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Do Energy Drinks Make You Break Out? (Must Know)

Pimples and acne are problems that many people face nowadays. Moreover, some pimples are so severe that you may not be able to control them with your makeup alone.

Many people experience acne at some point in their lives, and it is important to understand the causes to avoid future breakouts.

Out of many reasons for pimple breakouts, one reason can be energy drink consumption. Yes, you heard it right.

I have seen many people complain about getting acne after the consumption of energy drinks. However, I did not believe them until, I, myself, started experiencing acne.

It is important to understand the science behind getting acne. The major component of energy drinks such as caffeine and sugar can lead to acne. Both of these ingredients have been associated with causing acne and pimples.

Let’s explore the ingredients present in energy drinks to understand which ingredients cause acne and why they cause acne!

What Are the Reasons for Acne?

Acne is the most common skin condition in the world, affecting approximately 40 million Americans. Although it is not always contagious, it can cause serious emotional and physical side effects, including embarrassment, frustration, and disappointment.

Common causes of Pimples can be:

  • Hormonal changes.
  • Certain medications.
  • Diet.
  • Stress.
  • Excess oil (sebum) production
  • Hair follicles, which are clogged by oil and dead skin cells are one of the main factors of acne.
  • Bacteria.
  • Inflammation.

Hormones such as Androgens can be a major reason for acne. These hormones produce more sebum by enlarging the sebaceous glands.

The secretions of the human body called sweat, urine, and digestive fluids, are all mostly water. The secretions of the body’s largest organ, the skin, are mostly oil.

The sebum, the primary secretion of the skin, is a complex mixture of lipids, proteins, and other substances. It serves many functions, such as providing a protective layer over the skin, transmitting signals to the surrounding tissue, and providing a surface for the growth of bacteria.

Too much sebum is likely to cause acne, when it gets mixed with the dead skin, together they clog the follicle.

There can be many reasons for acne, one of them can be hormonal disruption caused by caffeine

Common Ance Causing Ingredients in Energy Drinks

It is important to know which ingredients present in energy drinks cause acne and why they do that. These ingredients might not affect every individual in the same way, if you are one of the people who do not experience such issues, then consider yourself lucky.

However, most people experience acne upon the consumption of energy drinks containing the following ingredients:


Caffeine is a popular ingredient that makes most of the energizing effects of energy drinks.

Caffeine has been linked to several side effects, including acne. It is thought that caffeine can cause acne because it causes your body to release stress hormones, which in turn causes the oil glands in your skin to produce more oil.

Coffee oil has several properties that make it attractive to acne. It is a sebum and oil emollient, meaning it can help your body maintain an even balance of natural oils. It can also be comedogenic, meaning it can clog pores and contribute to the formation of pimples.

Another reason that caffeine is likely to cause acne is that it disrupts your sleep. Sleep disruption can raise your cortisol level and as your cortisol level is increased, it causes more oil to be produced in your skin glands. This increased level of oil in the skin can lead to clogged pores and acne breakouts.

Too much caffeine can cause pimples on the skin and redness on the face. It can also lead to dehydration, which is not healthy for your body either.

Dehydrated skin does not mean dry skin, oily skin can also be dehydrated. Dehydration can lead to acne breakout, discoloration, irritation, and dry patches.

Coffee beans
Coffee beans


Sugar is a calorie-dense sweetener and being a calorie-dense sweetener, it can cause weight gain, diabetes, blood pressure, and many more issues.

However, have you ever noticed getting pimples upon the consumption of energy drinks?

Well, it is not something surprising because the common ingredients such as sugar that we consume daily can cause pimples and acne.

Sugar consumption can cause your blood sugar level to spike, and it also causes inflammation. The blood sugar spike increases the production of sebum. The sebum and the inflammation caused by the spike in blood sugar levels can lead to acne.


Do Energy Drinks Make You Break Out?

Sugar has a high glycemic index, and it has been evaluated that foods with high glycemic indexes cause acne.

Energy Drinks can make your energy levels high, make you more focused and help you concentrate more. However, upon observation, some side effects associated with energy drink consumption can also be highlighted.

