How Brain Energy Drink Are Really Affecting Your Brain and Energy Levels

According to Jane, “Brain energy drinks claim to boost energy and mental performance, but their ability to significantly enhance brain function has yet to be definitively proven.”

There is more to brain energy drinks than meets the eye. While ads make them seem like a quick fix for mental focus and memory, the real effects can be more complex. 

Many claim these novel beverages can power up your thinking, yet scientific backings remain mixed. 

Before you grab for the caffeine buzz, consider this lively look under the hood.

Whether boosting or bluffing, these trendy tonics raise provocative points worth pondering.

Key Takeaway

  • Brain energy drinks contain natural ingredients like caffeine and L-theanine that have been shown to improve aspects of cognitive function such as alertness, focus, memory, and mood. This provides a mental boost beyond just energy.
  • Popular brain energy drink brands leverage specific nootropic formulas that pair stimulants with relaxants to increase focus without the jitters of basic energy drinks. Some blends haveclinical research supporting their effects.
  • While these drinks can offer a temporary boost, relying on them alone isn’t a sustainable way to support brain health long-term. For best results, consume them occasionally alongside a healthy lifestyle featuring exercise, quality sleep, nutrition, and stress management.

What are Brain Energy Drinks?

Brain energy drinks are beverages that contain ingredients known as nootropics (1). Nootropics are natural or synthetic substances that can boost brain performance and cognitive functions such as memory, creativity, motivation, and attention.

brain energy drink

Common Ingredients in Brain Energy Drinks

Brain energy drinks often contain a mix of vitamins, amino acids, and other nutrients that support brain health (2). Some key ingredients include:

Properties of Common Brain Energy Drink Ingredients

Enhances alertness and mental processing speed. Provides temporary energy boost.
Induces calm without drowsiness. When combined with caffeine, prevents jitteriness.
B Vitamins (B6, B9, B12)
Help convert food into glucose for energy and support brain cell metabolism.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Support brain cell membrane health and communication between neurons.
Green Tea Extract
Contains antioxidants and less caffeine than coffee for a mild energy boost.

After trying different energy drinks over the years, I’ve found these ingredients in synergy seem most effective. 

Caffeine and L-theanine together gave me energy without anxiety. And omega-3s seemed to support longer-lasting mental clarity.

Potential Benefits of Key Ingredients

Potential Benefits
Increased alertness, concentration, mental processing speed.
Calming effect, prevents caffeine jitteriness.
B Vitamins
Supports brain cell activity and nerve function.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Supports brain cell membrane health, communication.
Green Tea Extract
Antioxidants support brain health, mild stimulant effect.

It’s important to remember we all experience ingredients differently. Starting with low doses is wise to see how your unique biology responds. 

And as with most health matters, proper nutrition, sleep, hydration and exercise are more foundational than a beverage alone. Moderation is also key.
Credit : Inside Science

Popular Brain Energy Drink Brands

After trying different brands over the past few years, here are some standouts with unique nootropic blends:

Brand Comparison

Key Ingredients
Guaraña extract, green tea, ginger
Sustained energy, antioxidant support
OatPure, B vitamins, MCTs, coffee extract
Focus, clarity, mental fuel
Ginseng, Rhodiola rosea
Stress relief, focus, 8-10 hours energy

In my experience, Celsius provided gentle and steady energy for hours without crashing. The combination of caffeine and green tea work well together. Guru gave nice focus too, though it relied more on stimulants than adaptogens.

Pros and Cons

Smooth energy, antioxidant support
Caffeine content not as high
Clear mental effects, variety of formulations
Higher caffeine, sugar options
Long mental fuel, calming herbs
Less options for flavors

REIZE gave sustainment and mood boosts. Depending on your caffeine tolerance and needs, different formulas may suit individuals better. It’s also worth considering factors like flavors, caffeine, and sugar levels. 

Overall, reading ingredients and reviews helped me choose brands aligning best with my goals and health profile. Over time, simple healthy habits became a stronger foundation than any product alone.

