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Irn-Bru Energy Drink Caffeine and Ingredients (Detailed)

As one of the most established beverage companies in the United Kingdom, Irn-Bru‘s main product even managed to dominate the seat of Scotland’s National Drink for more than a few years. Now that they have dabbled in the energy drink industry in 2019, does the variant have what it takes to shine brighter than its soft drink predecessor?

Irn-Bru energy drink contains 120 mg of caffeine, 153 calories, and 37g sugar (regular version) in a 330 ml can. Its genius combination of taurine and other vitamins just makes it entirely irresistible for people of every kind!

Curious what makes up Irn-Bru energy drinks and why it has the potential to become the chief among beverages in the UK?

In this article, I’ll be deciphering each and every component of Irn-Bru Energy to find out what makes this iron drink impenetrable.

Let’s get started!

Irn-Bru Sparking Flavour Soft Drink vs. Irn-Bru Energy Drink

Contrary to popular belief, Irn-Bru is a company name rather than a single beverage in a can. In fact, they have more than a few products launched in the market, two of which will be discussed today: the Irn-Bru soft drink and the energy drink variant.

Formulated by the firm A.G. Barr, the energy drink variant was recently concocted in 2019. This is entirely foreseeable and a cause of excitement for many as the first variant of soft drinks made by this company has become very popular in and outside the UK!

With much higher caffeine content mixed with taurine and an army of vitamins and minerals, Irn-Bru energy drinks may be the coming wind that will knock off its ancestor out of the ring.

Here is the caffeine comparison between Irn-Bru sparkling soft drink and energy drink:

Caffeine Content in 330 ml
Irn-Bru Soft Drink30mg
Irn-Bru Energy Drink120mg
The caffeine content in Irn-Bru energy drink

Irn-Bru soft drink has a good flavour and can be a tasty drink for everyone due to its sparkling flavour. It has been the mainstream beverage in the UK and has reached the far lands of Russia!

However, if you’re a beverage enthusiast looking for a counterpart energy drink that can shake the cores of your tastebuds, then maybe it will be worth it to check the Irn-Bru energy drink variant instead.

Ingredients of Irn-Bru

Before anything else, I have discovered that the Irn-Bru energy drinks have two variants that can cater to a wide variety of consumers. These are:

  • Irn-Bru energy drink with sugar
  • Irn-Bru energy drink without sugar (with added sweeteners) 

Check out the ingredients for each type of Irn-Bru energy drink in the table below:

Irn-Bru Energy Drink (Regular)Irn-Bru Energy Drink (Sugar-Free)
Carbonated WaterCarbonated Water
SugarSweeteners (Acesulfame K, Aspartame)
Citric AcidCitric Acid
Taurine (0.4%)Quinine
Acidity Regulator (Trisodium Citrate)Acidity Regulator (Trisodium Citrate)
Flavourings (including Ammonium Ferric Citrate)Flavourings (including Ammonium Ferric Citrate)
Caffeine (0.032%)Caffeine (0.032%)
Vitamins B6Vitamins B6
Vitamin B12Vitamin B12
Niacin Niacin
Preservative (Sodium Benzoate)Preservative (E211)
Colours (Sunset Yellow FCF, Ponceau 4R)Colours (Sunset Yellow FCF, Ponceau 4R)
Ingredients in Irn-Bru energy drink

Irn-Bru Nutrition Facts

Being aware of a drink’s value helps you in controlling your portion and maintaining your diet plans. Personally, I think that the nutritional value a beverage can offer is more important than the kick it provides.

After all, would you want to stay up awake while thinking of the consequences once the buzz wears off?

Nutrition Label on Irn-Bru Can
Nutrition Label on Irn-Bru Can

Below is the table comparing the nutritional facts of both Irn-Bru energy drink variants:

NutrientIrn-Bru energy drink Sugar Version (100 ml)Irn-Bru energy drink without Sugar Version(100ml)
Energy198kj/46kcal3kj/0.7kcal
Fat0g0g
Of which saturates0g0g
Carbohydrate11g0g
Of which sugars11g0g
Protein0g<0.5g
Salt0.08g<0.01g
Irn-Bru Energy Drink Regular vs. Sugar-Free Nutritional Facts

Side Effects of Irn-Bru Energy Drinks

Irn-Bru energy drink is considered safe and does not have any kind of side effects as long as it is consumed in moderation. However, some of its ingredients can have bad effects on your health due to prolonged consumption.

Irn-Bru contains an additive known as Ponceau 4R which is a red food colouring. While it is typically used in a variety of commercial products and is considered safe, too much of this colouring can still become harmful.

Some countries in the world have actually banned this ingredient due to its adverse effects on attention and activity. Aside from that, too much synthetic colouring can become a cause of:

Caffeine Content

Both the sugary and sugar-free versions of the Irn-Bru energy drink contain 120mg of caffeine in a 330ml can. This is entirely acceptable, especially as the worldwide market is teeming with beverages containing too much caffeine in one serving.

