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Energy Drinks with Sugar (Detailed)

You might have slept all day and now are upset about all the work that has gone pending. You wonder how many more nights it would cost you to compensate for it.

I do not think that should be a problem for you. You have energy drinks to keep you up all night, giving you the highest level of focus to finish your pending work before the deadline.

Energy drinks are beverages that are marketed to enhance performance and boost energy. These drinks mostly contain sugar, caffeine, guarana, taurine, ginseng, and other proprietary ingredients.

Sugar alone plays a big part in energy drinks, providing additional energy to our body, retaining flavor, adding a taste, and maximum shelf life.

Several energy drinks like Red Bull and Monster contain a handful of sugar.

The presence of sugar is one of the reasons why you are addicted to the taste of your favorite energy drinks. Its role is crucial to understand since it does bring harmful side effects for you.

Keep reading to know what they are and how sugar affects energy drinks’ function, alongside its composition.

What are Energy Drinks?

Energy drinks include ingredients intended to increase physical and mental performance.

There are a lot of reasons why people drink energy drinks. Improving brain function to boost mental attentiveness is one of the most well-known approaches.

Almost all energy drinks contain sugar and caffeine to boost brain activity and increase alertness and concentration.

Red Bull, 5-Hour Energy, Monster, Rockstar, NOS, and Full Throttle are popular energy drink brands.

However, there are some worries about the impact of energy drinks on the heart.

According to a study, frequent consumption of energy drinks has been related to several heart problems that forced emergency room visits.

Moreover, numerous research has found that energy drinks cause:

  1. Increment in blood pressure level
  2. Hinder the function of blood vessels
  3. Seizures and Strokes
  4. Increased risk of Alchohol Consumption in future
  5. Gastrointestinal Upset

Some Information about Sugar

Too sweet!

Sugar is a form of carbohydrate that contain carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen molecules. Carbohydrates, like proteins and lipids, are essential components of a healthy diet.

Carbohydrates are digested and broken down into glucose, which is used as an energy source by most of the body’s tissues.

Red blood cells, the central nervous system, and the brain prefer glucose as an energy source.

Sugars are caloric, sweet-tasting chemicals found in various foods, including fruits, vegetables, honey, and human and dairy milk.

Sugars range in sweetness intensity, ranging from lactose’s mild sweetness to fructose, the sweetest of the naturally occurring sugars.

Added Sugar

Doctors rarely mention the type of sugar found naturally in these drinks when they talk about sugar. Instead, they’re concerned about “added sugar,” which refers to any calorie-containing sweeteners added to food during preparation, whether at home or on the factory floor.

Sugars and syrups added to foods during preparation, processing, or at the table are known as added sugars that are found in energy drinks as sugar substitutes.

Added sugars provide no nutrients, but a lot of calories, which can lead to weight gain or obesity. This can deteriorate heart health.

Limit your intake of drinks with a lot of sugar added to them. A 12-ounce can of average energy drink includes ten teaspoons of sugar, or 160 calories, with no nutritional value.

According to the American Dietary Guidelines, a small quantity of added sugars can be incorporated into a healthy eating pattern that includes healthy options from each food group (vegetables, fruits, grains, dairy, and protein foods).

Excessive consumption of added sugars can cause:

  1. Cardiovascular Diseases
  2. Obesity
  3. Type 2 Diabetes
  4. Liver Disease
  5. Disruption in Insulin Function
  6. Dental Cavities

How Is Sugar Used In Energy Drinks?

Sugar is added to or naturally contained in many energy drinks. Drinks would not taste as delicious as they do now if it was not present.

Pre-mixed powders are often made with glucose syrup, caused by hydrolyzing starch. Since it is such a concentrated sugar, a small amount is required to attain the necessary sweetness. It is also a humectant, so these pre-mixed powders keep their freshness for a long time.

Due to its dissolving properties, glucose syrup is also employed in these powders. It has a smaller molecule size so dissolves more quickly and with less agitation when liquids are added.

