Best Energy Drink for 2021 (Reviews & Buyer’s Guide)

Best Energy Drink

So you want to find the best energy drink that will boost your energy, help you stay focused and awake, and maybe even accelerate your metabolic rate? No problem — MedAlertHelp reports for duty. 

We created a list of the magnificent seven, relying on the following criteria:

  • Ingredients
  • Flavors
  • Caffeine content 
  • Sugar levels   
  • Calories
  • Price

So without further ado, let’s get started!

Top 7 Best Energy Drink Brands

Product
Rating
Key Features
Website
OVERALL RATING
9.8
Expert Review
  • The best energy drink for training
  • Thermogenic properties
  • Certified vegan
  • 11 different flavors
  • Non-GMO and gluten-free
FROM: $ 23.50
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OVERALL RATING
9.6
Expert Review
  • The best zero-sugar and zero-calorie energy drink
  • GMO-free and gluten-free
  • Sweetened with stevia leaf
  • Four flavors
  • Kosher and vegan
FROM: $ 23.88
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OVERALL RATING
9.3
Expert Review
  • The most popular drink on the market
  • Mix of nutrients, B vitamins, and amino acids
  • Effects last for 4–5 hours
  • No sugar and only 4 kcal
  • Five flavors
FROM: $ 16.99
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OVERALL RATING
9
Expert Review
  • The best energy drink to stay awake and recover
  • Voted “Best New Product of 2019” by BevNET
  • Three flavors
  • Contains vitamins, antioxidants, and electrolytes
  • Recommended by fitness trainers
FROM: $ 71.76
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OVERALL RATING
8.8
Expert Review
  • The best organic ingredients
  • Mix of B vitamins
  • Strong fruity taste
  • Suitable for keto dieters
  • No added sugars and no calories
FROM: $ 20.00
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OVERALL RATING
8.7
Expert Review
  • The best energy booster in the form of powder
  • Variety of flavors
  • Mix of vitamins and minerals
  • 4–6 hours of increased energy
  • Ideal for busy people
FROM: $ 27.98
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OVERALL RATING
8.5
Expert Review
  • The best for focus and concentration
  • Unique ingredients
  • Five fruity flavors
  • Vegan-friendly
  • Non-GMO and gluten-free
FROM: $ 29.88
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Our Top 7 Energy Drink Reviews

Celsius Live Fit Originals

OVERALL RATING 9.8
  • Editor’s Choice: The best energy drink for a workout
  • Key Ingredients: Green tea extract, guarana seed extract, ginger root, vitamin B, vitamin C
  • Flavors: 11 flavors in total, including Fuji apple pear, peach, orange, kiwi guava, and others
  • Caffeine Content: 200 mg per serving
  • Sugar Levels & Calories: Zero sugar; 10 kcal per serving
  • Price: From $23.50 for a pack of 4

As an ambassador of a healthy lifestyle, Celsius has created weight loss energy drinks for accelerating metabolism and burning body fat. How? 

First of all, its formula contains green tea extract, guarana seed extract, and ginger root, which can, when combined with vitamins B and C, help boost your metabolism — resulting in burning calories faster. 

It’s safe to say that Celsius Live Fit Originals can also be used as an occasional substitute for best fat burners for men since it’s thermogenic. In other words, it will raise your body temperature, which will result in burning calories faster. 

Secondly, these diet energy drinks contain zero sugar. They are also gluten-free, non-GMO, and certified vegan.

What’s more, these drinks are considered an excellent choice for a pre-workout routine. You can take them in the morning or before exercising.

And lastly, Celsius Live Fit Originals was backed by six clinical studies that have proven its metabolic properties. You can view and download the mentioned studies from the brand’s website.

Although Celsius offers overall safe energy drinks, you should avoid them if you’re sensitive to caffeine, if you’re under 18, or if you’re pregnant — a general recommendation for consuming drinks of this kind.

PROS:
  • Non-GMO and gluten-free
  • 11 different flavors
  • Perfect fit for a pre-workout routine
CONS:
  • Not the greatest taste for those used to more carbonated flavors

Zevia Zero-Calorie Energy Drink

OVERALL RATING 9.6
  • Editor’s Choice: The best sugar-free, zero-calorie energy drinks
  • Key Ingredients: Carbonated water, citric acid, stevia leaf extract, caffeine, natural flavors
  • Flavors Mango and ginger, cola, raspberry lime, and grapefruit
  • Caffeine Content: 120 mg per serving
  • Sugar Levels & Calories: Zero sugar; 0 kcal per serving
  • Price: From $23.88 for a pack of 12

Zevia is one of the energy drink brands that is known for its zero-calorie beverages. It was founded in 2007, and besides energy drinks, it also produces sodas, mixers, and organic teas.  

