Energy drinks are becoming more and more popular around the world as a way to boost energy levels, especially for people with physically demanding jobs. Contrary to common belief, most energy drinks nowadays do not contain table sugar. Instead, they have artificial sweeteners such as aspartame, acesulfame potassium, erythritol, and sucralose.
While most people think that artificial sugar is a good thing, prolonged use of sucralose could lead to inflammation, weight gain, increased risk for diabetes, and an unhealthy gut.
However, a handful of energy drink brands do not contain sucralose. Variants of Red Bull, Celsius, Kill Cliff, Rowdy, Crystal Light, Guru, Zevia, Hiball, True North, Axio, Pure Kick, and Marquis are some of the best energy drinks that do not contain sucralose.
Read on as I discuss each brand, focusing on their ingredients, caffeine content, and the sweeteners used in their drinks.
Table of Contents
What is Sucralose?
Sucralose, also known as Splenda, is a zero-calorie artificial sweetener used as an alternative to sugar since the late 1990s. It is a form of chemically altered sugar that the body cannot metabolize, making it an option for those wanting to cut calories or refrain from table sugar.
Sucralose is 600 times sweeter than sugar and is heat-stable, making it suitable for baking and cooking. You'll often find sucralose in sweet products such as soft drinks, jams, and yogurts.
Because it does not provide calories or carbohydrates, it is a popular choice for those managing their weight or blood sugar.
However, sucralose does have some downsides, as it has a negative impact on people with diabetes as it decreases insulin sensitivity, which means that your cells will not respond to the glucose in your blood, causing your blood sugar to increase.
Top 12 Sucralose-Free Energy Drinks
1. Red Bull
- Red Bull Total Zero is Red Bull energy drink, but zero calories
- Zero calories per each Red Bull Total Zero can of 8.4 fluid ounces
- Red Bull Zero's formula contains high quality ingredients: Caffeine, Taurine, B Group Vitamins, Aspartame, Sucralose & Acesulfame K, Alpine Water
- Case of twenty four (24 Pack) 12 fluid ounce Red Bull Total Zero cans
Red Bull is an energy drink made by Red Bull GmbH, an Austrian company that started in 1987. Red Bull has the world's highest energy drink market share, with over 7.5 billion cans sold (as of 2019).
You can find Red Bull in over 167 countries, and it is available in multiple flavors, including original, sugar-free, and zero. Red Bull is mostly made up of caffeine, the amino acid taurine, sucrose and glucose, B vitamins, and carbonated water.
The original recipe for Red Bull energy drink has 80 mg of caffeine per 250 mL can, which is the same amount as in a cup of coffee.
Red Bull Variant without Sucralose
The main variant of Red Bull is the original flavor, which does not contain sucralose. This flavor is a combination of sweet, slightly sour, and salty that has remained unchanged since its launch in 1987. Red Bull's sugar-free variant does not also contain sucralose.
Red Bull also has Red Bull Zero, which contains the same ingredients as the original but with added sucralose and acesulfame K as sweeteners.
- Essential Energy
- Naturally Sweetened, Naturally Caffeinated
- No Sugar, No Preservatives
- No Artificial Flavors or Colors
- 7 Essential Vitamins
- Gluten-Free, Kosher, Non-GMO, & Certified Vegan
Celsius Energy Drink is a line of performance energy drinks designed to help you stay energized and productive.
Celsius Energy Drink comes in 12 flavors: sparkling grapefruit, cucumber lime, sparkling blood orange, sparkling blue razz, berry, watermelon berry, dragon fruit lime, grape, orange, orange pomegranate, sparkling tropical twist, and sparkling watermelon.
The main active ingredients in Celsius Energy Drink are caffeine, green tea extract, guarana extract, ginger extract, and vitamins B6 and B12, which all increase mental alertness and focus.
Each serving of Celsius energy drink provides a minimum of 200 milligrams of caffeine, which is more than twice the caffeine in a cup of coffee.
Celsius Variants without Sucralose
Although CELSIUS energy drinks do not contain calories or artificial colors or flavors, most of their variants contain sucralose, except for the Celsius Stevia.
3. KILL CLIFF
Kill Cliff is a perfect blend of B-Vitamins, Electrolytes, Plant Extracts, and Enzymes with only 25mg of clean caffeine from Green Tea extract to prevent a crash.
