Fact or Myth: Are Organic Energy Drinks Safe?

This is a MYTH.

While taking a sip of an organic energy drink made of exotic ingredients like ginseng and acai seems like a healthy alternative to downing a traditional energy drink loaded up with artificial colors and sweeteners, be careful not to kid yourself. Better doesn’t mean healthy…or even safe! Organic energy drinks are packed with sugar and caffeine and can strain your heart. Not to mention, there’s no guarantee that the advertised benefit—“All-natural energy to sustain you throughout your day”—is actually achieved.

energy drinksOrganic Energy Drinks: The Promise

Organic energy drinks are marketed as a side-effect-free energy boost that can improve your health with an infusion of vitamins and minerals—minus the artificial ingredients found in non-organic energy drinks.

Organic Energy Drinks: The Reality

We’re not discounting the pluses of going organic all the way, but there are some safety factors to consider when drinking organic energy drinks.

  • High in Calories and Sugar: Don’t be fooled. You are still getting an influx of calories and sugar. The sugar sources are more natural than the high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and other artificial sweeteners found in regular energy drinks, but you’re still overwhelming your body with sugar and possibly promoting insulin resistance.
  • High in Caffeine: But I want the caffeine! That’s fine, as long as your body can tolerate it. Either way, you’re probably better off getting your boost of caffeine from coffee or tea. Steven Meredith, a health researcher at Johns Hopkins University clarifies: “Caffeine is caffeine, whether it’s synthesized in a lab or whether it’s synthesized in nature. It’s still going to have the same pharmacological effects when you consume it.”
  • Herb Sensitivity: If you are at all sensitive to herbs and other ingredients, check those labels carefully to make sure you do not have a reaction. Some experts maintain that the concentration of herbs, vitamins, and minerals are mixed in such trace amounts as to have little to no effect. In a Los Angeles Times article, John Higgins, an associate professor of medicine at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, explained: “There is not a lot of evidence that these drinks have the benefits they are supposed to. They are supposed to increase energy levels and even boost memory. But I’ve looked at many of these ingredients, and they have not shown that they do what they are supposed to do.” The majority of those nutrients hitch a ride with your urine right out of your system!

Organic Energy Drinks: The Alternative

Instead of relying on organic energy drinks for fuel, try a morning cup of green tea or simple black coffee. Get an energy boost from whole foods, such as fruits and vegetables. The sugar in fruits and vegetables is mediated by the fiber content in these whole foods so that you aren’t subjected to a spike in blood sugar levels and you can sustain your energy for longer.