Sugar levels in most energy drinks are high -- too high!
While energy drinks provide a useful, functional benefit: energy and focus, you have to be aware of the negative side effects as well. Many 16 oz energy drinks contain as much as 54 g of added sugar, this is more sugar than is recommended to consume in a whole day!
Additionally, several studies show that consuming too much sugar has damaging effects on the body. But it’s not as simple as just cutting out sugar all together. Replacing sugar with artificial and zero calorie sweeteners can often be just as bad for you.
With that in mind, we’ve looked at the best low sugar energy drinks on the market and created a curated list of options that keep their sugar levels low while also not using artificial sweeteners or Stevia, a zero calorie sweetener tied to gut imbalance.
Proper Wild: 8g Total Sugars / 0g Added Sugars
Best Low Sugar Energy Drink
Proper Wild’s Clean All Day Energy Shots are our favorite because they’re small and convenient -- only 2.5 oz, which makes them TSA travel size approved. They also really work -- with 180mg of Organic Caffeine from Green Tea and 120mg of L-Theanine you can expect extreme energy and focus for 5-6 hours without the jitters or crash (thanks to the L-Theanine).
With only 8g of total sugars -- all from organic and natural fruit juices and 0g of added sugars, Proper Wild makes for a great, effective and clean option. They’re also 100% plant-based, gluten-free, soy free, gmo free, dairy free, and free of preservatives and artificial sweeteners.
MatchaBar Hustle: 0g Total Sugars / 0g Added Sugars
The Matcha Bar Hustle is a great low sugar energy drink. It’s a 12 oz drink with 0g of total sugars -- instead of sugar it uses Monk Fruit which is our favorite zero calorie sweetener. With only 120mg of caffeine it’s not quite as powerful as some of the other drinks out there but nonetheless is made from all natural ingredients and is something you can feel great about putting into your body each and every day!
Runa: 5g Total Sugars / 5g Added Sugars
Runa clean energy drinks are just that -- clean! At 12 oz and only 30 calories and all natural ingredients you can feel good about consuming a Runa. With 150 mg of caffeine you can also feel confident that the drink will work and you’ll feel energized and focused for hours! Our one knock on Runa would be that it uses stevia which has been shown to damage your gut health so you will need to take that into consideration.
Ethans: 3g Total Sugars / 0g Added Sugars
Ethan’s clean energy shots are also a great option. They are organic and use for the most part ingredients we love. They also use stevia so you’ll have to see how your stomach feels but at only 3g of total sugars the sugar levels are low. These shots contain 150mg of caffeine so you can expect a strong boost of energy for hours. They’re also gluten free, gmo free, and do not use preservatives.
What Makes A Good Low Sugar Energy Drink
When picking an energy drink keep the sugar low. Anything below 10g of total sugars with 0g of added sugars is an ideal target. Sugar from real fruit juices is the best type of sugar as it will generally also provide some nutritional benefits - antioxidants, vitamins, etc.
Artificial & Zero Calorie Sweeteners
Try to stay away from artificial sweeteners all together and when it comes to zero calorie sweeteners we suggest you stay away from Stevia and go with Monk Fruit!
Always go natural -- if you don’t know what the ingredients on the back label are, put the drink down and go find something with label transparency. A big part of eating healthy and making better diet decisions starts with understanding what you're actually putting into your body. Simple and natural is also the better option.