Since I’ve been an avid fan of energy drinks, I know just how much my personal caffeine limit is. I find that my caffeine preference ranges only from 50mg to 100mg per serving, but considering Irn-Bru’s little difference (plus the taste!), I’m very much willing to take it on days I’m craving an extra kick.

According to the European Food Safety Authority, a healthy adult should be taking only about 200mg of caffeine per serving and should limit themselves to 400mg total caffeine intake daily.

Taking too much can become a source of health implications in the future including:

Caffeine is a psychoactive compound and its excessive intake can be fatal in extreme situations. You may find yourself yearning for more and more caffeine until it causes you death – however, these circumstances are really rare.

Always keep in mind that everyone has a different level of caffeine tolerance, so what is safe for me might not be good for you. I would recommend that you take something with a far less caffeine level if you’re still exploring within the boundaries of your tolerance.

Here are some other alternatives if you’re looking for energy drinks that won’t overwhelm you with their caffeine content.

Sugar Content

Irn-Bru Energy has 11g sugar in 100 ml and around 36g of sugar in each 330ml can.

The NHS recommends the daily intake of sugar for adults to be no more than 37g. Looking at this, Irn-Bru is already on the verge of the sugar consumption limit. While the 100m can fall under the positive category, I think taking 330 ml of In-Bru at once can be detrimental to your health.

While it is true that it falls exactly on the daily sugar limit, the 330ml can is not the only product you consume every day that contains sugar. In fact, your other meals can be hiding additional sugar that you’re unaware of!

Exceeding the daily recommended sugar value can have complications as:

Check out this article where I list a few sugar-free energy drinks which will be beneficial even when you’re not on an extreme diet.

Artificial Sweeteners

The sugar-free version of the Irn-Bru energy drink has two added sweeteners that are Acesulfame K and Aspartame. Both of these have their own effects on health when consumed for a long period of time.

Acesulfame K is known to contain methylene chloride which is carcinogenic. Consumption of methylene chloride can cause:

On the other hand, Aspartame is the most widely used artificial sweetener but it also has its own side effects that may lead to seizures, stroke, dementia, and cancer.

Quinine

One of the ingredients in Irn-Bru energy drink that caught my eye is quinine – commonly used in medications to treat malaria. However, when used in drinks, it is used as a flavouring similar to bitter lemon.

With its unique charm, quinine has long snatched the attention of patisseries because of its distinct tastes. If you’re keen on food products that have tangy, citrus tastes, then it may be quinine that is tickling your taste buds.

It is safe for consumption in small amounts and is most often used in tonic water. However, too much quinine has some adverse effects on health such as:

  • Nausea
  • Restlessness
  • Difficulty hearing or ringing in the ears
  • Confusion
  • Nervousness

Flavours of Irn-Bru Energy Drinks

The Irn-Bru energy drink does not have a variety of flavours. While most caffeinated beverages release a long line of flavours that can cater to different individuals, I like that Irn-Bru stuck to tradition and didn’t forget its roots!

It only has one classic flavour. However, it does have 2 variants: the Sugary and the Sugar-free version.

Where to Buy Irn-Bru?

A pack of 12 Irn-Bru Energy 330ml cans costs around £16.99 while a single serving costs only around £2 per can. Personally speaking, I think it’s quite a good price considering Irn-Bru’s reputation and nutrients to offer.

Energy Drinks on shelves in a store in UK
Different energy drinks in a store in the UK.

You can certainly buy Irn-Bru from your local grocery stores if you live in Scotland or anywhere in the UK such as Walmart. I always prefer buying online because I don’t like the hassle of going out for groceries.

Some good online platforms to buy your energy drinks are:

Brief Review

If you’d ask me, I’d grade Irn-Bru energy drinks a whopping 7/10. The caffeine is just the right amount and provides a decent kick that will last you throughout the day. However, what makes it a dealbreaker for me is the amount of sugar in the 330ml can.

On the hunt for a more in-depth review about Irn-Bru energy drinks? Check out this video below:

Review of Irn-Bru Energy Drink

Alternatives to Irn-Bru Energy Drinks

If you want to try some other energy drinks other than Irn-Bru you can go for any of these best-sellers: 

Other Notable Mentions

My Final Verdict

Irn-Bru is a phenomenal drink with 120mg of caffeine, 153 calories, and 37g sugar or no sugar (depending upon the variant you choose) per serving.

The 120mg of caffeine gives a good energy boost and improves productivity. While it is not my first choice, I sometimes find myself craving the unique tonic touch of Irn-Bru energy drinks. I even drink it before my workout sessions to burn those extra calories!

If you’re an avid energy drink enthusiast like me, there are times where we get surprised about a beverage’s sugar content. This is what I felt when I got the big can containing 37g of sugar! However, as there is a sugar-free version, I still get to enjoy this iron brew once in a while.

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About Adrian Carter

Adrian writes about energy drinks and their ingredients to shine a light on the facts behind the brand names.

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