Here's the deal:
Most people like carbonation, but some - probably you - hate it.
Drinking a carbonated drink hurts you! One Reddit user says it feels like you're "drinking flesh-eating bacteria with an incredibly short lifespan."
Okay, maybe that's a bit extreme - either way, the point is you're looking for an energy drink WITHOUT carbonation.
In this post, we're highlighting the best, non-carbonated energy drinks around.
Let's jump in:
Are there any non-carbonated energy drinks?
Yes, but mainstream energy drinks like Monster, Red Bull, Rock Star, etc. are almost always carbonated and found in a can. Some energy drinks like 5-hour energy aren't carbonated, although it's more of an energy shot than a drink. If you want a non-carbonated energy drink, you're probably better off drinking tea, coffee, or Early Bird (more on that in a bit).
Most of the popular energy drinks are loaded with sugar and a bunch of other chemicals that you can't pronounce, which is why they're generally unhealthy and shouldn't be consumed in excess.
Conversely, an energy drink mix like Early Bird is combined with water and mixed together, without any carbonation.
Is carbonation bad for you?
In short, the answer is no - carbonation itself is not bad for you.
You've probably heard carbonated soft drinks are bad for your health in a variety of ways - they hurt your bone's calcium levels, erode your teeth, and can make you gain weight, among others.
While soft drinks like Coke and Monster are bad for you, carbonation is not the problem.
According to Saima Lodhi, MD, carbonation in and of itself is not bad for you. However, soda and other sugary drinks (like energy drinks) have definitely been associated with negative health effects, mainly due to their high fructose corn syrup (sugar), phosphoric acid, etc.
Sodas like Coca-Cola are highly acidic - once my grandfather and I were in a parking lot and our car wouldn't start. After popping the hood, there was a ton of gunk on the battery that seemed to be jamming things up. I remember him walking to a gas station and buying a can of Coke.
As a kid, I had no idea what a can of coke was going to do for us, but my grandpa had other plans. He popped the tab and poured the whole can of coke on the battery.
At this point, I'm thinking "now we're stranded on the side of the road AND I can't even have the can of soda?"
Turns out, the acid in Coke neutralizes the corrosion on the battery. You can only imagine what it does to your stomach…
Now, Red Bull and Coca-Cola are different drinks, but most energy drinks aren't much better than soft drinks.
However, it's not due to the carbonation itself, but rather the acid and sugar.
What is the healthiest energy drink you can drink?
First of all, most energy drinks are not that good for you and should only be consumed in moderation, if at all. Between the sugar and other synthetic chemicals in them, they're no substitute for plenty of sleep, a healthy diet, and lots of exercise on a regular basis.
However, that's not to say all energy drinks are equally bad - some are certainly worse than others. Energy drinks with reasonable caffeine and little to no sugar are far better than drinks like Full Throttle or Monster Redline, both of which are sure to give you the jitters.
But assuming you have no underlying health conditions, having a 'healthy' energy drink even once a day isn't such a big deal. In fact, a bit of caffeine can actually be pretty good for you, especially if it comes from green coffee beans.
Characteristics of a 'Healthy' Energy Drink
First of all, I'd like to say nothing is healthier than drinking water, and calling an energy drink healthy isn't exactly precise.
A 'healthy' energy drink is really an energy drink that's way better than the incredibly unhealthy alternatives.
That being said, here are some of the things to watch out for:
Lots of energy drinks are packed wit sugar, too much of which is most definitely not good for your health. Sugar content is the first thing you should check on an energy drink's label.
The energy you get from sugar is short-lived and results in a crash, not to mention it decays your teeth and can make you fat. High sugar consumption has also been linked to diabetes and other serious health conditions.
When possible, choose a sugar-free energy drink like Early Bird, or at the very least, opt for a drink with less sugar than others.
The FDA recommends you limit your caffeine consumption to a maximum of 400mg a day, so it's important to check your energy drink's caffeine content.
For example, a can of Monster Redline Xtreme has 316mg of caffeine. For comparison, a regular cup of coffee has 95mg of caffeine.
Too much caffeine consumption can keep you up all night, increase anxiety levels, cause headaches, not to mention addiction.
Extra Stuff (Amino acids, vitamins, taurine, etc.)
Some energy drinks include extra ingredients that are meant to help you increase focus or have more energy. For example, B vitamins help your body convert nutrients into energy. These vitamins essentially make the energy drink work better.
Taurine is another common ingredient in mainstream energy drinks - it's an amino acid that works with caffeine to boost mental performance. It's naturally found in the body and is also found in most meats/fish.
Early Bird goes above and beyond the call of duty - it's packed with a bunch of natural ingredients that help you feel energized, focused, and ready to get sh*t done all day long, without the jitters or crashes.
Best Healthy Non-Carbonated Energy Drinks
In this section of the post, we're taking a look at the best healthy, non-carbonated energy drinks.
Again, nothing beats water, but these drinks are pretty darn good compared to their competitors.
Best Non-Carbonated Sugar-Free Energy Drink
Early Bird is by far the best non-carbonated, sugar-free energy drink. It's also pretty healthy too, giving your body what it needs to wake up feeling hydrated, in a good mood, and enough energy to get sh*t done all day long!
Long story short, Early Bird has the benefits of an energy drink without a ton of sugar and other harmful chemicals.
You see, unlike any other typical energy drink, Early Bird makes use of the 3 secrets to waking up early without feeling tired via a powerful nootropic blend. Whether you want to study in the morning without feeling tired or survive 8 AM classes, Early Bird is the move. We also have a post about the best energy drinks for studying all night if you want to check that out.
Early Bird uses caffeine from green coffee beans, which has a ton of documented health benefits as opposed to traditionally roasted coffee beans. While most energy drinks and even coffee uses low-quality synthetic caffeine, Early Bird uses top-notch green coffee beans.
L-theanine is another ingredient in Early Bird that promotes smooth energy and intense focus. It's an amino acid found in tea leaves that has a bunch of positive benefits.
Next, Early Bird uses GABA, a neurotransmitter that helps your brain cells better communicate with each other. This promotes better focus, concentration, and clears your head.
Early Bird also uses Ashwagandha (KSM-66) which combats brain fog and promotes mental clarity. After all, you can give your body all the energy in the world, but if your brain isn't functioning properly, it won't matter much - you'll still feel miserable!
Lastly, Early Bird mixes with water and has electrolytes that promote hydration, as opposed to most energy drinks that actually dehydrate you. If you want to learn more about the Early Bird story and try some yourself, you can check it out here.
What's the bottom line here?
Early Bird is the best energy drink around!
Best Non-Carbonated Energy Drink
Tea Riot is my favorite (and the best) non-carbonated energy drink, but it still has sugar and it's not technically an energy drink. Truth is, there aren't many non-carbonated energy drinks out there unless you buy a powdered one like Early Bird.
Still, if you like tea, this drink is awesome - Tea Riot has 70 calories, 0g fat, 10 mg sodium, 19 g carbs (13g sugar), and 0g protein.
Tea Riot has cold-pressed juices that taste like freshly brewed tea mixed with delicious vegetable and fruit juices. In terms of caffeine, it has 50-75mg depending on the bottle, which is on par with an espresso shot.
Low on sugar and caffeine, while still tasting delicious, I highly recommend Tea Riot - but if you want sugar free as well, Early Bird is the way to go.