The Best Energy Drink Buyer's Guide for Clean Energy

The world seems to run on caffeine. Everywhere you look, coffee shops are popping up, and more and more energy drinks are stocking the shelves of convenience stores. They each have their unique selling point. Some are ultra-concentrated. Others are low in sugar. Some just flat-out look cool. 

With all of the options, we know that it can be quite a challenge to find the best energy drink. You don’t have to run off and sample every beverage, though. We’ve created this buyer’s guide to energy drinks so that you can take the guesswork out of fueling your long day. 

If you stick around until the end, we’re sure you’ll feel more confident the next time you buy an energy drink because we’ll cover everything you need to know about the product. We’re talking: the history of energy drinks (you’ll learn more than just a fun fact to pull out at your next party), the most popular brands, and if they even work. You’ll also find out more about some of the side effects that have sent consumers looking for a better alternative to the original energy drink.

Finally, by the end, you should be able to confidently pick up an energy drink, look at the label, and determine if it will be worth the purchase. We’ll even throw in our top suggestion for a clean energy drink to send you in the right direction. Keep reading to become the ultimate energy drink know-it-all.

A Quick Recap of Energy Drink History

Caffeine has been around long before anyone was writing anything down. Don’t worry—we’re not going to turn this into a snooze fest. After all, we already know you’re here looking for energy. 

The First Energy Drink

We think it is worth noting, however, that relative to the history of caffeine, energy drinks are pretty new. The concept of the modern-day energy drink wasn’t around until the early 1960s. It was developed by Taisho, a pharmaceutical company in Japan, and the first drink was a product called Lipovitan D.

The company labeled it as an energizing tonic, and it was packaged in bottles very similar to the ones you might find in a hotel minibar! Originally, this tonic was produced to provide enough energy to truck drivers and factory workers so that they could stay awake while working long night shifts.

Unlike the energy drinks we have come to know and love, this product was treated more as a medicine. If you were to smell it, you would think it was cough syrup. However, it shares one very specific similarity to modern energy drinks, and that’s taurine. This is the leading ingredient in name-brand energy products, but these bottles contain far more servings.

Each mini bottle contains 3,000 mg of taurine. On the bottle, you’ll find a label that warns people not to consume more than 100 mg daily, which is how much you will find in a single Red Bull can.

Red Bull® Grows Its Wings

Since Lipovitan hit the shelves, more drinks started to become popular in Asian culture, and that’s where Red Bull® comes in. Dietrich Mateschitz was visiting Bangkok when he first had the chance to try one of the tonics, and he was so amazed by the effects that he partnered with another Japanese manufacturer to bring the drink to the global market under the name Red Bull®. This didn’t happen until 1984, and it was initially only available in Europe. It took more than a decade to finally make it to the United States. 

By 1997, Red Bull® was finally on the shelves in the US, and it took off. People were crazy about the drink's effects caused by the perfect combination of carbonation, taurine, and caffeine. Not only did it give them more energy, but it also increased focus. Since it had such success all over the world, it’s no surprise that other brands wanted to get in on the action. Today, you have countless options in the energy drink marketplace.

What Are the Most Popular Energy Drinks?

As one of the first energy drinks, it’s no surprise that Red Bull® remains one of the consumers' most popular options. Not only do they have a well-known product, but they also do an exceptional job of marketing their drinks with events like Red Bull® Magnitude surfing contests and Supercup Races. 

Other energy drinks have taken note of Red Bull®’s success, and many have tried to follow in their footsteps. A few have been successful. Today, there are a handful of energy drinks that have become household names. You might have heard of:

So Do They Really Work?

These drinks didn’t become such a sensation just because they tasted good. People truly drink them for the effect they give, so the answer is yes! They really do work. 

Several studies have shown the effectiveness of energy drinks, and they concluded that the beverages do improve physical endurance. That means they can provide you with the energy you need to power through a run or just a long day of work. It’s important to note that far less evidence shows a connection between energy drinks and improved muscle strength or power. 

