This is an article about the ingredients in energy drinks and whether they are suitable for a vegan diet.
I want to explain what I mean when I say ‘vegan’. Basically, a vegan is someone who does not eat or use any animal products. That means no meat, fish, dairy or eggs.
So why do people sometimes ask the question are energy drinks vegan? When you look at it closely there isn’t really anything in them which comes from animals. So why would you even think of asking whether they are suitable for vegans?
Facts: According to energy drinks labels, ‘20% of your RDA of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and B12.’ however it has not been stated if this percentage covers 100% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) or 80%. Energy drinks also contain caffeine which can be harmful to children under four years old. Between six and 12 cans a day may lead to weight loss, nausea, vomiting, headaches or diarrhoea.
Historically caffeine was viewed as an alternative substance for drugs such as cocaine or heroin however more recent studies have suggested that overuse of caffeine on a daily basis is associated with a risk for the development of psychotic illness. Energy drinks may be linked to the increased consumption of alcohol as there is a suggestion that regular use has been found to cause greater blunting of the taste buds, meaning more sugar or sweeteners are needed in order to stimulate taste receptors.
Energy drinks also contain quantities of taurine which is an additive derived from bull testicles. It is listed under ‘natural flavourings’ which may suggest it was extracted directly from the animal product however it could have been synthetically produced in a lab too. In large doses taurine can cause anxiety and facial flushing however if consumed at recommended levels (4 grams per day) then this should not be harmful.
Are Energy Drinks Vegan
One way to find the answer is to look at all of the ingredients on a can or bottle of energy drink and see if there are any which come from animals. If you read the following paragraph about each ingredient in an energy drink, I think that you will confirm my conclusion that no ingredients in these soft drinks come from animals:
Vitamins – these cannot be derived from animal sources so they must be either synthetically produced or extracted directly from plants. As far as I can tell, all of the vitamins used in most popular brands of energy drinks are synthetic (manufactured by chemical processes). They are not extracted directly from plants but made in a laboratory to have precisely the right properties for humans.
Energy Drinks also contain minerals such as potassium, sodium, calcium and magnesium. These also cannot be derived from any animal source so they must also be either synthetically produced or extracted directly from plants. In the same way that vitamins are created in a laboratory for use in food products, these minerals can be manufactured too so you should not need to worry about whether your drink has been processed on equipment which was used for other products before.
Energy drinks often have caffeine added to them too so it’s worth finding out where this comes from to see if there is any possibility of an animal source being involved. Caffeine is naturally found in certain seeds and nuts but is usually synthesised (manufactured by chemical processes) for use in energy drinks.
Energy drinks also contain sugars. All of the sugars in energy drinks are derived from either plants or [synthetic] man made chemicals, again this makes it obvious that none of these ingredients can come from animals. You should remember that ‘fruit juices’ are not suitable for vegans as they often add some animal products to them; so you need to look closely at the labels and check that there is nothing added before deciding whether a drink such as orange juice is a good choice for your diet or not.
Nutritionists have argued about whether artificial sweeteners are healthy choices but I doubt if anyone would argue against the point that all sweeteners used in soft drinks, including those found in most energy drinks, be they sugars or artificial sweeteners, are not derived from animal products so they are suitable for a vegan diet.
Binding agents are used to make sure that the ingredients in an energy drink mix together properly and do not separate after manufacturing. These compounds can be made by chemical reactions (sometimes using enzymes) which have no connection with any animals or their bodies; so there should be no worry about these binding agents being unsuitable for vegans because of their source of manufacture.
There is some controversy about whether phosphates added to energy drinks might harm our bones but as far as I know there is no evidence of this happening when people consume soft drinks containing phosphates. No studies have revealed any side effects caused by the presence of phosphates in our bodies or the effects of these compounds on our bones.
The colours used in energy drinks are often artificial; and if they are natural, it is likely that a plant has been used to make them. I cannot think of any reason why either animal products would be involved in making the colours added to energy drinks but it is worth checking this out to make sure that your drink doesn’t contain anything unsuitable for a vegan diet.
Some companies have added some carmine red pigment made from crushed female cochineal beetles to their drinks for flavouring purposes but Oasis removed all traces of this beetle-based product from its line of fruit juice and other softdrinks after customer protests. If you’re worried about whether your drink contains carmine, contact the manufacturer and ask them; they should be able to tell you whether their drinks are suitable or not for vegans.
