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Are energy drinks high in sugar and which are sugar-free? Energy drinks. They are those drinks we reach for when we have been up all night studying, need a boost before a workout, or are about to sit an exam. Or just to get us going in the morning. But does anybody know exactly how much sugar goes into energy drinks? Well, I am fairly well placed to answer this question as I have already written posts on the sugar content of both Monster and Rockstar energy drinks, which you can read here – The Lowest Sugar Monster Energy Drinks and The 20 Lowest Sugar Rockstar Drinks.
In this post, I will look at and compare the sugar content of the 5 big energy drinks brands – Red Bull, Monster, Rockstar, NOS, and 5-Hour Energy. I will then present you with the best sugar-free energy drink options.
So, without further ado, let’s dig in – are energy drinks high in sugar, and which are sugar-free?
Are Energy Drinks High in Sugar and Which Are Sugar-Free?
As a general rule, there are 26g-35g of sugar in an 8.4 fl oz serving of most energy drinks. Many energy drinks brands such as Red Bull, Monster, and Rockstar have 0g of sugar varieties of their drinks. NOS does not have any sugar-free version of its drinks, but all 5-Hour Energy drinks are sugar-free.
How Much Sugar is in Red Bull?
I can’t write a post on energy drinks and not talk about the King (or Queen) or energy drinks – Red Bull. “It Gives You Wings” after all. Below I have compiled the sugar content of an 8.4fl oz can of Red Bull.
|Red Bull Variety
|Sugar In A 8.4 Fl Oz Can
|Red Bull Yellow Edition
|Red Bull Sugar-Free
|Red Bull Blue Edition
|Red Bull Green Edition
|Red Bull Peach Edition
|Red Bull Amber Edition
|Red Bull Coconut Berry Edition
|Red Bull Red Edition
|Summer Edition Juneberry
|Original Red Bull
|Red Bull Sugar Free
|Red Bull Zero Sugar
As you can see, all “full sugar” Red Bull varieties contain 26g-27g of sugar in an 8.4 fl oz can.
The two zero-sugar Red Bull varieties are Red Bull Sugar-Free and Red Bull Zero Sugar. Both varieties contain 0g of sugar, so what is the difference between them? The answer is the sweeteners used. Red Bull Sugar-Free is sweetened with acesulfame-k and aspartame and Red Bull Zero Sugar is sweetened with acesulfame-k and sucralose. There you have it!
How Many Teaspoons of Sugar Are in Red Bull?
There are 13 teaspoons of sugar in the “full sugar” varieties of Red Bull and 0 teaspoons of sugar in Red Bull Sugar-Free and Red Bull Zero Sugar.
NOS ENERGY DRINKS
How Much Sugar is in NOS Energy Drink?
NOS energy drinks do contain sugar. There are 50g-52g of sugar in a 16OZ can of NOS. I have summarized the sugar content of the 3 varieties of NOS below.
|Sugar In A Can
It may appear at first glance that NOS is considerably higher in sugar than Red Bull but remember that the above is for a 16 fl oz can of NOS. An 8.4 oz serving of NOS would have the same sugar content as that of Red Bull (26g-27g of sugar).
Does NOS Have High Fructose Corn Syrup?
The sweetener used in NOS is high fructose corn syrup.
Does NOS Have Sugar Free?
There is not a sugar-free variety of NOS energy drinks.
How Much Sugar is in Monster Energy Drinks?
Below I have summarized the sugar content of the different “not low sugar” Monster energy drinks ranges below.
|Sugar In A Can
|Monster Energy Assault
|The Original Monster Energy Super-Premium Import
|Java Monster (excluding cold brew range
As you can see a lot of the Monster range is fairly high in sugar, with Original Monster containing 58g of sugar in a 16oz can. To keep the comparison to Red Bull and NOS fair, this equates to 30g of sugar in an 8.4 fl oz serving. Most of the remaining Monsters contain 25g-60g of sugar in a can.
The lowest sugar Monster drink in the above table is the Monster Hydro Super Sports Red Dawg which contains 12g of sugar in a can – this is actually pretty low for an energy drink that contains sugar – this would equate to only 6g of sugar in an 8.4 fl oz serving.
