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What Is a Good Energy Drink? (Things to Look For)

It may seem hard to distinguish between the large number of energy drinks being sold, what with the plethora of options, flavors, and ingredients available for you in every which way.

However, you can shorten the list of prospective energy drinks by looking for some key factors in them,

These include the caffeine amount, essential nutrients, sugar content, taste, price, and availability.

I know it’s overwhelming to choose the right brand, but I have compiled a list of my criteria for what makes a good energy drink.

Read on for a more detailed insight into these along with some of my recommendations!

Bing energy can
Energy drink worth drinking!

What You Should Look For

This can differ between all kinds of people and depends entirely on what you are going to be using the energy drink for.

Some drinks may be more suitable as pre-workouts and others can be preferable for people simply wanting a quick boost.

Once you have an idea of your reason to buy an energy drink, it will become easier to filter among brands and choose the best fit for your needs.

Caffeine Content

Energy drink brands contain different amounts of caffeine, and some may contain up to 300mg in each can.

If you want to have an energy drink as a daily booster and don’t need anything too intense, an average 150mg per 16 fl oz can is a standard amount you can start from.

If you are looking for an energy drink to take before a workout, you can try higher amounts until you find an optimal drink that works best for you.

The effects of caffeine can also differ from person to person. Some may find small amounts to have a significant impact, so always experiment with low doses before jumping to larger quantities.

However, you should not exceed 400mg in a single day, doing so can lead to several adverse effects.

Essential Nutrients in an Energy Drink

It isn’t just caffeine that makes an energy drink work as it does, other ingredients help formulate the drink to do what it does best.


B Vitamins play an important role within the body in turning fat into energy. Most energy drinks come with these.

Niacin or Vitamin B3 is especially popular and has several vital roles to play within the body including keeping the nervous system and the skin healthy.

Other Vitamins like B5, B6, and B12 all help to provide an energy boost.


Taurine is another important energizer added to energy drinks. It aids caffeine and B Vitamins in keeping fatigue at bay and giving you an energy boost.

Its use has been controversial, with rumors arising on its origins, claiming that it is derived from bull’s urine. This is false: Taurine is synthetically produced for large-scale use in foods and beverages.

Sugar Content

A cup of sugar
Granulated white cane sugar in a sack with a scoop.

The amount of sugar is also an important determinant of how an energy drink will affect you.

Most energy drinks overdo this and include large amounts. Make sure that the amount included is under 30 grams.

The AHA recommends not having more than 36 grams in a single day, since you will most likely be intaking sugar from other sources as well. It is better to play it safe and get an energy drink with less than 30g.

Other energy drinks may not contain sugar at all. These rely on artificial sweeteners like Sucralose to sweeten their drink, this is a better alternative to large contents of natural sugar.

Watch the video below for more insight into how excessive sugar affects the human body.

Energy Drink Taste

The nutritional content isn’t the only factor you should be considering, your preferred energy drink should taste good as well.

I always say that the art of energy drinks is a journey. One that involves tasting many varieties and finding out which flavors you like best.

If you aren’t really into spending money, don’t worry that’s what I’m here for!

But in general, I’d recommend experimenting as much as you can. There are brands, such as GG Gamer Supps and Rogue, that have wide flavor ranges. The benefit of these kinds of brands is that you can sample many flavors from their line and determine what you like. Some even sell variety packs!

As a rule of thumb, I find that certain brands also adhere to flavor “types”. They become known for sweet, gummy flavors (like Reign) or maybe they have fresh fruity flavors (like Uptime).

Price of the Drink

You’ll want to choose an energy drink that doesn’t hurt your wallet a lot. The average price for a 16 fl oz can is below $2.

You can save even more by buying in bulk for a discounted price and stocking up for the entire month.

Some energy drink brands even have affiliate programs. Searching on YouTube for people who have been sponsored by your chosen brand and buying through their link can help you secure even cheaper prices.


You search online and find the best-suited energy drink for you, but then you discover that it isn’t available in any of your local stores. That would be a bummer.

Fortunately, you can look at online stores such as Amazon and Target, which usually stock most of these brands and their variations. You can even get promos and discounts!

While it’s convenient to get my favorite drink at the corner store, in my experience, there are more flavors available online. Plus, it’s just more convenient to get my orders shipped.

What Are Some Good Energy Drinks?

Here are some of my preferred energy drinks you can try.

Other Notable Mentions

Final Thoughts

Many factors make an energy drink a good one. With so many brands out there, you might end up having a hard time picking one.

I have listed all the essential components you should keep your eye open for when buying an energy drink.

This includes their caffeine content, sugar, price, availability, and taste. Have a look at all aspects and pick the best suited for your needs.

But if you wanna know what my ideal energy drink qualities are, I have to say that I like my energy drinks with low caffeine, sprinkled with vitamins and other micronutrients, low in sugar and calories, with a fresh citrus taste and light carbonation!

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