I get it, we all need a pick me up now and then. No matter where you go, energy drinks are lined up at the checkout register at your favorite grocery store and even at every gas station.
But can energy drinks kick you out of ketosis? Energy drinks in and of themselves won't kick you out of ketosis unless they are also filled with tons of sugar. Most sugar-free energy drinks are generally ok when it comes to getting in and staying in ketosis as they contain very little to no calories.
In this article, I'll go over why an energy drink may or may not kick you out of ketosis, what's in most of the popular energy drinks, and things you should look out for to stay in ketosis.
Can energy drinks kick you out of ketosis?
Energy drinks in and of itself don't contain any ingredients that would inherently kick you out of ketosis. The ONLY ingredient that it could potentially contain that would kick you out of ketosis is sugar.
As long as you are getting the no/low-carb version of the energy drink, you should generally be ok to consume it on your ketogenic diet. Your best bet is to check the nutrition label and see if there are added sugars and how many carbohydrates the drink contains if any.
Just as a precaution, of course, because you never know.
In some cases, certain energy drinks will list sugar alcohols under carbohydrates. Still, due to the way sugar alcohols are digested (or better, not digested), they shouldn't impede your ketogenic diet and shouldn't count toward your net carb intake.1
Ketosis is a metabolic state that occurs when the body produces ketones. Your body will only produce ketones when carbohydrates are in short supply, and liver glycogen stores are low, which is usually a result of dietary carb restriction.
What are in energy drinks?
Taking a look at the most popular low-carb energy drinks on the market, you can see that that the main ingredients are generally:
- Carbonated water
- Citric acid
- Sugar alcohol or sweetener of choice
- Natural and artificial flavors
- Caffeine (The main energy ingredient)
While the other ingredients may vary, you are more or less getting the above ingredients in your energy drink.
As far as proprietary blends or other miscellaneous ingredients in the energy drink, they are usually in such insignificant amounts to make a meaningful difference. The additional ingredients are more for marketing and adding fancy words on the label, then providing any stimulatory or cognitive benefit.
This includes ingredients like:
- B Vitamins
This isn't to say that the ingredients don't do anything, but they are in such small quantities that you wouldn't be getting an effective dose. Most of the stimulatory effects you will notice are coming from the caffeine.
That said, none of the ingredients above would have any effect on ketosis to any measurable degree.
Moral of the story, if you want more stimulation, get the drink with the highest amount of caffeine.
But is X energy drink keto-friendly?
Since I know some people will inevitably ask, below are a few of the most popular energy drinks on the market today and how they may or may not affect ketosis.
Is Rockstar zero carb keto-friendly?
I don't know what it is, but Rockstar is my favorite of the low/no-carb energy drinks. Since this is my blog, I get to put it first on the list, and obviously, that will mean that you can drink Rockstar zero carb on a ketogenic diet.
Don't confuse Rockstar zero-carb with Rockstar sugar-free, even though both are acceptable on keto.
Rockstar Pure Zero will generally contain between 240mg and 300mg of caffeine per can with erythritol (sugar alcohol) as its primary sweetener.
While I don't particularly get any stimulatory effect from caffeine, sometimes I like to drink something other than water. Call me weird, but I like the taste of energy drinks.
What's even weirder is that my favorite flavor of the Rockstar pure zero is cotton candy, and, generally, I'm not too fond of cotton candy or birthday cake flavors.
Are Reign energy drinks keto-friendly?
Reign is probably the biggest (newest) energy drink on the market today, brought to you by…
Monster Beverage Corp., the same company that has the popular energy drink, wait for it… Monster Energy.
Bet you didn't see that one coming.
Monster undoubtedly had to come out with another energy drink to compete with the other relatively new energy drink Bang from VPX Sports.
While I can't comment on the different flavors of Reign, I've been getting more and more questions about it as of late and whether or not you can drink Reign energy drinks on a ketogenic diet.
Are reign energy drinks keto friendly? Yes, you can drink Reign energy drinks on a ketogenic diet. An entire can of Reign contains ~2g of carbohydrates, so make sure you count them toward your net carb count for the day.
Reign energy drinks report having 300mg of caffeine per can and sweetened with Sucralose (known by the popular brand name Splenda).
Are Bang energy drinks keto-friendly?
I want to say Bang has been getting all the attention lately. Ever since Bang hit the streets, the amount of people who ask me if they can drink Bang on a ketogenic diet has become too many to count.
Are Bang energy drinks keto-friendly? Yes, Bang energy drinks are keto-friendly as they are listed as having 0 calories and 0 carbohydrates.
Each can of Bang also lists having 300mg of caffeine and sweetened with Sucralose.
Will drinking bang energy drinks kick you out of ketosis? Again, the answer is no.
Is Redline keto-friendly?
Another popular energy drink, mainly among fitness enthusiasts, is Redline.
What most people don't realize is that Redline came way before Bang, and Bang might be kind of a spinoff of Redline from VPX since it has been around for quite a while now.
Bang was VPX's way of getting into the mainstream energy drink game, and they were quite successful at doing so from what I can tell.
Is redline keto-friendly? Similar to Bang, Redline is also keto-friendly. Redline lists as having 0 calories, meaning 0 carbohydrates. The primary sweetener in Redline is Sucralose, and each bottle also contains 300mg of caffeine.
Are Monster energy drinks keto-friendly?
One of the original energy drinks on the block, aside from red bull, is Monster energy.
Are Monster energy drinks keto-friendly? The Monster energy drinks labeled as Monster zero are keto-friendly and may be drinken on a ketogenic diet without worry about being knocked out of ketosis.
Each can of Monster Zero has 140-160mg of caffeine per can and 2g of carbohydrates, with 1g coming from erythritol. Effectively, each can contains 2g of net carbs since there are two servings per can.
Additionally, Monster zero energy drinks are sweetened with both erythritol and Sucralose.
Most low/zero carb energy drinks on the market are perfectly acceptable to drink while following a ketogenic diet.
There is no need to worry about energy drinks or vitamins preventing or kicking you out of ketosis unless drinking the non-sugar free versions.
For more info about being kicked out of ketosis and some commonly asked questions, check out my other article.
Just make sure and double-check the can before you purchase and drink your energy drink… I'd be lying if I said I didn't find myself drinking the sugar-filled version by accident one time (definitely wasn't paying attention).
Frequently Asked Questions
Does caffeine ruin ketosis?
Caffeine can actually help increase ketone levels and make your keto diet more effective.
How long does an energy drink last?
Typically, it depends on the composition of the energy drink in question.
Is energy drink good for every day?
Unless you're working out and doing heavy physical exercise regularly, then there's no benefit to consuming an energy drink. You shouldn't become dependent on them to perform day to day activities.