Benefits of Brain Energy Drinks

brain energy drink

After years of trying out various brain energy drinks, here are some potential benefits when consumed properly according to my experience:

Improved Focus and Concentration

Increased alertness
Caffeine is the main active ingredient in most brain energy drinks and can improve focus
Reduced mental fatigue
Ingredients like B vitamins and sugar can provide a quick energy boost to help you power through an afternoon slump
Heightened concentration
Nootropics some drinks contain claim to sharpen attention and block out distractions

Enhanced Memory and Learning

Cognitive Process
Potential Mechanism
Memory formation
L-theanine may aid neurotransmitters involved in memory like serotonin and dopamine
Learning ability
Vitamins B6, B12 aid breakdown of carbohydrates to glucose for fueling brain activity during study sessions

Increased Motivation and Productivity

The temporary energy lift and focus-enhancing effects of brain energy drinks can provide an extra push to power through tasks. On busy workdays, I’ve found they help me stay engaged and on track to complete my to-do list. Just be sure to stay hydrated with water too.

Elevated Mood and Reduced Stress/Anxiety

Some ingredients in brain energy drinks claim to have relaxant properties. For example, L-theanine is thought to counter caffeine’s jitteriness for a smoother, steadier energy. Personally, I’ve noticed drinks with this ingredient leave me feeling calmer yet still energized.

Faster Thinking and Information Processing

By improving alertness and concentration, brain energy drinks may facilitate quicker thinking, problem-solving, and mental processing speed. 

The caffeine jolt provides a brief window of enhanced reaction time and comprehension for tasks like exams according to anecdotal reports I’ve heard from students.

Potential Side Effects

Here are some side effects that may occasionally occur, especially with excessive consumption:

Sugar Free Drinks and Heart Rate

Drinks without added sugar tend to have higher caffeine content which could lead to a faster heart rate if overconsumed. I’ve found my pulse increases noticeably more after a sugar-free mint or citrus-flavored energy drink compared to softer drinks.

Blood Sugar Crash

The “energy” spike from high blood sugar is temporary. When levels fall after drinking sugary energy drinks, fatigue can rapidly set in according to my experience. Some young adults report headaches or moodiness during these crashes.

Weight Gain Risks

Energy drinks loaded with sugar provide empty calories that could potentially contribute to weight gain in the long run if consumed frequently as part of an otherwise unhealthy diet (3). Always monitor portion sizes.

Sleep and Mental Focus

Caffeine is a stimulant and drinking energy beverages late in the day risks interfering with sleep according to medical research. This disrupted sleep makes it harder to maintain focus the next day from my observations.

Tolerance and Dependency

Like daily coffee use, regularly drinking energy drinks may lessen sensitivity to caffeine over time. If consumed excessively for consecutive weeks as a replacement for water, finding the buzz isn’t as strong shows me developing a dependency.

Digestive Troubles

The levels of added sweeteners, flavors or carbonation found in many drinks energy drinks may irritate the stomach for susceptible individuals. In my experience carbonated mint or citrus varieties are worse for gas.

Temporary mental boosts aside, too much too frequent intake comes with health risks. Always consider your personal caffeine tolerance levels and stay hydrated with energizing beverages in moderation. Check labels and ask doctors about any medications.

Healthier Alternatives

brain energy drink

After trying various options over the years, here are some approaches I’ve found more reliably boost mental performance sustainably without health risks:

Heart-Healthy Diet

Eating a diet low in saturated fat and added sugar alongside plant-based foods supports cardiovascular health per research. This reduces risk of conditions like heart disease linked to increased cognitive decline.

Balanced Blood Glucose

Choosing whole grains, fruits, and vegetables helps maintain stable blood glucose levels versus sugary foods and drinks. Spikes and crashes in blood sugar negatively impact mood and focus according to studies (4).

Stress Reduction

Managing stress through activities like yoga, deep breathing and meditation reportedly benefits both mental wellbeing and nervous system function compared to relying on high caffeine intake alone.