Zevia’s zero-calorie energy drink found its place on our list because it contains no sugar and no calories. Moreover, its ingredients are clean and include carbonated water, citric acid, and stevia leaf extract. 

In other words, this is one of the sugar-free energy drinks that use stevia leaf as an alternative to sugar, giving the beverages a sweet taste.

Did you know that 55% of coffee drinkers would rather gain weight than give up drinking coffee? Now, with Zevia’s energy drink, you won’t have to face such a dilemma since it’s a decent alternative to coffee, considering it contains 120 mg of caffeine. 

What’s more, this energy drink is ideal for people that need a quick energy boost before a workout.

Health-conscious consumers are also likely to cite Zevia’s zero-calorie drink as the best energy drink, given that the product is vegan, GMO-free, and gluten-free. 

Besides the mango and ginger taste, you can choose from three more flavors — cola, raspberry lime, and grapefruit.

PROS:
  • Zero-sugar and zero-calorie
  • Vegan
  • Natural sweeteners (stevia leaf)
CONS:
  • Some buyers find the flavors too sweet (especially cola)

5-Hour Energy Regular Strength

OVERALL RATING 9.3
  • Editor’s Choice: The most popular energy drinks
  • Key Ingredients: Vitamin B6, vitamin B12, niacin, citicoline, tyrosine, taurine, caffeine
  • Flavors: Berry, grape, orange, pink lemonade, pomegranate
  • Caffeine Content: 200 mg per serving
  • Sugar Levels & Calories: Zero sugar; 4 kcal per serving
  • Price: From $16.99 for a pack of 6

Chances are, if you’ve been looking for popular energy drinks, you’ve probably stumbled upon a brand called 5-Hour Energy that is widely known for its dietary supplement drinks. The brand gained popularity thanks to the potent formula and long-lasting effects of its products — hence the name. 

On account of the nutrients, B vitamins, and amino acids, these zero-sugar energy drinks should keep you up and stimulated for 4–5 hours.    

Other ingredients include niacin, citicoline, tyrosine, taurine, and natural caffeine (derived from tea leaves). 

These top-selling energy drinks come in five different flavors: berry, grape, orange, pink lemonade, and pomegranate.  

However, since this energy drink has a pretty potent formula, you should never exceed the recommended dose of one drink (max two) per day. Exceeding the dose might result in insomnia and jitters.

If you’re an avid energy drink consumer, you can also try the brand’s other popular product — Extra Strength 5-Hour Energy Shots, which contains more caffeine and is offered in more flavors.

PROS:
  • Blend of essential nutrients, amino acids, and B vitamins
  • No sugar and only four calories
  • Requires no refrigeration
CONS:
  • Consumer-reported long shipping times

Eboost Super Fuel

OVERALL RATING 9
  • Editor’s Choice: The best drinks for energy and recovery
  • Key Ingredients: Vitamin C, vitamin D, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, selenium, chromium, potassium, natural caffeine
  • Flavors: Orange mango, strawberry lemonade, ginger lime
  • Caffeine Content: 110 mg per serving
  • Sugar Levels & Calories: 2g; 15 kcal per serving
  • Price: From $71.76 for a pack of 24

Eboost is included in the list of energy drinks brands that offer more than one type of product. The brand first started selling recovery mixes and pre-workout powders until it introduced Eboost Super Fuel energy drinks, following the same recipe. 

Simply put, all Eboost products are non-GMO and gluten-free.

So how is Eboost Super Fuel different? Well, this “kick in a can” was created out of the following formula — 10 vitamins + antioxidants + 3 electrolytes (selenium, chromium, potassium) — which makes up for the most potent energy drink that will keep you energized. 

What’s more, BevNET, the leading food & beverage-oriented media company, named Eboost the “Best New Product of 2019.” At the same time, many fitness trainers have recommended this product as a healthy option for a pre- and post-workout session. 

In practice, you can even mix Eboost Super Fuel with any other drink, or you can create tasty popsicles (there’s a recipe on the brand’s blog) that you can enjoy after a paddling session on your favorite home rowing machine.

Finally, this nutritional energy drink comes in three mouth-watering flavors: orange mango, strawberry lemonade, and ginger lime. 