The reason that most energy drinks work is that they contain both caffeine and taurine. Caffeine is a stimulant, so it helps to keep you alert and awake. Taurine is another effective ingredient because research suggests it can support mitochondria, which is the cell's powerhouse. Many energy drink brands also include vitamin B12 and ginseng.

Both of these ingredients are found to provide an overall increase in energy levels. When you combine all of these, you get a product that keeps you alert and focused even when you have to work overtime.

Common Side Effects of Energy Drinks

Unfortunately, energy drinks with too much caffeine don’t come without their risks. Remember that warning label on the tiny Lipovitan D bottle? People must use caution when consuming energy drinks. Too much taurine can make you sick. You might experience the following:

Taurine isn’t the only concern.

Energy drinks can have other adverse side effects due to the combination of sugar and other energy-boosting ingredients. Some people are more sensitive than others, so it’s important to use caution and limit your intake of these highly caffeinated beverages.

For example, these drinks may cause an increase in heart rate as well as blood pressure. Some consumers also report getting the jitters, which can be displayed in shaking hands. For other people, energy drinks cause problems with sleep and anxiety.

There Has to Be Something Better, Right?

If you don’t want to consume energy drinks that can harm your health, we don’t blame you! We think it’s important for people to know all the effects and options available so that they can find the right choice for their well-being.

Fortunately, plenty of companies have started to create healthy energy drink alternatives to some of the leading energy drink brands. These products provide people with clean energy and leave out all of the stuff that makes you feel bad.

If you want to start shopping for effective and healthy energy drinks, we recommend that you learn more about what ingredients provide clean energy. Keep reading to learn more about what you should look for on the nutrition facts labels.

What Should You Look for in the Best Energy Drink?


 As you start to skim the label on your energy drink, you’ll want to look out for many ingredients. We recommend that you specifically look for three things when you are trying to narrow down which drink gives you the most energy without the negative side effects.   

1. No Added Sugar

There are several reasons that a person may want to avoid sugar in their energy drink. Whether you’re diabetic or on a diet, having too much sugar in an energy drink can make you feel sick. Some of the drinks are packed full of artificial sweeteners to improve taste, but these sugars can lead to nausea and vomiting.

That’s not all! 

We recommend that consumers stay away from drinks that are packed full of simple carbohydrates. These sugars are what cause the infamous sugar rush and the ultimate crash. Though the sugar might give your energy drink a bigger boost, it won’t last long. In a few hours, you’ll feel tired again, and there’s a chance you’ll feel worse than before you drank the beverage.

2. Clean Caffeine Sources

Rather than looking for which energy drink has more caffeine, you should see where it comes from. There are several sources of caffeine, but not all are created equal. Some are healthier for you than others, and those are typically referred to as clean caffeine sources. 

What are some examples of clean caffeine?

We recommend that you look for labels that have tea in them. Tea provides the body with a much more sustainable boost in energy so you can avoid the dramatic effects. Green tea, in particular, is a great source of clean energy. However, yerba mate is another great option. This is a type of herbal tea that has been shown to decrease tiredness and fatigue. These ingredients also contain several vitamins.

3. Healthy Nootropics

While caffeine is perfect for providing you with more energy, you should look for ingredients that also help to increase your focus and attention. Fortunately, many energy drinks include nootropics, which is a substance that claims to improve a person’s cognitive function. They especially boost mood, attention, memory, and motivation. 

Taurine is a great example of a nootropic, so it’s no wonder it’s often included in energy drinks. Alpha-glycerophosphocholine (Alpha-GPC) is an ingredient that can boost brain function in the areas of learning and memory. GABA is another nootropic that can relieve stress in addition to only improving focus and mental clarity.

What Other Ingredients Are in the Most Effective Energy Drink?

If you are looking for the most effective energy drink, it should be a product that provides you with well-rounded benefits. Some beverages are designed to give you more hydration. Others can aid you in the sports recovery process.

