Game Fuel is an energy drink specifically formulated for gamers. It’s fortified with caffeine to keep you going for long hours, and L-theanine to increase your alertness and accuracy during those long gaming sessions.
I’ve written an article about Game Fuel possibly being gluten-free, but could it also be vegan as well?
Veganism is a dietary practice that is free from animal or animal byproducts, and that doesn’t only include meat, but milk, eggs, cheese, and any food item that contains these ingredients.
In my book, in order to qualify as a vegan energy drink, Game Fuel would not only need to be free from animal-based ingredients, but also have a vegan certification such as those from Vegan Action, Vegan Society, V-Label, or any of the major and trust vegan certification agencies.
So is Game Fuel vegan?
While Game Fuel does not have a vegan certified label, there doesn’t seem to be any animal byproducts in the ingredients list. So no, Game Fuel is not certified vegan but I still think that it may be vegan-friendly.
I could end the article here, but let’s learn a bit more about vegan energy drinks and why I think that Game Fuel may still be vegan friendly even without the vegan label.
Game Fuel’s Nutrition Facts and Ingredients
Before we answer the question of whether Game Fuel is vegan or not, let’s go through a brief recap of Game Fuel’s ingredients and nutrition to see what’s exactly going on inside.
Game Fuel Nutrition Facts
The following table is a list of all the information stamped on Game Fuel’s nutrition label. I’ve written an article on Game Fuel Nutrition Facts if you want a full breakdown of all of Game Fuel’s nutrition information.
|Standard Value||Per 16 fl.oz can of Game Fuel|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||6.4mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid)||2.0mg|
Game Fuel Ingredients
The following table presents a brief analysis of Game Fuel’s ingredients including their properties, source and vegan status.
I will be doing a full breakdown of Game Fuel’s Ingredients in a future article so watch out for that if that’s something you’re interested to know more about.
|Ingredients||Properties||Source||Is It Vegan?|
|Citric Acid||Natural preservative, adds a sour taste to the drink||Plant-based/|
|High Fructose Corn Syrup||Sweetener derived from corn syrup.||Plant-based||Yes|
|Sodium Phosphates||Thickening agent and acidity regulator||Synthetic||Yes|
|L-Theanine||Found in tea, helps to improve cognitive function.||Plant-based||Yes|
|Sodium Benzoate||Preserves freshness||Synthetic||Yes|
|Acesulfame Potassium||Artificial Sweetener||Synthetic||Yes|
|Calcium Disodium Edetate||Preservative and Flavoring Agent||Synthetic||Yes|
|Ester of Rosin||Food Additive||Synthetic||Yes|
|Niacinamide (Vitamin B3)||B-Vitamin, essential nutrient||Synthetic||Yes|
|Panax Ginseng Root Extract||Improve memory and thinking skills.||Plant-based||Yes|
|Yerba Mate Extract||Rich in antioxidants and nutrients.||Plant-Based||Yes|
|Vitmain A, Nutrient||Synthetic||Yes|
Some ingredients are not included in the table, these ingredients are:
- Carbonated Water
- Natural Flavor
- Colors (Varies with Flavor)
Pros of Veganism
If you’ve ever noticed a lot of people going vegan, you might ask yourself, “Why do they go vegan?” Turns out that veganism has a lot of health benefits to offer.
Some benefits of adopting a vegan diet:
- A vegan diet is rich in nutrients
- A vegan diet may aid with weight loss
- A vegan diet may prevent certain cancers
- A vegan diet may improve kidney function
- A vegan diet may reduce the risk of heart disease
- A vegan diet may alleviate pain from arthritis
Cons of Veganism
Being a vegan is great, it means you care about the well-being of animals. But just like everything, it also has its disadvantages.
Some disadvantages of being vegan include:
- Developing micronutrient deficiency if you’re not careful
- Difficulty in getting enough iron
- Going vegan can have a challenge when it comes to getting sufficient protein
- Harder to eat outside since not every restaurant has vegan foods
- Being vegan can sometimes be expensive
Not all vegan diets are created equal.
For instance, poorly planned vegan diets may provide insufficient amounts of essential fatty acids, vitamin B12, iron, calcium, iodine, or zinc(Source).
That’s why it’s important to stay away from nutrient-poor, fast-food vegan options. Instead, base your diet around nutrient-rich whole plants and fortified foods. You may also want to consider supplements like vitamin B12.Healthline
What Makes an Energy Drink Vegan?
Without proper certification which usually comes in the form of a vegan label, an energy drink can’t be considered vegan even if all the ingredients are virtually free of animal byproducts.
For instance, the vegan certification agency, “Vegan Action” (better known as vegan.org) has a long list of very strict rules as to which products are qualified to receive a vegan label and which ones aren’t.
Some rules that some companies have unknowingly broken include having sourced animal-tested ingredients, manufacturing their products in a factory that also handles animal products and byproducts, or even using sugar that’s been processed using bone char.
While the evaluation period is only for 4-6 weeks, preparing the paperwork may prove to be lot more hassle than its worth, so perhaps that’s why most energy drink companies don’t bother to get their vegan certifications.
Be that as it may, there are still a lot of brands who have gone through all the trouble to get their vegan labels all so they can cater to their vegan customers.
