- Energy drinks may seem like a great option for those who don’t like coffee or who are looking for a higher caffeine boost, but most traditional energy drinks contain ingredients that may be harmful to your health.
- Some research has found a possible connection between energy drink consumption and the risk of heart conditions. This is likely a result of the boost in blood pressure and heart rate associated with the high amounts of caffeine in these beverages.
- Green and red powders are typically a mixture of concentrated superfoods, vitamins, and minerals, such as Human Tonik Supergreen Tonik and Red Tonik which provide a hearty dose of nutrition similar to a multivitamin with caffeine-free, natural energy-boosting ingredients such as adaptogens.
Although coffee is often the solution to most tired woes, energy drinks are increasing in popularity and giving coffee a run for its money.
Coffee is considered one of the most popular beverages across the globe however, energy drink sales have steadily been increasing since the early 2000s. (Source)
Energy drinks may seem like a great caffeine alternative for energy for those who don’t like coffee or are looking for a higher caffeine boost, but most traditional energy drinks contain ingredients that may harm your health. If you consume these drinks daily, you might consider healthier alternatives to energy drinks or green and red powders as an energy drink replacement.
Popular energy drinks such as Red Bull and Monster contain high amounts of added sugars associated with many health risks, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. Because of this, the American Heart Association recommends adults limit added sugars in their diet to 6-9 teaspoons per day (about 24-36 grams). (Source)
Although many energy drink brands now offer sugar-free products, these may contain artificial sweeteners that pose a health risk.
For example, Sugar-Free Red Bull uses Aspartame to provide similar sweetness without sugar. Aspartame may be associated with weight gain and increased appetite, although no studies have conclusively linked Aspartame to any specific health conditions. (Source)
Additionally, energy drinks can often contain significantly higher levels of caffeine than coffee.
Excessive caffeine intake can cause elevated blood pressure and heart rate, heart palpitations, dehydration, insomnia, and more. Consuming such products can make it too easy to overdo it with this common stimulant.
Not all energy drinks are terrible for you however, most contain fewer nutritional benefits than a regular cup of black coffee.
With that said, those who don’t enjoy coffee or who lean on energy drinks to get through the day may want to explore healthier alternatives.
Traditional Energy Drinks
Some of the most popular energy drinks on the market include Red Bull, Monster, and Rockstar. Most consumers have heard of or tried these products.
Whether you enjoy them occasionally, use them to get through most days, or have never tried one before, it’s important to know what’s in these products before you decide to take a sip.
Energy drinks may not be all bad however, when consumed in excess amounts they pose some potential health risks.
Below is a nutritional overview of traditional energy drinks such as Red Bull, Monster, and Rockstar.
The main star of the show in traditional energy drinks is caffeine. That is, after all, what typically provides the most energy from these products. Naturally, energy drinks tend to contain high amounts of caffeine per serving, most often more than you might find in a standard cup of coffee.
A 20-ounce can of Red Bull contains 189 mg of caffeine, which adds up to roughly 2 cups of coffee (which contains about 85-100 mg per cup), while both Monster and Rockstar energy drinks contain roughly 160mg per 16-ounce can.
Although caffeine has been associated with some health benefits, it’s recommended that adults limit their caffeine intake to no more than 400mg to avoid any adverse effects. (Source)
As mentioned previously, added sugars can increase your risk for various chronic diseases. For that reason, it’s encouraged that items that contain added sugars, including energy drinks, be limited to moderation.
One 8.4-ounce can of regular Red Bull contains 27 grams of sugar per serving while its 20-ounce can contains 63 grams, about the amount you would find in 2 regular-size Snickers candy bars. In fact, if you consumed a 20-ounce can you’ve more than doubled the recommended amount of added sugars for the whole day already.
Both Monster and Rockstar energy drinks typically come in 16-ounce containers. Monster energy drinks contain 54 grams of added sugar per serving while Rockstar contains the same as a 20-ounce Red Bull, a whopping 63 grams.
Although all of these brands offer sugar-free options, many use artificial sugar alternatives that may pose additional health risks if over-consumed. Therefore, it’s important not to rely on these options as healthier alternatives simply because they don’t have the extra sugar.
Taurine is an amino acid derivative that is naturally produced in the body and commonly used in energy drinks due to its perceived impact on mental and athletic performance.
However, the effects of this ingredient on human health are lacking adequate research and there isn’t enough information to establish the safety of this ingredient as an additive. All three of these popular energy drinks contain taurine. (Source)(Source)
Another popular ingredient in many energy drinks is guarana, an herbal extract likely added to provide an additional energy boost.
A seed from the guarana plant contains four times the amount of caffeine compared to a coffee bean and is believed to help boost the stimulating effects. Both Rockstar and Monster utilize guarana extract in their products. (Source)
The side effects of consuming guarana are similar to that of caffeine and include upset stomach, rapid heart rate, anxiety, and difficulty sleeping. Despite potential side effects, consuming guarana is considered safe for most healthy adults in low doses. (Source)(Source)
Potential Side Effects Of Traditional Energy Drinks
When consumed in moderation, energy drinks are not likely to pose any significant health risks however, when consumed regularly the risk increases.