While there is no shortage of energy drink formulas to achieve different goals, we recommend that you look for a product that has at least a few of the following ingredients: 


B Complex Vitamins

Vitamin C


These are just a few suggestions to guide you as you start shopping for the best energy drinks. Of course, you should consult a doctor or nutritionist if you have special dietary needs. Since Red Bull was first introduced to the United States, the market has exploded, so we’re sure that you will be able to find an effective beverage that meets all of your health and wellness needs. 

The Most Energizing Energy Drink


At LIFEAID, we offer a variety of beverages, but our FITAID Energy product is by far the most energizing energy drink. Each serving of FITAID Energy provides you with 200 mg of clean energy. That’s right—we don’t use any fake stuff in our products. All of the caffeine from this drink is sourced from green tea extract so that you can get a gradual and more sustainable increase in energy.  

In addition to reducing fatigue, our FITAID Energy drink also aids athletes in sports recovery. This means it is the ultimate beverage to consume after a tough workout. Additives like glucosamine may support joint health and reduce post-workout inflammation. The BCAAs also may be the key to preventing your muscles from breaking down after intense resistance exercise. 

Those aren’t the only clean ingredients you can expect. FITAID Energy is also packed full of:

Want to know the best part about this drink?

It’s perfect for nearly everyone. The drink is vegan, gluten-free, sodium-free, paleo-friendly, Kosher, and non-GMO. Therefore, it fits into a lot of restricted diets. It’s also a low-calorie energy drink at only 15 calories with 3 g of sugar, and there are no artificial sweeteners.

Instead, FITAID comes in four delicious and clean flavors, such as:

Therefore, we are confident that you will find a drink that you love.

Most Effective Energy Drink to Improve Focus

If you don’t need assistance with sports recovery, you may be more interested in a drink that improves both energy and focus. At LIFEAID, we offer a product designed to deliver clean energy and a brain boost by combining nootropics with vitamins and a clean caffeine source.

Unlike the highly caffeinated FITAID Energy, FOCUSAID offers just 100 g of caffeine that comes from a mix of green tea extract and Yerba Mate leaves. This drink comes with only 40 calories per can and 7 g of sugar, so you can rest assured that none of the energy is coming from artificial sweeteners.  

What ingredients do we add to improve focus?

Our goal is to only use clean herbs, vitamins, and nutrients to support brain health, so our drinks include additives like:


B Complex Vitamins



If you are looking for a zero-sugar alternative to FOCUSAID, we have you covered! You can choose from either FOCUSAID Zero or our FOCUSAID Go packet. This convenient powder is perfect for on-the-go hydration as well. You can simply mix it into your favorite bottle of water. Either way, you’ll still get 100 mg of clean energy.

Learn More About How to Find the Best Energy Drink for You

We know that we just gave you a lot of information to absorb. By now, you’re an expert on the history of energy drinks. Okay, maybe not quite an expert, but now you should know more about these beverages than you did before! Most importantly, you know about the different ingredients that you should look for and avoid. 

Are you finally ready to start shopping for long-lasting energy drinks that use clean ingredients? If so, you don’t have to go far. LIFEAID makes it easy to power through your day with FITAID Energy or FOCUSAID.

You can easily shop for all of our products directly from our website. Free shipping is available with any monthly subscription. You can also save 10% on every purchase when you enroll.


If you would rather sample our energy drinks before you commit, you can make a one-time purchase for a 12-pack in any flavor. We also now offer a FITAID Energy variety pack, so you can try all four flavors to see which one is your favorite. We strongly encourage you to try any of our other products if you are looking for hydrating beverages that meet your other needs.

We know that there are still some people who prefer to do their shopping in person. If that’s you, you’ll be happy to know that we also sell our products in a variety of retail locations across the country. You can use our convenient store locator to find a location closest to you.

The tool will even show you which product each store carries, so you don’t have to go on a wild goose chase. With all the ways we make it easy to access clean energy drinks, what’s stopping you from trying FITAID Energy today?