As an aware consumer, it is your responsibility to make informed choices about the things you eat and drink. Reading the food labels and nutrition facts is the first step to it!
Any product that makes a health claim needs to put its ingredient list and nutrition facts on the can transparently.
Just like ZOA which claims to be a healthy energy brand co-founded by actor and retired wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Jhonson.
Unlike typical energy drinks, ZOA is marketed as a healthy energy drink that aims to hydrate you with Its refreshing formula and the B vitamins will replenish your body as a pre-workout drink.
You can easily add it to your daily hustle to keep yourself hydrated and enhance your focus and immunity. But before you blindly believe this health claim made by ZOA, it is better to go through its nutritional facts.
So let’s go!
Ingredients of ZOA Energy
Zoa has carbonated water as its base along with the following ingredients to get you the maximum energy in a can:
- Natural Flavors
- Green Tea Extract
- Citric Acid
- Acerola Juice Powder
- Camu Camu Extract
- Natural Caffeine
- Sodium Citrate
- Stevia Extract
- Amino Acids (l-leucine, L-glutamine, L-valine, L-isoleucine, L-arginine, L-citrulline)
- Beta-carotene Color
- Potassium Citrate
- Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
- B Vitamins (Riboflavin, Cholecalciferol Niacinamide, Folic Acid, Calcium Pantothenate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamin Hydrochloride, Cyanocobalamin)
- Magnesium Lactate
- Choline Bitartrate
- Tumeric Extract
Nutrition Facts of ZOA
ZOA offers 100 calories and most of them come from carbohydrates in the drink. As you can see in the nutrition facts table below.
|Amount per serving
|Includes Added Sugar
ZOA contains Camu Camu which is a fruit most popular for its medicinal benefits. It is rich in antioxidants, polyphenols, and most importantly Ascorbic Acid “vitamin C”.
According to NCBI, there is 52.5 gm of ascorbic acid per 100 ml of Camu Camu.
The main goal of the manufacturers was to use Camu Camu to add the benefits of vitamin C to their energy drinks.
According to an article published on Medical News Today, Camu Camu has a list of minerals:
These minerals help replenish your energy levels during sweaty summers.
Acerola is a type of berry that is rich in ascorbic acid. It is mostly used as a medicine to treat scurvy (caused by vitamin C deficiency). It is a nutritionally dense fruit containing vitamin A, B1, B2, and niacin.
It is used to cure:
- Common cold
- Cancer prevention
- Tooth decay
Essential Amino Acids
The branched-chain amino acids are made up of three amino acids: leucine, isoleucine, and valine. These are necessary amino acids that your body can’t produce by itself.
ZOA energy drinks include these essential amino acids in the form of the following:
ZOA energy drinks include these three BCAAs, to be exact, 250 mg. While they seem like a fantastic addition to a drink, they are not present in a sufficient amount to provide any meaningful benefit.
An article on My Fit Fuel suggested women to consume 3-5g of BCCAs and men to consume 15-20g of BCCAs in a day.
Sugar in ZOA Energy Drink
In the 100 calorie version of ZOA, there are 23 grams of added sugar besides this sugar content Stevia is used to add extra sweetness. That’s a lot of sugar in a single can of 16 fl. oz.
According to the Harvard University, AHA recommended men should consume no more than 36 g of sugar (about 9 tsp) per day, while women should consume no more than 25 g (about 6 tsp).
Consuming sugar more than the recommended amount can impact your health in different ways:
Here is a video explaining the damages of added sugar:
ZOA also offers a sugar-free version with only 15 calories, and it is sweetened with sucralose and acesulfame K. However there are some concerns arising recently about their uses.
Sucralose is a low-calorie, high-intensity sweetener 600 times sweeter than sugar. It is marketed under the brand name ‘Splenda.’
According to PubMed, sucralose has been shown to alter intestinal flora by reducing the number of beneficial bacteria by half.
According to a study on NCBI, sucralose has been shown in animals to enhance inflammation in the body. Long-term inflammation can lead to diseases such as obesity and diabetes.
Acesulfame potassium or Ace K is a very versatile artificial sweetener that is used in a range of foods and drinks. It is stable when heated. Because of this, it is in many baked items.
Methylene chloride is a carcinogen that is present in acesulfame. Medicine Net indicated that long-term exposure to it can result in the following disorders in humans:
- Mental confusion
- Liver effects
- Renal effects
- Vision problems
Sodium in ZOA Energy Drink
ZOA has 200 mg of sodium per 16 fl. oz. can.
Sodium is found naturally in foods and can also be added during food processing or preparation. The human body needs this mineral in order to balance the fluids and transmit nerve impulses.
It is also used for muscle contraction and hydrochloric acid production in the stomach. Some of the best sources of sodium are:
- Table salt
- Soy sauce
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
Sodium is necessary for the proper functioning of muscles and nerves, which work together to coordinate movement throughout your body.
