What To Look For In A Healthy & Effective Energy Drink

energy drinks

Get the most out of your energy drink with key factors to look for.

Our lives can get busy, we can get tired, and we often turn to some form of beverage to push past that sluggish and fatigued feeling. Coffee can be boring and bland, pre-workouts may be a bit too much, so we may turn to energy drinks. But just how healthy and effective is our energy drink? With a market so saturated by products, finding the right one can be difficult.

Knowing what to look for in terms of ingredients can really give you a healthy and effective energy drink that is worth your time and money while boosting energy. Trusting a brand is important, but doing the right research can go a long way, especially for those looking to boost their overall health and gains.

Let’s take a look at energy drinks and see what makes these so great for working out as well as giving you that energy you need throughout the day. Knowing what to look for can better prepare you when looking through a saturated market of energy drinks. While there are plenty to choose from, having the right guidelines for you can take you a long way for a healthy and effective product.

energy drinks

Benefits Of Energy Drinks

Energy drinks are designed to give us energy and boost all areas of our gains, mental and physical. Knowing the benefits of energy drinks and what they can do will prove to be effective and will take our training and focus to new heights. Plus, they tend to have great flavors so you can actually enjoy the taste.

Related: Will Pre-Workouts Or Coffee Give You A Better Workout?

Benefits of energy drinks include:

  • Increased energy: With ingredients like caffeine, energy drinks can increase your energy so you are ready to take on challenges and won’t feel sluggish after a long day (1).
  • Less Fatigue: Working to break fatigue, they can allow you to push through any barriers that may arise during exercise or throughout the day (2).
  • More focus: Ingredients will include those to enhance focus and mood for increased alertness and ability to get more out of your workouts or daily tasks.
  • Potential muscle growth and recovery: As a result of less fatigue and increased energy, you may be able to get more out of your workouts and work to build more muscle and enhance recovery.
  • Potential weight loss: Along with more energy, you may burn more calories potentially leading to increased fat loss for those sculpting goals.

What To Look For

When choosing your energy drink, there are a few things to look for that can make or break what a good product can do. Your energy drink should be healthy, but also effective, and knowing what to look for will make that decision just a bit easier, even with such a saturated market.

  • Reputation Of Brand

Like all supplements and health products, the reputation of the brand matters. You want to be sure your energy drink is coming from a trusted source. This just takes a little research and some reading on their website. Reading through the reviews of their products can be a good way to know they are a company looking to produce the best for consumers.

  • Amount Of Caffeine

Energy drinks do use plenty of caffeine to increase energy and enhanced focus, but for those sensitive to caffeine, this is a big factor to look for (3). On top of that, if you are someone who drinks a lot of caffeine or other caffeinated drinks, or who may take a pre-workout or fat burner supplement high in caffeine as well, this is something to consider so you don’t overload with caffeine. Too much caffeine can have some nasty side effects, but we will cover those later.

  • Added Ingredients

Energy will add other ingredients like taurine, B vitamins, and others to enhance the effects of energy and focus. Considering these and the amount in your energy drink may affect your purchase. If you are new to energy drinks, doing some research into these ingredients is a good idea. For those more advanced lifters and nutrition folks, you may have a preference depending on your needs.

Related: What To Look For On Nutrition Labels & Why It Matters

  • Amount of Sugar

Sugar comes up all the time when we talk supplements because often times companies will add sugar to enhance the taste. But it isn’t necessary, and while artificial sweeteners have taken over, so too have natural ones so consider this when looking at your energy drink. For those health conscious individuals, sugar can have an adverse effect your gains, so don’t fall victim to drinking unwanted calories.

  • Flavors & Taste

As stated before, coffee can be bland if you don’t pump it full of sweeteners or other things, which can be a little bit unhealthy. With that said, your energy drinks should taste good and you should never have to suffer through some bland tasting product. Thankfully, these companies have begun experimenting with new and interesting flavors so you never grow bored of the taste and can have a product you will love.

  • Overall Price & Effectiveness

Price matters and we know that. Supplements unfortunately can get expensive, but it is possible to find the right product at an affordable price. When it comes to effectiveness, considering other customer reviews is a good idea just to see how these energy drinks have affected them.

Why Use an Energy Drink?

Using an energy drinks as a supplement is a good idea if it fits your lifestyle. For those looking to increase energy and focus and get the most out of their workouts, considering this into your routine can be a game changer for your goals. If you can handle caffeine and want to get a great workout, then an energy drink may be right for you.