Some research has found a possible connection between energy drink consumption and the risk of heart conditions. This is likely a result of the boost in blood pressure and heart rate associated with the high amounts of caffeine in these beverages. (Source)(Source)(Source)
Additionally, traditional varieties of energy drinks contain extremely high amounts of added sugars comparable to regular soda.
High intake of these sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with an increased risk of many chronic conditions, including type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and obesity.
In fact, according to one study consuming two sugar-sweetened beverages per day increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 26%. For that reason, switching to black coffee or natural energy drinks may be a significantly healthier choice in the long run. (Source)
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Green And Red Powder Supplements: A Healthy Alternative
If coffee isn’t your thing, or you’re sensitive to caffeine, you may consider a natural alternative such as green and red powdered supplements. These powders can be a healthy alternative to Red Bull as well as healthy caffeine alternatives in general.
Not only do these products provide a hearty dose of nutrition similar to a multivitamin, but they also provide caffeine-free, natural energy-boosting ingredients such as adaptogens, making them healthy energy drink alternatives.
Green and red powders can help to fill in any nutritional gaps while also providing significantly less sugar and calories than you would get from taking an energy drink.
You also can choose between caffeinated and caffeine-free options for those who are looking for a lighter boost in energy without the jittery effects of stimulants.
Whether you are new to green and red powders or a seasoned pro, Human Tonik’s Supergreen Tonik and Red Tonik are great products to try out. Not only do they provide full transparency of their ingredients and their doses (no proprietary blends with hidden dosages), they taste delicious and are easy and convenient to prepare at home or on the go.
They also provide a 100% risk-free money-back guarantee if you’re still on the fence about trying them out. Their products are free of caffeine, soy, dairy, and GMO ingredients.
Energy-Boosting Ingredients In Green And Red Powder Supplements
Although the ingredients in green and red powders will vary based on brand, these are some common ones you might find in many products, including Human Tonik’s green and red powders.
Green Powder Supplement Ingredients
For example, chlorella and spirulina are both forms of algae that are highly nutritious and rich in antioxidants. They are associated with lowering heart disease risk and improving blood sugar levels. They also work to support gut health which is linked with fatigue. (Source)
Moringa is another ingredient rich in nutrients that can support improvements in energy levels. For example, moringa is a great source of iron and b vitamins, which are essential for energy metabolism. (Source)
Red Powder Supplement Ingredients
Red powders often contain concentrated antioxidant-rich ingredients such as beetroot, goji berries, acai, maca, and pomegranate.
Beets contain naturally occurring nitrates which can help to increase oxygen circulation by boosting blood flow and providing an increase in energy, specifically during exercise.
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Tips For Incorporating Green And Red Powder Supplements Into Your Diet
Although green and red powders provide a powerful dose of nutrition, these supplements must be combined with a healthy diet and exercise to achieve optimal results.
Additionally, it’s important to stay consistent with your supplement intake as some ingredients take some time to provide beneficial effects.
To do this, create a regular supplement routine. Oftentimes it’s best to consume your supplements first thing in the morning to stay consistent and start your day off on the right foot.
Green and red powders can be incredibly versatile and convenient. If you are often on the go first thing in the morning, simply mix your supplement with water, juice, or even a smoothie and enjoy it at home or take it with you on the run.
When choosing a green or red powder, be sure to choose it based on your specific needs. Always read the ingredients list to avoid potential allergens.
Speak to your doctor or healthcare provider before adding a supplement to your routine, especially if you are taking any medications for a chronic condition as some herbal ingredients may interact with certain medications.
Energy is essential to help us get through the day, but that doesn’t mean we need to load ourselves up with caffeine and sugary drinks to thrive. In fact, these beverages are associated with some pretty unfavorable health concerns.
Not only do these drinks offer improved energy levels without the crash, but they are significantly lower in calories and sugar while being caffeine-free. Some green powders may even help to boost weight loss.
If that’s not enough to encourage you to give them a shot, consider the boost in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants you can get from these powders that are severely lacking in energy drinks and even that traditional cup of joe.
Swap out a potential health hazard with a nutrient-dense alternative that will not only give you peace of mind but help you take charge of the day without the inevitable crash and burn. What else do you need?
Meghan is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist from San Jose, California. She received her undergraduate degree from San Diego State University in 2015. Following an unexpected cross-country trip that landed her in Florida, she completed her didactic training through AdventHealth Orlando.
Meghan has extensive experience in multiple aspects of dietetics including critical care, motivational interviewing, writing, and research. She is passionate about health and wellness and has dedicated her free time to breaking down complicated nutrition topics and disseminating them to the public through the arena of writing.