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Are Energy Drinks FDA Approved? (The Truth)

Energy drinks from different brands
Are energy drinks FDA approved? What do you think?

The FDA is in charge of supervising veterinary drugs, biological products, and medical devices. The agency also ensures the safety of food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation.

The FDA inspects products by determining the benefits and risks of the products. If the help of a product outweighs the risks, then FDA approves the product.

You might be wondering if energy drinks are regulated and approved by the FDA or not. That’s why I’ll discuss FDA’s take on energy drinks and their ingredients in this article.

Let’s get started…

What Does The FDA Do?

The FDA is a regulatory government agency whose goal is to protect your health, welfare, and wellness. This agency does this by ensuring the safety of the products that you consume.

The FDA aims to inform you about the healthy limit of products and their effects on your body.

Those accurate, science-based information can help you decide what to eat and how much to eat throughout the day. They also ensure that all products are safe, effective, affordable, and accessible.

Do Energy Drinks Need Any Approval From FDA?

Energy drinks are generally branded as dietary supplements or conventional beverages. This will depend on the beverage’s ingredients, labeling, and intended use.

The FDA doesn’t have any specific regulations or categories for energy drinks.

Energy drink companies decide which labels to use on their products. However, the FDA inspects if the labeling is correct or not. The government agency also regulates and approves the ingredients that are added to the energy drinks.

That’s why you can find the nutrition facts on the label of an energy drink. This way, you can know how much nutrients you’re getting and what are the daily limits.

Check out the video below to know more about FDA Approval.

What is FDA Approval?

Does FDA Regulate Caffeine Amount In Energy Drinks?


The FDA is known to regulate caffeine in drinks, food, and medicine. This is the most common ingredient in energy drinks and is primarily responsible for the energy boost.

It can help you stay awake and increase your focus for a specific time. That said, overconsuming caffeine can lead to a lot of health issues. The FDA has set a daily limit for caffeine consumption.

For your information, the recommended limit is 400mg of caffeine per day. You can find this amount of caffeine in four to five cups of regular coffee.

Energy drinks generally have 50g to 300mg of caffeine per serving, depending on the version and brand of the energy drink.

What Happens If You End Up Consuming Too Much Caffeine?

If you consume too much caffeine, you can experience a lot of severe health issues. Here are the health issues related to caffeine overdose:

  • very fast heartbeat
  • shakiness
  • insomnia
  • restlessness
  • vomiting
  • confusion
  • panic attack

If you’re sensitive to caffeine, you should stay away from energy drinks. If you drink even a sip of an energy drink, you may encounter symptoms like:

  • racing heartbeat
  • headache
  • jitters
  • nervousness
  • restlessness
  • sleeplessness

Also, energy drink companies warn minors, nursing, or pregnant women against drinking energy drinks. That’s why you should make sure that you don’t fall into any of these categories before consuming energy drinks.

FDA’s Take On Sugar

Most energy drinks use sugar for the sweet flavor. Just like caffeine, sugar can increase your alertness and boost your energy. According to this study, sugar can improve your mood as well.

Sugar is a simple type of carbohydrate. Therefore, your body can digest and absorb sugar quite easily. You can find these two types of sugar:

  • naturally present sugar
  • added sugar

The FDA defines these types of sugar to help you understand what you’re consuming.

Natural Sugar

Sugar is naturally present in fruits. It provides energy in the form of calories. You get around 4 calories per gram of sugar.

Our bodies break down sugar into glucose, which turns into energy later.

Added Sugar

The sugar that is processed or added during the processing of food is called added sugar.

Added sugar can include natural sugar like brown sugar, white sugar, or honey. You can also find chemically manufactured sugars like high fructose corn syrup.

The FDA instructed companies to list added sugar and total sugar on the product labels.

How Much Sugar Should You Consume Per Day?

A spoon of sugar
A spoon of sugar

The AHA has suggested that men consume around 36g of sugar per day, while women should limit themselves to 25g of sugar.

According to these dietary guidelines, an average American consumes around 70g of sugar per day. The amount is pretty high compared to the daily limits.

If you consume this much sugar regularly, you may face problems such as:

  • acne
  • weight gain
  • increased risk of heart disease
  • type 2 diabetes
  • increased risk of cancer
  • high blood pressure
  • chronic inflammation
  • fatty liver disease
  • depression
  • skin aging
  • cellular aging

That’s why a lot of energy drink companies are using artificial sweeteners instead of added sugar. The FDA’s view on artificial sweeteners will be discussed in the next section.

Does FDA Approve The Use Of Artificial Sweeteners?

Artificial sweeteners have become very popular in recent years for their low-calorie nature. These high-intensity sweeteners are used as sugar substitutes in food and beverages.

The FDA has approved these eight non-nutritive sweeteners as sugar alternatives:

  • aspartame
  • luo han guo (monk) fruit extract
  • acesulfame potassium
  • neotame
  • saccharin
  • stevia
  • advantame
  • sucralose

Aspartame and sucralose are the most commonly used artificial sweeteners.

There are some concerns about the effects of artificial sweeteners on appetite and weight gain. However, there’s only a little evidence about these claims.

Therefore, if you consume these artificial sweeteners in moderation, you’re less likely to experience any side effects.