PROS:
  • Mix of vitamins, electrolytes, and antioxidants
  • Recommended as a complement for pre-and post-workout routines
  • Can be mixed with other drinks
CONS:
  • Some customers report a bitter aftertaste

Hiball Sparkling Energy Water

OVERALL RATING 8.8
  • Editor’s Choice: The best natural energy drinks
  • Key Ingredients: Organic caffeine, organic ginseng, organic guarana, B vitamins, natural fruit flavor
  • Flavors: Lemon lime, peach, grapefruit, vanilla, watermelon, wild berry
  • Caffeine Content: 160 mg per serving
  • Sugar Levels & Calories: Zero sugar; 0 kcal per serving
  • Price: From $20.00 for a pack of 8

Hiball is a proud owner of the best organic energy drinks on the market. Its Sparkling Energy Water is made of all-organic ingredients that include: organic caffeine, organic ginseng, organic guarana, a mix of B vitamins (B3, B5, B6, B12), and natural fruit flavor.

On top of that, there are no added sugars, preservatives, or artificial sweeteners in this zero-calorie drink. So it’s safe to say that even keto dieters can integrate these healthy energy drinks into their menu.

There are six different flavors: lemon lime (our favorite), peach, grapefruit, vanilla, watermelon, and wild berry. To our delight, you can also go for a variety pack that includes all flavors.

What’s more, this drink has a sufficient quantity of B vitamins, so it’s ideal for people who often feel tired and worn out. As you might already know, not only do B vitamins stimulate your metabolism, but they also reduce fatigue, giving you enough energy to pull through the day.

PROS:
  • Refreshing all-organic energy drink
  • Suitable for keto dieters
  • Six different flavors
CONS:
  • Deemed somewhat pricey

Zipfizz Healthy Energy Drink Mix

OVERALL RATING 8.7
  • Editor’s Choice: The best energy drink: powder type
  • Key Ingredients: Caffeine (guarana seed extract), grape skin extract, green tea leaf extract, etc.
  • Flavors: Over 10
  • Caffeine Content: 100 mg per serving
  • Sugar Levels & Calories: Zero sugar; 20 kcal per serving
  • Price: From $27.98 for 30 tubes

Zipfizz created a powder that, when mixed with water, becomes the best drink for energy with zero sugar, 20 calories, and two net carbs. Similarly to 5-Hour Energy, after taking this drink, you can expect to feel energized for 4–6 hours. 

The powder’s potent formula includes a slew of vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, amino acids, and antioxidants. 

Zipfizz Healthy Energy is an ideal energy booster for busy people and sportspersons. To use it, you need to mix it with water (16–20 fl oz) and then shake it. Note that many energy drink reviews advise not to mix this powder with a carbonated beverage. As you can imagine, this might lead to fizzing. 

To get the most of this energy booster, mix the powder with your smoothie 15–30 minutes before going out. That said, be sure not to exceed the recommended dose of three servings per day.

Zipfizz Healthy Energy powder might also be the best-tasting energy drink, considering it comes in over ten different flavors: berry, citrus, grape, lemon iced tea, fruit punch, orange cream, black cherry, Piña Colada.

PROS:
  • Great taste
  • Provides with 4–6 hours of energy
  • Ideal for busy people
CONS:
  • Complaints about somewhat wasteful packaging

Runa Clean Energy

OVERALL RATING 8.5
  • Editor’s Choice: The best energy drink for focus
  • Key Ingredients: Brewed organic guayusa, organic cane sugar, citric acid
  • Flavors: Berry, orange, lime, pineapple, watermelon
  • Caffeine Content: 150 mg per serving
  • Sugar Levels & Calories: 2g; 10 kcal per serving
  • Price: From $29.88 for a pack of 12

Runa is a brand that has an interesting story behind its name. To be more specific, Runa means “fully alive” in the language of the Kichwa tribe that lives in the Ecuadorian Amazon. What’s more, you can experience this feeling only after you taste one specific ingredient — guayusa.

The reason we put Runa in our “Top Energy Drinks” list is that the brand uses organic, brewed guayusa. As the Kichwa tribe uses this plant to stay focused before hunting, you can benefit from the small amounts of guayusa in this energy drink to stay concentrated and energized.

Besides the key ingredient mentioned above, the drinks also contain organic cane sugar, citric acid, and malic acid.

In terms of tastes, you should feel a kick of kombucha with a hint of one of the following flavors: berry, orange, lime, pineapple, or watermelon. 

Runa Clean Energy could easily be put on a healthy energy drinks list because it’s vegan-friendly, gluten-free, and GMO-free. Each can contains natural caffeine, 2g of sugar, and 10 kcal.

PROS:
  • Five fruity flavors
  • Non-GMO and gluten-free
  • Unconventional key ingredient
CONS:
  • Customers have mixed feelings regarding the flavor — most find it too bitter

Buyer’s Guide: How to Find the Best Energy Drink

We could say that “behind every successful person is a substantial amount of coffee” and a solid dose of energy drinks that keep them fueled and ready to take over the world. 