The list of ingredients on the side of a can of energy drink usually reveals many compounds that have been created by chemical reactions in a laboratory or manufactured from plants. There is no evidence that any of these substances are derived from animals and so there is no reason why you shouldn’t enjoy an energy drink without worrying about whether it contains any animal-based products.
Top energy drinks and are they vegan friendly?
This is a question I have been asked several times on Twitter, Facebook and other social media forums.
There are so many energy drinks available now that it can be hard to work out what is or isn’t vegan. Many of the big sellers such as Red Bull, Monster Energy Drink, Rockstar Energy Drink etc. have been confirmed by their manufacturers themselves as being suitable for vegans.
However, there may still be some confusion about certain products due to the fact that names with no animal products in them (such as ‘Energy Drink’) could easily be confused or misunderstood for those who do not know very much about these kinds of food or drink items – especially if you consider that there will be not always an obvious symbol identifying which food items are suitable for vegans. It is always best to check the ingredients listings or contact the company itself if you are not sure about something.
Are energy drinks gluten-free?
I would assume that pretty much all of the top-selling energy drinks themselves are gluten-free since they are made from chemical constituents and flavouring agents, along with other ingredients that are not derived from wheat or any other grains.
The only grain I can think of (apart from maltodextrin) that is used in conjunction with soft drinks such as energy drinks is corn (maize). This stuff turns up in a lot of processed food and drink items because it usually has a cheap price when compared to its alternatives; but if an energy drink contains corn syrup, maize flavourings etc. then you should check with the manufacturer to make sure it’s suitable for vegans.
As far as I am aware there aren’t many actual vegan energy drinks on the market at the moment; however, due to the increasing amount of vegetarian and vegan people in the world, many companies have started adding plant proteins such as soy and hemp to their products. Many soft drinks containing Vitamin B12 are also suitable for vegans since this vitamin comes from microorganisms that form part of our environment, not animals or their secretions.
Are energy drinks kosher?
Many energy drinks are not considered kosher because of their artificial flavouring and sweetening agents.
Many energy drinks contain ingredients that would prohibit them from being certified as kosher such as:
– Carrageenan is a thickening agent derived from seaweed. The problem with this ingredient for many people is that it comes from the same family of algae (Chondrus crispus) which some claim to be non-kosher for Jews (Zabiha). According to one Jewish author, Rabbi Benjamin Karpin , carrageenan is indeed non-kosher.
– Isinglass can also be found in energy drinks and other foods; however it derives from an edible fish product known as dried swim bladder from st
However, I am almost certain that pretty much all mainstream energy drinks produced in Western countries are kosher seeing as there is no animal involvement in any way with these kinds of food items or drink items (please check with a rabbi if you have any doubts). Some herbal blends and other natural ingredients used in some energy boosters might contain honey isinglass or other ingredients that may not be kosher for some people to consume; however, this is usually going to depend on the person’s observance and personal beliefs.
There are actually several companies producing energy products that are suitable for both vegans and those who keep kosher . Energy drinks produced by Virgil’s Beverages, Inc. and makers of Monster Ultra Energy Drink (Monster being one of the biggest selling beverages in the world), list their product as ‘Kosher’ right there on their website , along with a list of all the ingredients contained within each bottle/can etc.
Are energy drinks paleo?
Basically, energy drinks are Paleo friendly if they do not contain any ingredients that would make them non-Paleo due to the fact that pretty much all common energy boosters are made up of various chemical compounds and other substances such as glucose (corn syrup) and caffeine.
For most people following a paleolithic diet there probably wouldn’t be much difference between drinking an energy drink or some regular water since most of these types of beverages contain little or no nutritional substance – even if they are marketed at athletes who often work out continuously for long periods at a time. They would also have to watch out for anything containing isinglass which may not be considered Paleo due to its fish origins.
However, you could argue that an energy drink may contain ingredients that aren’t necessarily Paleo; but then again it’s probably not going to be much worse than drinking some soft drink with high fructose corn syrup added to it or any other similar type of rubbish.
Are energy drinks safe?
Of course, no one really knows if an energy drink is actually safe or not; however what I can tell you is that many soft drinks and even many medicines contain sugar which makes the beverage/pill etc. unsuitable for vegans since sugar comes from non-vegan sources such as: egg whites, lactose (milk) and bones. As far as I know, most mainstream energy drink manufacturers also use glucose derived from maize (corn syrup) in their products so these items are definitely not suitable vegan friendly.