Rockstar and Red Bull are known to have the most use of sugar. A can of Rockstar 16 oz contains 63 mg of sugar, whereas a 16 oz can of Rockstar contains 51 mg of sugar.

The American Heart Association recommends that women should consume no more than 24 grams of sugar, and men should consume no more than 36 grams of sugar.

Let’s have an overview of the sugar content of some known energy drinks.

Energy DrinksRed BullMonsterRockstarBawlsBreinFuelGuruHi-Ball
Sugar Content27g54g24g46g5g30g25g
Comparison of sugar content

Side Effects of Sugar Consumption

The rise of obesity and type 2 diabetes in the US is a concern that is mainly caused by excessive use of sugar. As much as we love incorporating sugar into our diet, we often forget the damage we are putting ourselves up against.

The maximum daily sugar intake recommended by the FDA is six teaspoons. Still, research reveals that Americans consume more than quadruple that amount – possibly without realizing it through the addition of sugar in food and beverages.

Overconsumption of sugar imposes the following threats:

Fat Organs

A high-sugar diet and fructose, a common sugar-like addition, causes your liver to retain fat, leading to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This disorder was uncommon before 1980.

As a result, it is critical to read the labels on drinks – mainly biscuits – and choose those with little or no fructose.

Heart Diseases

High blood pressure is caused by chronically elevated insulin levels, which force the muscle cells around each blood vessel in your arteries to develop faster than usual.

High blood pressure can lead to a stroke or permanent cardiac condition in the worst-case scenario.


Sugar causes the release of molecules called opioids and dopamine, which activate the brain’s pleasure center. Tolerance develops quickly, necessitating the use of greater doses.

Reduce your sugar intake and give your taste receptors at least a week to acclimatize. To get over the hump, drink sugar-free beverages.

High Cholesterol Level

According to recent studies, persons who consume the most added sugars had the steepest jump in harmful cholesterol levels and the lowest healthy cholesterol levels.

Breakfast with protein-rich eggs can help you avoid sugar cravings.

Energy Drinks With Sugar

Most energy drinks contain sugar in varying amounts. Sucralose, Ace-K, and Aspartame are a few calorie-free artificial sweeteners that make energy drinks excessively sweet.

Even with the sugar-free option available for many of your favorite sugar comprising energy drinks, consumers tend to omit their presence due to the enriched sweet taste they get from the regular energy drinks. The power of sugar remains unbeatable.

Have you ever wondered what your body goes through after consuming too much sugar?

A few energy drinks with sugar are:

Red Bull Energy Drink

Red Bull Energy Drink
Giving you the wings of sugar

Red Bull is an energy drink you can rely on if you need a boost of energy during the day.

It has 80 milligrams of caffeine, which is about the same as a cup of coffee. It is one of the most popular drinks, so it is easy to see why many people prefer it.

Drinking Red Bull regularly might not be the best option because the standard version has a lot of sugar, which equals many calories.

Red Bull has 27 grams of sugar, slightly more than half of the FDA’s sugar guideline of 50 grams. It is also linked to sugar crashes, and it can contribute to acne and weight gain if used in excess.

Look into Red Bull’s sugar-free version or other energy beverages for healthier alternatives.

Monster Energy Drink

Monster Energy Drink
A monster of sugar

Monster Energy drinks can be found all over the place. They are available on the internet, in convenience stores, and even in commercials.

It is no surprise, given how well-known Monster Energy is. It has been around for a while, and we can expect it to stick around for a little longer.

If you do not drink coffee or other caffeinated beverages, Monster is an excellent option for a sugar fix.

Monster Energy has 54 grams of sugar.

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends a daily sugar limit of 25 grams (about six teaspoons) for women and 36 grams (roughly nine teaspoons) for men.

Compared to Monster’s 54g, it is evident that Monster has twice the daily sugar allowance of either sex.

This can easily be said that a daily dose of Monster Energy can impose the risk of obesity, type 2 diabetes, liver diseases, and in the worst case, heart problems resulting in stroke and death eventually.