But how to make the right choice when there are so many brands that offer “flawless” products? Here’s what you should always check.

Caffeine Content 

While the most powerful energy drink can contain 200–400 mg of caffeine, according to the FDA, healthy adults should take in a maximum of 400 mg of caffeine per day (4–5 cups of coffee). Therefore, you should avoid consuming more than one energy drink per day (max two). 

The best option is to go with a product that contains an average amount of caffeine (100–150 mg) to steer clear of the side effects like dehydration, anxiety, and insomnia.

People who are sensitive to caffeine should also avoid energy drinks.

Ingredients

If you ever made energy drinks comparisons, you probably noticed that various products use different formulas and ingredients.

For example, products advertised as energy boosters will contain ingredients like taurine and B vitamins, while energy drinks for weight loss will contain zero sugar and zero calories.

Flavors

Most energy drinks come in different flavors, mainly fruity ones. However, since you won’t be able to taste the product before you buy it, you should know that there will be less flavor in the drink if it’s carbonated. On that note, zero-calorie energy drinks are usually not carbonated.

Sugar Levels

We all know that sugar is overall bad for our health. Thus, many brands don’t use it in their products (or they use small dosages of sugar). Instead, the brands use stevia, aspartame, or other leading artificial sweeteners to give the drink a sweet taste. 

Benefits of Energy Drinks

Obviously, the main goal of the best energy drinks is to increase your energy and keep you focused.

They can also be an excellent alternative to coffee. Since you consume them faster, the caffeine will get into your bloodstream much quicker.

Another thing that sets them apart from other beverages that contain caffeine is the flavor. In other words, you don’t have to add sugar or honey to your drink (like you might do with coffee or tea). Energy drinks usually have a fruity taste and are sweet enough.

Besides caffeine, good energy drinks contain additional supplements like vitamins, amino acids, electrolytes, and antioxidants. When mixed, these ingredients can enhance the overall effect of the beverage.

Finally, energy drinks are served cold, so they will provide you with the much-needed refreshment after a hard day at the gym, helping you recover faster. 

Side Effects of Energy Drinks

Potential side effects can include caffeine overdose; in other words, the side effects can be the following:

  • Palpitations
  • High blood pressure
  • Increased heart rate 
  • Insomnia 
  • Dehydration 
  • Anxiety
  • Vomiting  

Please note that you should never mix energy drinks with alcohol. 

Wrapping Up

To find the energy drink that actually works, you need to check all the things we talked about in this review, like caffeine content, ingredients, flavors, sugar levels, etc. Not only should you consume these drinks with caution, but you should also reconsider taking them altogether if you’re sensitive to caffeine. 

Remember to read the product description and never exceed the recommended dose. On that note, we hope that we managed to help you understand what to expect from each product on our list and how to make the best of it.  

FAQs

What is an energy drink?

As the name suggests, an energy drink is a beverage that should boost your energy with its potent formula that frequently includes stimulants like caffeine and sugar. The ingredients can include additional supplements like herbal extracts, vitamins, sugar substitutes, amino acids, etc. 

What is the difference between an energy drink and a sports drink?

Sports drinks and energy drinks are not the same things. So what are the main differences? 

To start off, unlike energy drinks, sports drinks usually contain nutrients like minerals, carbohydrates, and electrolytes. What’s more, sports drinks’ primary focus is to replenish your body. That said, you should always consume them with water to prevent dehydration. 

On the other hand, energy drinks are energy boosters that contain a high dosage of caffeine. Keep in mind that energy drinks should never be consumed during workouts, only before or after.

How long does it take to feel the effect of energy drinks?

It takes about 10–15 minutes for the caffeine to enter your bloodstream. This means that you’ll feel the effects of energy drinks almost immediately. The caffeine will be entirely absorbed after 30–50 minutes, which will result in high focus and energy. 

After that, you’ll experience a sugar crash, as the caffeine will slowly begin to wear off. At the same time, it will take circa 12 hours for the caffeine to leave your bloodstream altogether. This is not a general rule though since it might depend on many other factors.

How many energy drinks can I have in a day?

We already mentioned that energy drinks contain a high dosage of caffeine, so, to say the least, you should never consume them in large quantities. Simply put, you should always follow the recommended dose (1–2 drinks per day).

Pay attention to the caffeine content marked on the label and don’t exceed the set maximum of 400 mg of caffeine per day.

To sum up, it’s not enough to simply find the best energy drink on the market. You should always take precautions if you want to avoid a potential caffeine overdose.