- KETO Friendly - 1-3 NET Carbs
- Gluten Free
Kill Cliff Energy Drink is a line of functional energy drinks made in Atlanta, Georgia. The company was founded in 2012 with the goal of providing athletes with healthier energy drinks.
Kill Cliff offers five flavors: pomegranate punch, blackberry lemonade, blood orange, lemon-lime, and raspberry-blueberry.
The original flavor contains guarana seed extract, Panax ginseng root extract, green tea extract, and 25 milligrams of caffeine.
Moreover, the drinks provide decent amounts of riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, and 13 grams of carbs.
Kill Cliff Variants without Sucralose
Kill Cliff Energy Drink variants do not contain sucralose; their main sweeteners are erythritol and stevia.
- only 5 calories
- zero sugar
- no artificial sweeteners, flavors or preservatives
- uses real fruit juice for authentic taste
- vitamin infused for immunity support
- 160 mg natural caffeine from green tea
- fortified with nootropic L-Theanine for increased focus
- plant based/vegan
- keto friendly
- gluten free
Rowdy Energy is a lifestyle energy drink company based in Austin, Texas. It currently has six flavors: peach mango, cherry limeade, chiseled ice, sour green apple, strawberry lemonade, and blue raspberry.
All flavors come with natural, plant-based caffeine from green coffee beans, natural stevia sweeteners, and electrolytes for hydration.
Although the Rowdy energy drink looks promising, with 160 milligrams of caffeine per can, it does contain 18 grams of added sugar and a total of 24 grams of carbohydrates.
Rowdy Variants without Sucralose
Both the Original and Citrus variants do not contain sucralose; their main sweeteners are erythritol and stevia.
5. Crystal Light
- Sugar-free with just 5 calories per serving
- Instant Dissolve technology allows for quick preparation and consistent quality of finished product
- On-the-go packets make Crystal Light easy to take with you
Crystal Light is a flavored beverage mix owned by Kraft Heinz that comes in powdered form and is designed to dissolve in water. It comes in various flavors, including cherry pomegranate, classic orange, fruit punch, raspberry ice, strawberry kiwi, and strawberry banana.
Although the Crystal Light energy mix is in powder form, it does not contain added sugar. Moreover, each sachet of Crystal Light energy powder mix includes 60 milligrams of caffeine.
Crystal Light Variants without Sucralose
All Crystal Light variants do not contain sucralose; their primary sweetener is aspartame.
- sweetened with stevia and monk fruit
- natural caffeine from green tea and guarana
- certified USDA Organic
- non-GMO, gluten-free & vegan
- uses only organic ingredients, no preservatives
Guru Energy Drink is the world's first all-natural energy drink brand, founded in 1999, that produces a variety of energy drinks to help people get energized, alert, and focused. The company has several flavors of energy drinks, including Original, Lite, Matcha, and Yerba Mate.
Guru organic energy drink is made with carbonated water, cane sugar, organic green tea caffeine, guarana extract, Panax ginseng, citric acid, and grape juice concentrate.
An 8-oz can of Guru energy drink contains 100 milligrams of caffeine, while a 12-oz can contains 140 milligrams.
Guru Variants without Sucralose
All Guru energy drink variants do not contain sucralose; their primary sweeteners are stevia and monk fruit extract, both natural sweeteners.
- gluten free
- kosher and vegan
- zero sugar, zero calories
- simple, plant-based ingredients
- Non-GMO Project Verified
- sweetened by stevia leaf
Zevia is a natural and calorie-free energy drink company based in Los Angeles, California, specializing in crafting zero-calorie, flavorful beverages made with only natural ingredients.
Their drinks, as the name implies, use stevia as a sweetener, a plant-based sweetener, and are available in cola, ginger ale, orange, lemon-lime, and other flavors.
The ingredients in Zevia energy drinks vary depending on the flavor. Common ingredients in most drinks include carbonated water, citric acid, natural flavors, stevia leaf extract, and potassium citrate. Some beverages also contain caffeine from natural sources, such as guarana seed extract, green tea extract, and yerba mate.
The caffeine content of Zevia energy drinks varies depending on the flavor. Most of their drinks contain between 20 and 80 milligrams of caffeine per 12-ounce can, except for their Zero Calorie Cola, which has no caffeine.