However, there are alternatives for those who don’t want an energy drink like pre-workout supplements or just a regular cup of coffee. And for those looking to avoid stimulants, even consider a stim-free pre-workout for those great ingredients minus any caffeine or other stimulants and the side effects they may cause.

What is a Good Energy Drink Recommendation?

REDCON1 Energy

With 200mg natural caffeine, focus factors and metabolism supporting ingredients, REDCON1 helsp you stay energized, ultra focused, and feeling good - no matter what the day throws at you. Every flavor is delicious, crips and refreshing so as you hustle hard each day, you never sacrifice taste for high performance.

REDCON1 Energy is not just a regular energy drink. It can be used to replace your pre-workout, give you a lunchtime energy boost, or it can be used by the people that do not enjoy coffee, you can consume REDCON1 Energy to replace that!

REDCON1 ENERGY packs in 200mg of natural caffeine, which is right around the perfect amount for many people. There are also the focus factors, and metabolism supporting ingredients that are put into this drink. All of these ingredients are included to help you stay energized, focused concentrated, and feeling good, no matter what might go on throughout your day. REDCON1 makes sure that every flavor is delicious, crisp, and refreshing so you not only get the benefits of a good performing energy drink, but also great taste.

One more thing that makes REDCON1 Energy stand out is that every can supports the military. Each can purchased helps support military organizations and families with a percentage of proceeds from each can going towards those who need it most. Who doesn’t love a little patriotism to accompany a great product?


Redcon1 Energy

So, what exactly is in REDCON1 Energy that makes it stand out from other energy drinks? Aside from the included 200mg of natural caffeine that come right from green coffee beans, there are no carbs, no fat, and no protein. REDCON1 Energy is 0 calories! There are 15mg of sodium, with 90mg of potassium, 1.7mg of Vitamin B6 and 24mcg of Vitamin B12, as well as 5mg of Pantothenic Acid.

Other Ingredients:Carbonated Water, Citric Acid, L-Carnitine, Taurine, Natural and Artificial Flavors, Potassium Citrate, Alpha Glycerylphosphorylcholine (Alpha GPC), Coffee Beans (Coffea arabica), Sucralose, Potassium Sorbate (preserves freshness), Sodium Benzoate (preserves freshness), Acesulfame Potassium, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine HCI, Methylcobalamin.

With all these different ingredients, you may be wondering exactly what they do, so let’s take a look.

200mg Alpha GPC- This nootropic helps improve memory, concentration, and energy levels to aid in giving you the motivational boost.

1g L-Carnitine – This is a stimulant free fat burner that also helps preserve muscle mass.

Vitamins B6, B12, and B5- These vitamins are a natural way to help supercharge your mood.

200mg Natural Caffeine- This is to help promote alertness and wakefulness.

Keep in mind that with each flavor, the nutrition and supplement facts and ingredients may vary slightly.

You can pick up a 12 pack of REDCON1 Energy for $29.99! The flavors include Vice City, Freedom Frost, Sensationally Sour, Good Vibes Only, and Sour Peach Rings.

Check out our individual review on REDCON1 ENERGY!

What Happens When You Take in Too Much Caffeine?

Caffeine is a great way to boost your energy, however it can effect your body in ways you wouldn’t think of. For one, caffeine has fat burning abilities, which maybe you are not opposed to. But there are other effects that are much more negative. These include headaches, insomnia, nervousness, irritability, frequent urination or inability to control urination,, fast heartbeat, and muscle tremors More than likely, you do not want these, so it is recommended to watch your caffeine intake closely.

Wrap Up

Energy drinks are great supplements for those looking to enhance their energy and focus to power through any fatigue or sluggish feeling throughout the day. Getting an effective workout is important and looking to a quality energy drink can make or break those gains for the better. Consider an energy drink for all your workout needs, and if it doesn’t fit your lifestyle, then look into those alternatives. Either way, the option for you to have a great workout is right around the corner.

Let us know what you think in the comments below. Also, be sure to follow Generation Iron on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. 

*Images courtesy of Envato


  1. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “Energy Drinks”. (source)
  2. Petrelli, F.; et al. (2018). “Mental and physical effects of energy drinks consumption in an Italian young people group: a pilot study”. (source)
  3. McLellan, T.; et al. (2016). “A review of caffeine’s effects on cognitive, physical and occupational performance”. (source)
Austin Letorney
Austin Letorney is a writer, actor, and fitness enthusiast. As a former rower, he has shifted his focus to sharing his knowledge of the fitness world and strength sports with others.