Rockstar Energy Drink

Rockstar Energy Drink
A rockstar made up of sugar

Since 2001, Rockstar has been in the business of selling energy drinks. They have perfected their formula and created a fantastic drink after two decades of expertise.

It does give you a fantastic energy boost and a pleasant taste, but have you considered the sugar level and how it can affect you?

The sugar content of Rockstar is 24 grams per 16 fl oz.

While the drink is not sugar-free, it does not have a robust flavor. It was the ideal combination of sugar and other components for neutralizing the taste.

The National Health Service (NHS) recommends keeping your sugar intake under 30 grams per day.

Sugar use in excess, like caffeine, can lead to a slew of health issues, including diabetes and various cardiac problems.

Pros and Cons of Energy Drinks With Sugar

Sugar is not something you can easily avoid. Even though I am a fan of sweetness, preferring sweet in any form I get, I still worry about its daily impact on my life and stay true to its daily limit.

Sugar does bring you some benefits amid all its negatives, yet its drawbacks are unbeatable.

Pros of Energy Drinks with Sugar are:

  1. Instant Boost of Energy
  2. Taste
  3. Longer shelf Life

The Cons Energy Drinks with Sugar are:

  1. Sugar Rush
  2. Health Risks
  3. Promotes Leptin Resistance
  4. Addiction

Alternatives for Energy Drinks With Sugar

Runa Clean Energy Drink

Runa Energy Drink
A clean, organic energy drink to satisfy your caffeine needs

You would assume that Runa Clean Energy solely uses organic components by looking at its name.

You are correct, as this energy drink is USDA-certified organic. Furthermore, its sugar is derived from organic cane, and the caffeine is obtained from Guayusa leaves.

The brewed Guayusa leaf gives continuous energy, mental clarity, and focus without causing a crash, thanks to its blend of polyphenols and L-Theanine.

The caffeine content of each can of Runa Clean Energy is 150 mg. 150mg is a bit more than I usually go for. In my opinion, 50-100mg is exactly ideal, and any higher than that can be problematic for those with a low caffeine tolerance.

Other ingredients include Organic Cane Sugar, Organic Natural Flavors, Citric Acid, and Malic Acid.

Although, it does contain organic ingredients, what’s missing is the use of electrolytes and B-Vitamins, which keeps your body fluids running alongside maintaining your overall health.

Celsius Energy Drink

Celsius Energy Drink
Health Energy Drink Option

Celsius energy drinks have gone a long way in their fifteen years on the market. Celsius was founded in 2004, and its first drinks were released in 2005. They now have four different types.

It has a light, fruity flavor that reminds me of fruit juice. Its 200 mg of caffeine is coupled with a proprietary mix rich in naturally derived components aimed at calorie burning and health maintenance.

Celsius also loves to brag about their “powerful, proven, unique MetaPlus blend,” which they claim is “potent, proven, and proprietary.” Alliteration makes sentences sound more punchy, according to marketing 101.

Meta Plus formula contains Caffeine, Taurine, Ginseng, Guarana, Green Tea Extract, and Glucuronolactone. These are all organic ingredients that make Celsius Energy a healthy option.

It is also considered healthy as it has no added sugar and no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives.

There is no high fructose corn syrup or aspartame in this product. Celsius is a vegan-friendly company that manufactures gluten-free products.


You have heard horror stories about death, kidney failure, and diabetes, but those things are only possible if you consume too many energy drinks.

This is not as much of a concern with sugar-free and low-calorie drinks, but certain energy drinks can have up to 100 calories and 25 grams of sugar, which is a lot.

Sugars, straightforward sugars, can encourage your fat cells to develop and increase incredibly. Examine your sugary drink consumption if you have lately gained a lot of weight.

Sugar in energy drinks adds a sweet, tendering taste to drinks that may taste pleasing, yet exposes your body to risks.

Type 2 diabetes is a common disease resulting from excessive energy drinks due to sugar.

This occurs when your body’s ability to create insulin, which is responsible for removing sugar from your system, fails. That means you have potentially toxic sugar levels in your blood, which is a significant issue.

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