Why should the FDA regulate energy drinks?

The FDA regulates energy drinks because of concerns about the safety of certain ingredients, particularly caffeine, which is a commonly used stimulant in energy drinks.

The FDA sets limits on the amount of caffeine allowed in a single serving of energy drinks, as well as the total amount of caffeine per day from all sources. The FDA also requires energy drink manufacturers to list caffeine content and other ingredients on their labels

Which Energy Drinks Should I Try?

You can find various types of energy drinks in the market. You can choose an energy drink based on caffeine content, sugar amount, serving size, and other variables.

Here is a table containing some of the most popular energy drinks:

Name of Energy DrinkCaffeine AmountSugar AmountCalories
Red Bull80mg27g110
C4 Energy Drink120mg to 300mg0g0
Celsius Energy Drink100mg to 300mg0g10-15
Energy drinks with nutrition facts

Red Bull

A can of Red Bull energy drink
A can of Red Bull energy drink

Whether you’re an energy drink lover or not, you’ve probably heard about Red Bull. It’s one of the most popular energy drinks around the world.

You can find Red Bull energy drinks in 8.4 fl. oz. servings. Each Red Bull energy drink can contain around 80mg of caffeine, which is a modest amount to have in an energy drink.

However, the sugar content of Red Bull energy drinks is quite close to the daily sugar limit. If you’re already consuming too much sugar, you should stay away from the regular version of Red Bull. It would help if you went for the sugar-free version of Red Bull energy drink instead.


Monster Energy Drink

Monster is another popular energy drink with a wide variety of strong energy drinks. Each 16 fl. oz. can of Monster energy drink contains around 160mg of caffeine.

The sugar content of Monster energy drink is way above the daily sugar limit.

Therefore, it’s not a good idea to consume Monster energy drink regularly. Otherwise, you may experience health issues like obesity and heart problems.

Monster energy drink has some low-calorie versions as well. If you’re going to drink Monster energy drink more often, you should opt for the low-calorie version.

C4 Energy Drink

C4 Energy
C4 Energy Drink

C4 energy drink is an effective and tasty workout supplement that can provide you strength and endurance. There are four versions of C4 energy drinks in the market. Here are the versions with their caffeine content:

VersionsCaffeine Content
C4 Original200mg
C4 Natural Zero120mg
C4 Smart200mg
C4 Ultimate300mg
Caffeine in different versions of C4 Energy Drink

You’ll be glad to know that all versions of C4 energy drink do not contain any sugar or calories. If you’re planning to lose weight, it’s a big plus.

If you want to know about the best places to buy C4 energy drinks, you can check out this article.

Celsius Energy Drink

Celsius Energy Drink

Celsius energy drink can help you burn calories by boosting your metabolism rate. There are around five product lines of Celsius energy drinks:

  • Celsius Original
  • Celsius Stevia
  • Celsius BCAA+Energy
  • Celsius On-The-Go
  • Celsius Heat

Celsius Original, Celsius Stevia, and Celsius On-The-Go contain around 200mg of caffeine. Celsius BCAA+Energy has only 100mg of caffeine.

On the other hand, Celsius Heat includes 300mg of caffeine, making it one of the most potent energy drinks on the market.

Celsius On-The-Go is the powdered version of Celsius energy drink.

Do drinks have to be FDA approved?

Beverages, in general, do not require pre-approval from the FDA before they can be sold in the United States. However, the FDA regulates the safety and labeling of the ingredients used in beverages, as well as the manufacturing and distribution practices of the companies that produce them.

Additionally, certain types of drinks, such as dietary supplements or energy drinks, may be subject to specific FDA regulations and restrictions regarding their ingredients and labeling.

Overall, while drinks do not require FDA approval before being sold, they must comply with FDA regulations and standards to ensure their safety for consumers.

Does the FDA recognize caffeine as a drug?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recognizes caffeine as a drug. Caffeine is classified as both a drug and a food additive by the FDA, as it is widely consumed in various forms, including coffee, tea, soft drinks, and energy drinks, for its stimulant properties.

The FDA regulates caffeine in various ways, including setting guidelines for its safe use in food and beverages, monitoring its presence in dietary supplements, and establishing labeling requirements to inform consumers about caffeine content.

When did FDA approve caffeine?

Caffeine is recognized by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as an ingredient in both over-the-counter and prescription drugs. It is subject to regulatory oversight under the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). This recognition is due to caffeine’s use in various medical products and its classification as a central nervous system stimulant.

The FDA’s recognition of caffeine as an ingredient in drugs and its inclusion in the FD&C Act allows the agency to regulate its use in pharmaceuticals and dietary supplements to ensure safety and efficacy. While caffeine is also widely consumed in foods and beverages, its regulation in those contexts falls under the FDA’s authority.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, energy drinks don’t really need any approval from the FDA.

But, energy drink companies need to label appropriately and add ingredients that the FDA approves.

Therefore, there’s no room to add any harmful ingredients to energy drinks.

However, it would help if you didn’t consume too many energy drinks. This is because ingredients like sugar and caffeine in extreme amounts can lead to many health problems.

Also, it’s a good idea to check the nutrition facts before buying energy drinks. This way, you can keep an eye on your caffeine and sugar consumption regularly.

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