13 Energy Drinks With the Most Sugar—Ranked!
Energy drinks may be created to give you a boost whenever needed, however, they aren't necessarily made with your overall health in mind. They're also not the kind of beverage that you want to be drinking on a regular basis for a few reasons. For instance, along with sometimes including low-quality ingredients and a worrisome amount of caffeine, they also tend to contain a ridiculous amount of sugar.
To put things into perspective, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025 recommends that sugar should only be 10% of your diet—at most. That means if you have a 2,000-calorie diet, then you shouldn't be consuming more than 200 calories of added sugar per day, which is the equivalent of 50 grams. The reality is that many energy drinks contain an amount of sugar that makes up a major percentage of what should be your daily limit.
At the same time, you need to "remember that individual preferences and health considerations play a significant role in choosing energy drinks," registered dietitian Mary Sabat, MS, RDN, LD tells Eat This, Not That! Beyond that, she says, "Always read product labels and nutritional information to make informed decisions about your consumption."
With that in mind, check out the following energy drinks which we've ranked by the ones that have the least amount of sugar to the one that has the most. Of course, they all have way more sugar than you might have realized and definitely more than you should be consuming in one beverage. Read on, and for more, don't miss 12 Dangerous Side Effects of Energy Drinks, According to Science.
Lowest in Sugar: Starbucks Baya Energy Mango Guava
An energy drink that comes in a 12-ounce can, Starbucks Baya Energy Mango Guava still manages to fill that with 23 grams of sugar. That's along with just as many carbs, 90 calories, and so much caffeine that the brand warns that it is "Not recommended for children, pregnant or nursing women or people sensitive to caffeine." Yikes!
Red Bull Energy Drink
"Although not the highest in sugar content, Red Bull Energy Drink is a well-known brand," says Sabat. "It's worth considering lower-sugar alternatives if you're concerned about sugar intake." You should also be aware of the fact that Red Bull Energy Drink comes in a can that's about half the size of the other products on this list. However, it contains 27 grams of sugar in those relatively tiny cans. If you drink two Red Bulls in order to match that amount of liquid you might get from other options, then you'd be consuming around 54 grams of sugar which would definitely bump it up in the ranking.
Cool Runnings Energy Drink
Cool Runnings Energy Drink is another option that comes in a can that's around half the size of the 16-ounce varieties. Do the same kind of math as above with Rell Bull if you happen to double up on the 28 grams of sugar in one can. If you do, then you'll end up drinking 56 grams of sugar when you down a Cool Runnings Energy Drink.
Mountain Dew Amp Energy Drink Cherry Blast
An iffy option from the popular soda-making brand, Mountain Dew Energy Drink Cherry Blast may offer you a fruity flavor, but there's not much else to boast about when it comes to this beverage. That's because it has 31 grams of sugar that you can get from much healthier energy-giving sources instead of relying on this drink regularly.
Coca-Cola Energy claims that it will give you "The energy you want" with "The taste you love." Unfortunately, it does so with 39 grams of sugar. That's quite a high number, especially considering the fact that it comes in a 21-ounce can that's four ounces less than other options. The good news is that the soda giant appears to be discontinuing this sugar-packed drink soon, with Coke announcing that "Coca-Cola Energy will be leaving shelves soon" on the company's website.
Liquid Rage Aggretsuko
"Aggretsuko, a young red panda facing constant frustration every day … lets out her emotions by singing karaoke death metal," the brand explains while introducing Liquid Rage Aggretsuko. They add that in this energy drink that's packed with 40 grams of sugar, you'll be able to "Taste her liquid rage in the form of a sweet liquid energy 12-ounce beverage." Yowza!
Sonic the Hedgehog Speed Energy Drink
You'd surely expect the Sonic the Hedgehog Speed Energy Drink to give you the kind of kick that might fuel the famously fast character, but it comes with much more than that. This drink—which comes in 12-ounce cans that are smaller than many of the others on this list—contains a concerning 40 grams of sugar. That's not to mention the fact that it's been recalled in Canada because it did not comply with various caffeine content labeling requirements, according to CTV News.
Venom Original Energy Drink
A 16-fluid-ounce can of Venom Original Energy Drink contains around 160 milligrams of caffeine on top of 160 calories and 300 milligrams of sodium. When it comes to sugar, you'll be drinking down 40 grams of sugar every time you pick up one of these drinks. Frankly, the venom moniker seems to suit a sugar-filled beverage that could be a toxic addition to your regular diet.
NOS Energy Drink
NOS Energy Drink is another popular option for those who need something to give them a boost. Of course, if you haven't tried this drink and doubt that it will bring a significant zing to your step, just consider that the brand promotes it with a super-intense caption, telling potential customers: "Fuel Up. Fire Up. 100 mile an hour power." To us, it seems that this kind of vibe is the result of 51 grams of sugar, which is obviously too much for one drink.
Monster Energy Original
"One of the most popular energy drinks, Monster Energy Original, contains a substantial amount of sugar, which might concern health-conscious consumers," Sabat tells us. With a problematic 54 grams in every can, this drink surely has enough sugar to fuel an actual monster. Considering that your body is better off without all that sugar, you should obviously stick with a healthy drink that will bring you energy.
Full Throttle Energy Drink
Claiming to be suitable for warriors, that may be true but Full Throttle Energy Drink is certainly not ideal for an everyday option. Each can contains 55 grams of added sugar—that's five more grams of sugar than what you should limit yourself to per day.
Mtn Dew AMP Original
With a staggering 58 grams of sugar in every can of Mtn Dew AMP Original, this is another drink that you might want to avoid. On top of that, it's packed with 220 calories and 58 grams of carbs and yet absolutely no fiber or protein. That's not to mention the caffeine, high fructose corn syrup, food coloring, and a long list of other ingredients.
The #1 Highest-Sugar Energy Drink: Rockstar Energy Drink
"With the highest sugar content on the list, Rockstar Energy Drink should be consumed sparingly due to its potential health impacts," says Sabat. With a whopping 63 grams of sugar per can, that's not to mention the relatively high number of calories and carbs as well as the amount of sodium. While the brand does offer sugar-free options—including everything from the original flavor to Pure Zero Silver Ice and Limón Pepino—you may still want to keep an eye out for other potentially iffy ingredients.