Vegan Energy Drinks
The following table lists all the vegan drinks that have vegan labels on them although some have not displayed the vegan certification agency that approved them. So that’s something you may want to watch out for.
|Energy Drink||Vegan Certification|
|Positive Energy||Vegan Action|
|MATI Drink||Non GMO Project|
|Tru Power||Not mentioned|
|G.O.A.T Fuel||Not mentioned|
If you want to know more about how vegan CELSIUS specifically, have a look at the article I’ve written on whether or not CELSIUS is actually vegan, you’ll definitely find it informative.
Non-Vegan Energy Drinks
Unfortunately, not all energy drinks are vegan. Java Monster is non-vegan since it contains milk, while Monster’s Ultra Red is obviously color red which may be carmine that has been extracted from insects.
If you like energy drinks yet advocate veganism, here are ingredients you should avoid:
- Cochineal Extract
- Carmine Lake
Is Game Fuel Vegan?
So we’ve covered the benefits of going vegan and why some people adopt the lifestyle. Now it’s time to answer the question of “Is Game Fuel Vegan?”
The short answer is that officially, no, Game Fuel is not vegan, so if you’re a strict vegan or are allergic to animal byproducts, then you should avoid it just in case.
But for those who may not be hardcore vegans, we shall explore the reasons why I personally think Game Fuel may be vegan and why it’s ok if you drink it even if doesn’t have an official vegan certification.
Are the Vitamins in Game Fuel Vegan?
Vitamins are great for all your nutritional needs, but the only drawback is that not all vitamins are vegan. Other vitamins are animal-derived and contain animal products like gelatin which is obtained from animal skins and bones.
However, most companies tend to source synthetic vitamins simply because they’re much, much cheaper to manufacture than naturally derived compounds from vegetables or animal products, which can be unstable and tend to have a short shelf life.
Even if some companies advertise their supplements as organic or natural, some of those ingredients may still contain trace or even large amounts of synthetic vitamins.
Also, products are required by law to state on their packaging if any of their ingredients are sourced from animals, so since Game Fuel has no such warning stamped on the can, it’s safe to say that the vitamins used in the product are probably synthetic.
The form of vitamin A in Game Fuel is not mentioned. Although the normal synthetic versions commonly used in dietary supplements include retinyl acetate, retinyl palmitate, and beta-carotene.
It is important for eyesight, the immune system, and reproduction and is found abundantly in tomatoes, fish liver oil, broccoli, and red bell peppers.
The vitamin B6 in Game Fuel comes in the form of pyridoxine, which primarily aids in protein metabolism. It is found abundantly in fish, beef liver, and other organ meats.
In supplements, pyridoxine comes in the form of pyridoxine hydrochloride which is a synthetic form of vitamin B6 made in a lab using minerals and non-living elements.
The vitamin B3 in Game Fuel comes in the form of niacin, which is aids in converting nutrients into energy. It is found in abundance in red meat, poultry, and fish so it’s very hard to be deficient in it.
In supplements and pills, niacin comes in the form of nicotinic acid or nicotinamide, which are synthetic forms manufactured in labs.
The vitamin B5 in Game Fuel comes in the form of pantothenic acid, which aids in breaking down fats and reducing cholesterol levels. It is found abundantly in organ meats, nuts, avocado, and fortified cereals.
In supplements, vitamin B5 comes in the form of pantothenic acid or more commonly, calcium pantothenate. These are all synthetic varieties manufactured in a lab.
Is L-theanine in Game Fuel Vegan?
L-theanine is naturally found in green and black teas as well as in mushrooms. Its primary benefits include relieving stress, increasing focus, boosting immunity, and preventing certain cancers.
While Game Fuel does not specify from where its L-theanine is sourced, the compound is primarily derived through three ways: naturally extracted from black tea, through chemical synthesis (manufactured in a lab), and through biosynthesis (using bacterial enzymes).
L-theanine compounds that are derived through biosynthesis may not be suitable for vegans since bacteria are considered animals and the l-theanine they produce is considered an animal byproduct.
Is Sucralose in Game Fuel Vegan?
Things get a little messy when you ask whether sucralose is vegan or not. This compound apparently has a dark history that a lot of people want to forget, but while it’s synthetic, it has decades of blood on its name.
Not all artificial sweeteners or (even sucralose producers) are guilty of testing their products on animals though.
The specific brand I’m talking about is Splenda, which did a 20-year study to ensure that their product was safe for human consumption.
A lot of animals were killed to accomplish this but I will not go into all the gory and tragic details so you can read more about this issue here. But now we know why vegans have boycotted sucralose, specifically the one made by Splenda.
Is The Artificial Coloring In Game Vegan?
While the colors used in Game Fuel are by themselves vegan-friendly, some may have been tested on animals , which could be a cause of concern for ethically-minded vegetarians or vegans.
We don’t clearly know whether the colors used for Game Fuel have been tested on animals so this might make it hard for you if you’re a vegan merely for avoiding animal cruelty. However, if you’re a vegan due to health benefits — this may not be of your concern.
Game Fuel does not have proper vegan certification or a vegan label, nor has the product been specifically marketed in a way that makes it friendly to vegans, Be that as it may, there doesn’t seem to be any animal byproducts in the ingredients list.
While there is no indication of Game Fuel vegan on the product description at the back of the can or on the brand’s official website, the ingredients themselves seem to be fairly vegan, although some of their sources might not be.
If you’re an ethical vegan, you may want to stay away from Game Fuel because of the l-theanine, sucralose, and artificial coloring due to the vague ethics of their production.