Nutrition

The Guide to Vegan Energy Drinks & Protein Water | Myvegan

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:  

  • Sugars  
  • 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.  

Vegan 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**. 

 

 

Look out for preservatives and added sugars

Although some preservatives are required to make energy drinks, some energy drinks contain many preservatives and a high amount of added sugar, which can lead to harmful effects, particularly if consumed regularly.  

Do Most Energy Drinks Have Caffeine?

Nearly all energy drinks contain caffeine, because it is a has been shown to increase alertness and may improve concentration. Our vegan energy drinks contain 83g of caffeine, which is equivalent to a cup of coffee.  

Talk to your doctor

If you have any health or medical concerns, please consult a GP or health professional. This article is not a substitute for medical advice.

Take Home Message

Energy drinks contain a variety of ingredients and stimulants to provide a boost of energy and increase concentration and alertness. Although many compounds, including taurine, commonly found in energy drinks are derived from plants or artificially synthesised, it’s important to consider the quality of energy drinks and ingredients when choosing one that is right for you.  

 

FAQs

Is Taurine vegan?

Taurine that is synthetically produced in the lab is considered vegan, as it is not derived from animal sources. 

Are energy drinks caffeinated?  

Nearly all energy drinks contain high amounts of caffeine, which is a natural stimulant.  

How much caffeine is in a standard energy drink? 

The caffeine content in standard energy drinks ranges from 80-150mg.  

How many energy drinks a day is safe? 

Adults should limit their energy intake to roughly 1 drink per day, due to the high amounts of caffeine and stimulants.  

How long does it take for an energy drink to wear off? 

The average energy drink usually takes around 5-6 hours to wear off. 

 



Lujain Alhassan

Lujain Alhassan

Writer and expert

Lujain is a Registered Nutritionist (ANutr) with a BSc in Nutrition from the University of Leeds. With a keen interest in Diabetes and performance nutrition, Lujain works closely with our team and medical partners as our in-house nutritionist and nutrition coordinator.