Social Connectedness

Strong relationships were shown to buffer effects of stress in one review while another links socializing to reduced risk of depression – a major factor in cognitive performance. Group outdoor exercise allows both.

Quality Sleep

Research links insufficient sleep to a higher risk of conditions like obesity, depression and anxiety shown to negatively influence cognition long term (5). Kids aged 9-17 need 8-12 hours according to the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (6).

Physical Fitness

Regular exercise was associated with increased gray matter volume and improved cognitive abilities versus more sedentary popular trends according to a study (7). Group activities offer motivation.

Sustainable lifestyle changes provide mental benefits exceeding short-lived ‘enhancers.’ Popular energy drinks lack long term scientific backing whereas healthy habits reliably support brain function overall.


How many fl oz are there in a typical energy drink?

Most energy drinks contain around 8-16 fl oz (230-473 ml) of drink per container. The most popular sizes are 8.3 fl oz (240 ml) and 16 fl oz (473 ml). However, some may contain smaller or larger volumes like 20-24 fl oz (590-710 ml).

Is red bull a sugar free brain energy drink?

No, Red Bull contains about 27 grams of sugar per 8.3 fl oz can from sucrose and other natural flavors. It is not considered a sugar free drink. Some sugar free brain energy drinks contain artificial sweeteners instead of sugar to provide the taste without impacting blood sugar levels.

Are there any low carb brain energy drinks?

Yes, there are several brain energy drinks available that are low carb or carb free. These substitute artificial sweeteners for sugar and may also be labeled as “sugar free.” 

They aim to provide energy without spikes in blood sugar levels. However, some contain other carb sources like maltodextrin. Read nutrition labels carefully to determine actual carb content.

What does clin exp mean in brain energy drink ingredients?

“Clinically Expanded” or “clin exp” is a marketing term sometimes seen in brain energy drink ingredients lists. 

It refers to studies done on the clinical or health effects of certain ingredients like amino acids, herbal extracts, vitamins and minerals included in the drink. However, the strength of evidence and effects shown in such studies can vary significantly.

Does black tea provide energy like a brain energy drink?

Black tea contains caffeine and antioxidants that can provide a mild energy boost. However, an 8 oz cup of black tea has around 30 mg of caffeine on average compared to brain energy drinks that typically contain 80-250 mg per 8.3-16 fl oz can. 

While black tea has some benefits, it won’t provide the quick jolt of energy like concentrated sources of caffeine in brain energy drinks.

Are there any sugar free mint flavor brain energy drinks?

Yes, there are some sugar free brain energy drinks available in mint flavors like cucumber mint or peppermint. 

These energy drinks contain artificial sweeteners instead of sugar to provide the refreshing mint taste without impacting blood sugar levels. 

However, sugar alternatives like aspartame are not suitable or approved for all individuals. Read ingredients carefully before consuming.

Is drinking soft drinks worse than consuming brain energy drinks?

Whether soft drinks or brain energy drinks are better depends on several public health factors. Soft drinks are high in sugar while energy drinks provide a stimulant like caffeine along with vitamins. 

Moderate caffeine in brain energy drinks may aid mental focus sharpness memory and reaction time for some individuals compared to sugar. 

However, excess of both types of drinks can increase risk of obesity, dental issues, blood sugar imbalance and more. Moderation is key.


After trying different drink energy products and learning more about their ingredients over the years, I’ve found while they may provide a temporary boost for some, ongoing lifestyle choices are what reliably impact mental performance in the long run according to my experience. 

Things like quality sleep, nutrient-dense foods, stress management, exercise, and socializing appear to more meaningfully support brain health. 

Of course, the occasional energy drink likely won’t cause problems for most individuals. But it’s always wise to see your doctor before regularly consuming these beverages if you have concerns, read labels carefully, and explore scientifically-backed alternatives.

I’d love to hear from others about your personal experiences with drink energy—whether positive, negative or a mix of both. 

Does this align with what’s worked or not worked for keeping your focus, memory and cognition on point on a long-term basis according to your evaluation? Let’s continue the discussion in the comments.



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