Low Sugar Monster Drinks
Monster also makes some low-sugar energy drinks. These drinks contain even less sugar than the ones above. I have summarized the lowest sugar Monster ranges below for you. If you would like to learn more about these low-sugar Monster ranges, then make sure to check out the entire post I wrote on them here – The Lowest Sugar Monster Energy Drinks.
- Zero Sugar Monster – 0g of Sugar (find it on Amazon here)
- Cold Brew Monster Java – 0g-8g of Sugar (find it on Amazon here)
- Lo-Carb Monster – 6g of Sugar (find it on Amazon here)
- Rehab Monster – 3g-4g of Sugar (find it on Amazon here)
ROCKSTAR ENERGY DRINKS
How Much Sugar Is In Rockstar Energy Drinks?
Original Rockstar is high in sugar at 63g of sugar in a 16oz can. The Rockstar Boom drinks are also high in sugar at 64g-67g of sugar in a can. Rockstar Punched contains 61g-62g of sugar in a can. I have summarized the sugar content of full-sugar Rockstar drinks below. For comparison purposes, this equates to 32g-35g of sugar in an 8.4 fl oz serving.
|“Full Sugar” Rockstar Drinks
|Sugar In A Can
|Boom Whipped Strawberry
|Boom Whipped Orange
|Rockstar Punched Berry Sangria
|Rockstar Punched Strawberry Peach
|Rockstar Punched Fruit Punch
|Rockstar Punched Mango
|Rockstar Punched Watermelon
|Rockstar Punched Hardcore Apple
Low Sugar Rockstar Drinks
Sugar-conscious peeps I have some good news, there is actually a lot of sugar-free and low sugar Rockstar drinks out there – 19 in fact. The lowest sugar Rockstar drinks are their Recovery, Sugar-Free, Zero, Xdurance, and Unplugged ranges. Rockstar’s Recovery range contains 0g-2g of sugar in a can and the Sugar-Free, Zero, Xdurance, and Unplugged Ranges contain 0g of sugar.
I have actually written a whole post going through all these awesome low and zero sugar-free drinks from Rockstar, which you can read here – The 20 Lowest Sugar Rockstar Drinks.
|Lowest Sugar Rockstar Drinks (including Amazon links)
|Sugar In A Can
|Rockstar Recovery (find it on Amazon here)
|Rockstar Throwback OG Sugar-Free (find it on Amazon here)
|Rockstar Zero (find it on Amazon here)
|Rockstar Zero Carb (find it on Amazon here)
|Rockstar Xdurance (find it on Amazon here)
|Rockstar Throwback OG Sugar Free (find it on Amazon here)
How Much Sugar Is In 5-Hour Energy?
5-Hour Energy. You know those tiny little shot-like drinks you down before an exam. Exactly how much sugar is in one? Well, the exciting news is that all 5-Hour Energy drinks (including the cans) are sugar-free. Yes, you read that correctly, sugar-free. 5-Hour Energy drinks are sweetened with sucralose and contain 0g of sugar per serving.
You can try a variety pack of 5-Hour Energy’s regular and extra strength shots on Amazon here.
Does 5-Hour Energy Contain Sugar?
5-Hour Energy does not contain any sugar.
What Sweetener Is In 5-Hour Energy?
The sweetener used in 5-Hour Energy is sucralose.
Are Energy Drinks High in Sugar and Which Are Sugar-Free? – The Final Bite
Are energy drinks high in sugar and which are sugar-free? So, what have we learned from the above? Well, when it comes to energy drinks, they certainly can come in formats that are high in sugar. The good news is that most brands do offer sugar-free or lower-sugar versions of their drinks. The only exception to this is NOS energy drinks which do not currently make any low-sugar or sugar-free alternatives. If you are looking for the biggest selection of zero-sugar drinks, then your best option is to look at Rockstar Energy drink which has 19 low-sugar and sugar-free drinks.
Ingredients and/or manufacturing processes may change. Always double-check ingredient lists and nutritional information before purchasing any food items.
WANT TO FIND MORE LOW SUGAR OPTIONS?
Do you want to learn about some other low-sugar options at your favorite coffee chains, fast food, or restaurant joints, or just while you are shopping for groceries? If you do, then check out some of my other articles below: