Energy Drinks That Give You Pep Without Giving You Cancer

By Nicole German (RD, LD)

Whenever one of my patients mentions “energy drinks”, I cringe.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind? Processed, chemically enhanced liquid that contains caffeine.

I thought, “Are there any energy drinks out there that are healthier than others?” Of course!

If you need some pep in your step choose these energy drinks instead of the bull that gives you wings.

7 Natural Energy Boosting Beverages

Steaz tea drink


Steaz makes a few different natural canned teas and an energy shot. They are all natural, contain clean ingredients, and sweeten with some stevia or carrot juice. I love all of their products, and you get a natural caffeine boost from real tea and some B-vitamins. Rating: A

FRS energy drink

FRS Energy Drinks

These low in caffeine with about 35mg coming from green tea. FRS drinks contain added antioxidants from green tea, and quercetin. Some are sweetened with Stevia but others Splenda! FRS claims you get your energy boost from the potent antioxidants that are targeted to fight fatigue, and the boost of B-vitamins. Rating: B+

ex energy drinks

Ex Drinks

Contains 80 mg of natural caffeine and use beet sugar and stevia to lightly sweeten. Most drinks do not contain anything artificial.  Watch out for the flavors that contain more sugar. Another complaint is that there is a longer list of ingredients. I like the flavors that contain some kombucha for the probiotic benefitsRating: B

v8 Energy Shot V8 Energy Shots

This is reconstituted “vegetable” juice shot with Splenda. They say this gives you a serving of fruits and vegetables, but I am not convinced. You get a small energy boost from the green tea extract. You might as well make a cup of tea and put a teaspoon of honey in it. This would give you more natural results! 1 bottle is 10 grams of sugar. Rating: B-

Starbucks DoubleShot Light

Starbuck’s Double Shot Light

Simple ingredients of espresso, cream, splenda, and acesulfame K in this canned latte. Of course, I don’t prefer the artificial sweeteners. Why not get a real coffee? Rating: C+

Hawaiian Ola Energy Shot

Hawaiian OLA Energy

OLA is a high antioxident energy shot with Noni, Goji, and Acai Juices and 140mg of natural caffeine from yerba mate’ and green tea. It has a nice dose of B vitamins and only 6 grams worth of natural sugars. Be careful because the caffeine may be too high for some. Rating: A

Enerji Shot

Celestial Seasonings Enerji Shots

This is another all-natural energy shot with 100mg of caffeine from green tea. It’s sweetened with cain juice and stevia while giving a nice boost in energy and alertness. It’s easy to drink and not cough syrup tasting like the popular 5 Hour Energy. Rating: A

Remember: Do not combine any energy drinks with alcohol or drink more than one in a short period of time.

Overall, I prefer to try to increase my energy naturally by taking a quick walk, stretching, or drinking more water. If that doesn’t work, I grab a small black coffee!

How about you, do you drink any caffeine during your day?


  1. BRIAN

    Why do they think splenda/sucralose is good? Ugh

  2. John

    Careful with the beet juice. Unless it’s organic, it’s 99% likely to be GMO. Sounds pretty cancerous to me.

  3. Bevan

    Maybe some good options here?

  4. Spectra

    Oh, I drink quite a bit of caffeine during the day. I’m one of those people who can drink a lot of caffeine and it doesn’t seem to affect me too much. I stop drinking it a few hours before bedtime and I don’t have any problems falling asleep. However, there is nothing that gives me more energy than waking up and starting my day with a workout. That really wakes me up.

    • juwerrya

      Where do I bay this energy drinks in south africa.and if u a diabetic can u drink it

      • Ted

        I’m not sure where you can buy them in SA but stevia based drinks should be safe for diabetics .

      • GME

        You can get energy drinks at Walmart in South Africa.

        You can find other stores in South Africa by searching Google, entering the drink you’re looking for and including the name of the town you’re in to find nearby locations. Search for “Buy FRS Energy Drink Capetown South Africa” for instance to bring up locations near Capetown that carry FRS Energy Drinks.

        If there’s a particular energy drink you’d like to buy, it may just be easier to order it online from or and have it shipped right to you.

  5. Jim F

    Straight espresso is the way – no sugar + anti-oxidants: gotta be good for you (at least that’s what I tell myself).