What are energy drinks?
Energy drinks, including vegan energy drinks, are beverages containing stimulant compounds that are designed to increase energy, focus and alertness. Most energy drinks contain compounds such as caffeine, taurine and creatine – which are known to improve tiredness and increase energy levels.
Some common ingredients include:
- Herbal extracts
- Amino acid and protein derivatives.
Depending on their nutrition and sugar content, the number of calories in energy drinks differ and can range from 5-150 calories per serving.
What does it mean to be vegan?
According to The Vegan Society, Veganism is defined as a way of life that promotes the use and consumption of animal-free alternatives for the benefit of animals, humans and the environments. Generally, vegans follow a plant-based diet, free from animal meat and products (Ex: eggs and dairy) and consume plant-based alternatives.
What Is Taurine in Energy Drinks?
We’ve all heard of the compound taurine, particularly in our favourite drinks. Contrary to popular belief, taurine is a naturally occurring amino acid, particularly concentrated in our brain, eyes, heart and muscles.
Taurine is known as a conditionally essential amino acid, meaning our bodies can produce it – but it only becomes essential to use during times of need (such as sickness or stress). It has numerous health benefits including (1):
- May help maintain proper hydration and electrolyte balance in our cells.
- Forms bile salts, which are essential for aiding digestion
- Supports the immune system and antioxidant functions
Primitively, taurine used to be extracted from animal sources (mainly ox bile). But nowadays, taurine can be artificially synthesised from plant sources, which is considered vegan.
Are energy drinks vegan?
This depends entirely on the contents of the energy drink. Most energy drinks are considered vegan, because they contain plant-based or synthetically derived ingredients.
Whilst most energy drinks contain plant-based ingredients, recent research by PETA shows that some companies that produce energy drinks test on animals (2). It is also important to consider the quality of ingredients that are used to create the energy drinks.
How To Choose Vegan Energy Drinks?
Consider the company behind the drinks
Although many energy drinks are vegan and only contain plant-based ingredients, it is important to consider the company behind the drink. Some companies may use artificial colouring that are tested for toxicity on animals or using animal studies.
Identify the beneficial ingredients in the energy drink
Not all energy drinks are created equal, some vegan energy drinks also contain lots of vitamins and minerals that can help support your health goals.
Our protein energy drinks do not contain taurine, but still provide you with a boost of energy; they also contain 6g of protein to help you reach your daily requirements. Additionally, myvegan energy drinks also contain added B vitamins including pantothenic acid (B5) which supports performance* and thiamine (B1) to support normal heart function**.