazed donut; and nearly as much sugar as an entire pint of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream!
Let’s take a look at how precisely how much sugar are in some popular energy drinks, shall we? One eight-ounce can of Red Bull has 27 grams sugar. Per 16 fluid ounces (the size of many typical energy drink cans), Amp energy drink has 58 grams of sugar, Full Throttle has 58 grams of sugar, regular Monster energy drink has 54 grams sugar and Rockstar energy drink has 60 grams of sugar., Monster’s Java energy drink has 35.6 grams sugar per 15 ounces. One can of Rockstar Citrus has 62 grams sugar, and one can of Rockstar Energy Cola has 58 grams. And Mountain Dew’s “Game Fuel” provides 77 grams sugar per 20-ounce bottle.
Whew! No wonder these babies can ramp you up – you’re coasting on a massive sugar high.
Even some of the energy drinks that sound healthier pack a whopping sugar punch. A drink called “G Pure Energy” has 24 grams of sugar in just 6.5 ounces. Xingtea Green Tea energy drink has 48 grams sugar per bottle; Guayaki Pure Yerba Mate drink has 24 grams sugar per bottle; Rockstar Coconut Water has 40 grams sugar per bottle; and Rumba Energy Juice has 56 grams sugar per bottle. Steaz Organic Energy Berry has 34 grams sugar in just 12 ounces. VitaminWater’s “Energy Citrus” beverage has 33 grams sugar per bottle.
We all know the dangers of consuming too much sugar: Rotted teeth, weight gain, insulin resistance. So does this mean there’s no room for energy boosters in a healthy diet?
Not so fast. Many energy drinks also make sugar-free formulations, sweetened with things like aspartame or Splenda. If artificial sweeteners concern you, you may want to consider energy capsules or supplements. These tend to contain all the beneficial, rev-you-up components of energy drinks without the massive amounts of sugar.
Energy shots are another alternative. Most are sugar-free, though be careful: Some brands still contain high sugar content (Headshot Mega Energy Shot, for instance, has 21 grams sugar per 4 ounces; Dragon Pearl energy shots have 11 grams sugar in just 2 ounces). Depending on the brand, these may or may not be sweetened with artificial sweeteners.
Elizabeth Brown wrote this article for new Natural Energy Boost E Fact Energy.