Zevia Energy Drink Variants without Sucralose
All variants or flavors of Zevia do not contain sucralose, as they use stevia as a sugar substitute in all of their products.
- all natural ingredients
- sugar free, zero calorie
- keto and vegan
- 50 mg of organic guarana
- 50 mg of organic ginseng
- 160 mg of organic caffeine
- enriched with B Vitamins (B-3, B-5, B-6, & B-12)
Hiball is an energy drink company based in San Francisco, California. The company produces a range of energy drinks that contain a blend of vitamins and natural ingredients.
Hiball energy drinks are among the few that contain high amounts of B vitamins. For instance, a can contains 150% of your daily niacin, B6, B12, and pantothenic acid needs.
Hiball energy drinks are available in various flavors, including original, citrus, fruit punch, and berry. The company also produces energy waters, which are lightly carbonated and contain electrolytes with zero calories.
The caffeine content of Hiball energy drinks varies, with most having around 80 to 100 milligrams per can. Additionally, the company has developed a range of energy drinks formulated with natural ingredients like organic caffeine from green tea extract and ginseng.
Hiball Energy Drink Variants without Sucralose
Unlike most energy drinks with added sugar or artificial sweeteners, Hiball offers a clean taste by not using any sweetener, including sucralose. Consumers describe this carbonated drink as "luxurious sparkling water."
9. True North
- zero sugar, zero calories
- no artificial sweeteners, colors, flavors or preservatives
- enhanced with Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Zinc, B3, B5, B6, and B12
- plant based blend that includes guayusa, ginseng, guarana, and green tea
- 120 mg Organic Caffeine
- non-GMO certified
- certified gluten-free
True North Energy Drinks is a Canadian-based energy drink company that produces high-quality energy drinks with natural ingredients like guarana, organic caffeine, green tea, and ginseng.
Their drinks come without artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives and have zero sugar. They are also gluten-free, vegan, and non-GMO.
The ingredients in True North carbonated drinks vary depending on the flavor. Still, all the drinks contain carbonated water, caffeine, guarana, green tea extracts, ginseng, and vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, niacin, the B vitamins riboflavin and niacin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, and zinc.
The amount of caffeine in each can depends on the flavor. Each can of the original flavor has 120 milligrams of caffeine, while each can of the other flavors has 100 milligrams of caffeine.
True North Energy Drink Variants without Sucralose
All variants or flavors of True North energy drinks are seltzer water or sparkling water and do not contain any sweetener, including added sugar or artificial sweeteners such as sucralose.
INGREDIENTS: Vitamins B6 and B12, Magnesium, Green Tea Extract, Pine Bark Extract, Quercetin, L-Theanine, DMAE, Caffeine Anhydrous
- natural sweeteners, flavors, and colors
- low carbs, low calorie
- vegan, gluten free
- BSCG approved
Axio is an energy drink company founded in 2012. Their mission is to provide an alternative to traditional energy drinks by offering healthier and more balanced energy drink mixes. They offer a variety of unique and flavorful energy drinks that contain natural ingredients.
Axio Energy powder mix comes in different flavors, including purple grape and green grape, raspberry, sour cherry, strawberry, and dragon fruit.
Generally, Axio drinks contain carbonated water, sucrose, glucose, citric acid, natural flavorings, natural caffeine from green tea, the amino acid taurine, glucuronolactone, inositol, guarana, and Panax ginseng. All ingredients are vegan and non-GMO.
The caffeine content of Axio energy drinks varies depending on the product. Most Axio Energy Drink mixes contain 100 mg of caffeine per pack, dissolved in 12 oz of water. However, unlike other energy mixes, Axio contains 4 grams of total carbs per packet.
AXIO Energy Drink Variants without Sucralose
All Axio variants do not contain sucralose in their ingredient lists; the company uses stevia, a low-calorie sweetener.
11. Pure Kick
- each packet contains 80 mg caffeine
- Vitamin B3, B5, B6, B7, and B12
- only 10 calories per serving
- zero sugar
- contains a mix of aspartame and acesulfame K
Pure Kick is a British energy drink company founded in 2015. The company aims to boost energy levels using natural ingredients and no artificial additives.
Pure Kick offers three flavors: blood orange, black cherry pomegranate, and mango acai. Each packet of this energy drink mix has 2 to 3 grams of total carbs and 100% of the daily recommended amounts of niacin, vitamin B6, vitamin B12, biotin, and pantothenic acid.