It’s also important for transferring nerve impulses, contracting and relaxing muscles, and maintaining proper fluid balance within cells.
Additionally, sodium helps maintain normal blood volume so that your heart doesn’t have to work as hard to pump blood throughout your body, which lowers stress on the cardiovascular system.
Sodium helps transport nutrients into and out of cells, and it plays a key role in nerve function and normal muscle contractions. It can be found in any food that contains salt.
However, too much sodium affects your health in a very unpleasant way.
According to AHA, you should consume no more than 2300 mg of sodium per day. Limiting your salt intake to 1000 mg improves your heart health.
If you consume sodium more than the recommended limit, you may experience these effects:
- Kidney diseases
- Heart diseases
- High blood pressure
- Fluid retention
- Stomach problems
Calories in ZOA Energy Drink
ZOA has 100 calories per 16 fl. oz. can. which is a lot for a healthy energy drink. Most of these calories come from carbs (sugars) in the drink.
According to NHS, a healthy adult woman and man require 2000 to 2500 calories per day respectively to maintain their body weight.
If you are on a calorie deficit diet, then 100 calories in just a single can may be too much to lose weight.
Don’t worry though, there is also a sugar-free version of ZOA with only contains 15 calories and provides you with the same nutrients as the sugar version but with lesser calories. You can take it as a pre-workout or as a quick pick-me-up.
When you are on a diet, you want to get energy without consuming too many calories. So, you can try these no-calorie energy drinks or energy drinks for losing weight to get energy without bothering about calories or weight gain!
Is there Natural Caffeine in ZOA?
Yes, ZOA offers 160 mg of all-natural caffeine from green tea extract. Since they claim to be a healthy energy drink brand, they’re doing good by lowering the caffeine per serving, so you won’t get the jittery feeling right after drinking it.
FDA recommends consuming 400 mg of caffeine per day.
Overconsumption of caffeine can cause:
ZOA has only 160 mg which is alright. You can drink two cans of ZOA at maximum and still, you will not cross the caffeine limit. (nope, I’m not encouraging you.. just saying).
You can have non-caffeinated energy drinks if you want to stay within the recommended caffeine intake limit and need a sudden energy boost.
Is Natural Caffeine Any Different from Synthetic One?
Yes, it is different from synthetic caffeine.
Caffeine from the green tea extract binds to the antioxidants in the tea. As a result, your body absorbs caffeine more slowly.
So, you will not get the same instant caffeine high as you would with synthetic caffeine.
Caffeine will gradually be metabolized over time, providing you with more prolonged energy. Caffeine is lacking in Green Tea owing to one of the antioxidants called L-Theanine, which is an antagonist to caffeine.
Is ZOA Energy Good for You?
All the ingredients in ZOA are safe for you. Just drinking it in moderation will do you no harm.
However, it is a soft reminder to not rely entirely on energy drinks to get by your day. Resting, taking naps, exercising, and eating healthy are also necessary.
Plus, turmeric extract is also a good addition to the drink. Turmeric has an anti-inflammatory response and can heal wounds and muscle soreness. Props to the creators of ZOA for these good ingredients.
Is ZOA Healthy?
Yes, all its ingredients are healthy.
ZOA includes vitamin C from ascorbic acid found in camu camu and acerola. It also contains amino acids for muscular building, nourishing vitamins, and the appropriate amount of pure caffeine for long-lasting energy.
So, it is not a bad choice for gaining energy.
Yet, what concerns me is the high sodium content in the drink. ZOA contains 200 mg of sodium. Sodium is usually added to energy drinks to regulate energy balance in energy drinks but too much of it can be very harmful.
Alternatives to ZOA Energy Drink
Celsius is a healthy energy drink brand with just 10 calories and is packed with micronutrients. It is a gluten-free, non-GMO, and fat-burning energy drink.
Almost everybody has heard that Red Bull gives you wings. Red Bull’s mix contains caffeine, taurine, and various other ingredients that help in physical performance and great cognitive abilities.
It contains a safe amount of 80 mg of caffeine and offers 110 calories.
Bang energy is one of the most caffeinated beverages available on the market with zero calories. Each 16-ounce serving contains a whopping 300 mg of caffeine, as well as a variety of B Vitamins and their own proprietary ingredient, Super Creatine.
So, if you are looking for a zero-calorie energy drink then you can give it a try. However, beware of the creatine level as it can have some negative effects on your health.
No doubt, ZOA has a pretty good list of nutrients and ingredients for an energy drink. It is gluten-free and has a balanced ratio of calories to sugar.
It is free from artificial flavors. Due to the presence of B Vitamins and BCCAs, it can be your next pre-workout drink. It contains electrolytes for hydration and antioxidants for boosting immunity.
But besides all these pros there’s always a con which is drinking too much of it will not be healthy for you.