Energy drinks are often linked to severe anxiety, energy crashes, and sometimes, fainting. They contain high amounts of caffeine, and only a small amount of the amino acid L-Theanine, which is typically believed to be calming.

As it is linked with increased anxiety, it means that it raises your cortisol level. Cortisol in energy drinks causes pimples and oily skin.

You can read more about What Energy Drink Has the Most Caffeine?

Other Foods that Cause Acne

Not only energy drinks, but other foods can also cause acne. Many foods can cause acne and they are mentioned below:

  • Soy Products
  • Pasta
  • Skim Milk
  • Sugary food
  • Pizza
  • Greasy food
  • Fruit juices
  • Dry fruit
  • Chocolate
  • Whey Protein Powder
  • Refined Grains
  • Corn.
  • Safflower and sunflower oils.
  • Nuts and seeds.
  • Meat, poultry, fish, and eggs.

Many other foods can cause acne, however, we cannot stop eating all of them. You can observe your skin and decide whether any certain food suits your skin type or not.

High Glycemic Index Food
Foods with a high glycemic index are likely to cause pimple breakout

How to Get Rid of Acne?

If you have gotten acne because of caffeine and sugar consumption, then you can try the following ways to get rid of acne:

  • Keep your skin clean.
  • Use clean cloths and wash them frequently.
  • For people with oily skin, gentle exfoliating treatment can help get your skin clean before washing it and using it to protect itself from the environment.
  • Oil-based skin care products such as oil cleansers, lotions, or moisturizers are bad for your skin and should be avoided if you have oily, acne-prone skin.
  • By drinking more water, you can improve your skin including acne.

Foods that Can Help in Preventing Acne

Certain foods can help in preventing acne. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids might help in reducing acne. Following are a few foods that are rich in omega-3 fatty acids:

  • Walnuts
  • Flaxseeds
  • Chia seeds,
  • Hemp seeds
  • Seaweed
  • Algae

Along with that, you can also prevent acne by controlling your caffeine intake, and to do this you can simply consume an energy drink that has a lesser amount of caffeine, here’s a list of energy drinks with the amount of caffeine in them:

Energy DrinksCaffeine Content
Red Bull80mg (8.4oz)
Monster160mg (16oz)
Rockstar160mg (16oz)
NOS160mg (16oz)
G Fuel300mg (16oz)
Energy drinks and their caffeine content

Can Energy Drinks Cause Rashes?

It is not necessary that energy drinks might cause rashes or any allergy. However, before consuming energy drinks one must read the energy drink label to confirm whether they are allergic to any ingredient or not.

Sometimes energy drink contains ingredients such as certain herbs, soy, gluten, etc, these ingredients are likely to cause allergic reactions.

People with Celiac disease can have a negative reaction to the energy drink containing gluten and you might notice rashes along with other symptoms.

If you are interested in knowing whether energy drinks have emotional and mental effects along with these physical effects, then I would recommend you read Do Energy Drinks Make You Angry?

Energy drinks containing Gluten can cause rashes in people having Celiac disease

Does Red Bull Give You Acne?

One of the largest and best-known energy drinks in the world, Red Bull is also the leading energy drink brand in transforming the lives of consumers by connecting them to high-performance energy and helping them achieve their goals, as claims the company.

Red Bull contains around 110 mg of caffeine and there are around 37 grams of sugar in Red Bull can. Even though there is no evidence that Red Bull causes acne, however, the chances are that it might do so.

Can Monster Energy Drink Cause Acne?

Monster Energy is a leading energy drink brand among all the brands of energy drinks. It contains around 84 mg of caffeine and around 27 grams of sugar.

Even though it is not highly caffeinated but it might cause acne issues for some people, however, there is no evidence to support this statement.

Final Verdict

  • Out of many reasons for pimple breakouts, one reason can be energy drink consumption.
  • The reason for these breakouts is the ingredients present in energy drinks.
  • Sugar spikes your blood sugar level and causes inflammation as well as acne.
  • Caffeine consumption can also cause acne because it disrupts the hormonal balance.

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