The packet also has the amino acid taurine, guarana seed extract, ginseng extract, and citric acid. Each pack contains 4.73 milligrams of caffeine per fluid ounce, or about 80 milligrams for a 16-oz bottle.
Pure Kick Energy Drink Variants without Sucralose
Pure Kick Energy Drink Mix variants do not contain sucralose; they use aspartame and acesulfame potassium as sugar alternatives.
- 100mg of organic caffeine per serving
- unique blend of Yerba Mate, Green Coffee, & Green Tea
- zero sugar, zero carbs
- gluten free
- vegan, keto & non-GMO certified
- fit for people with diabetes
Marquis Energy Drinks is a Canadian-based energy drink brand that has been in business since 1998. They focus on providing consumers with high-quality energy drinks that are natural and free of artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives.
Marquis Energy Drinks are available in four flavors: mango ginger, citrus yuzu, lychee peach, and super berry. These energy drinks contain natural caffeine, guarana, green tea extracts, and the amino acid taurine. Together, these ingredients boost energy levels to help with physical and mental performance.
Moreover, each can of Marquis energy drink provides 100% vitamin C and B vitamins 3, 5, 6, and 12.
Marquis Energy Drink Variants without Sucralose
All of the Marquis energy drinks do not contain sucralose. However, they have erythritol, a sugar alternative that still has carbohydrates, which comprise 9 grams of total carbs per can.
Dangers of Sucralose to Human Health
Increases Risk of Developing Diabetes
Although sucralose is not technically sugar, it affects your blood sugar levels by affecting your insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps the body store and use sugar from food.
Recent studies show that consuming sucralose can increase insulin levels, decreasing the body's ability to respond to insulin, a condition known as insulin resistance or reduced insulin sensitivity. This makes it harder for the body to process sugar, leading to elevated blood sugar levels and an increased risk of developing diabetes.
Another way consuming sucralose can increase the risk of diabetes is through its effect on the gut microbiome. The gut microbiome is a collection of bacteria and other microorganisms that live in the digestive tract.
Consuming sucralose can alter the balance of the gut microbiome, making it less capable of breaking down food, leading to an increase in blood sugar levels and an increased risk of diabetes.
Prolonged Consumption Causes an Unhealthy Gut
Although the FDA has approved Splenda as a safe sweetener, that does not mean that you can consider it a healthy ingredient to put in your stomach. According to this study, sucralose stresses the gut microbiome and its functions.
By altering the balance of bacteria in the gut, sucralose can increase the number of harmful bacteria and reduce the number of beneficial bacteria. This can lead to inflammation, digestive discomfort, and an increased risk of infection.
Inflammation is the body's response to injury or infection and is generally beneficial. However, in some cases, it can become chronic and lead to long-term health problems.
Studies show that a sugar substitute in a carbonated drink, such as sucralose, can increase the production of inflammatory cytokines, molecules released by immune system cells in response to infection or injury.
In addition, sucralose decreases levels of antioxidants, which help protect the body from inflammation. As a result, the body gets exposed to an increased risk of developing long-term diseases such as obesity, diabetes, and heart problems.
Increases Body Weight
The primary way sucralose may cause weight gain is by disrupting the body's natural hunger hormones. Studies found that sucralose consumption can decrease leptin levels, a hormone that signals when you are full, and increase ghrelin levels, which signal when the body is hungry.
The disruption of hunger hormones can lead to overconsumption of food, ultimately leading to weight gain. Additionally, sucralose consumption can reduce the body's sensitivity to sweet flavors, leading to an increased preference for sweeter and higher-calorie foods.
Monster Energy Zero Sugar is the most popular energy drink, followed by Red Bull Sugarfree. However, this does not make them the healthiest.
Healthy energy drinks contain no added sugar, carbs, or artificial additives. Considering this, you should try Zevia, Axio, True North, and Hiball.
No, an energy shot has much less liquid than an energy drink. An energy shot often has only 2 oz of liquid, compared to most energy drinks which contain 12 oz.
Although Monster Energy drinks are among the most popular, they are not the healthiest drinks you can have. They contain synthetic additives that may have a negative impact on your health.
Most energy drinks on the market have synthetic caffeine. Synthetic caffeine contains chemicals that may degrade your health after long-term use.