Energy drinks on the market today range from flavored zero-calorie water with added vitamins and nutrients to bottled concoctions with tons of sugar and more caffeine than a cup of triple espresso.
Many of them are considered gluten-free and therefore safe for those with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, but you do need to be careful. Generally, those with more ingredients (and more processing) tend to be riskier, and may not suit you if you're particularly sensitive to trace gluten.
Here's the list of major energy beverages on the market in the United States, along with what each company says about its product's gluten status:
- AMP Energy drinks. AMP comes in three varieties Focus, Energy and Boost. All contain caffeine plus blends of vitamins and other energy-boosting nutrients. According to the company, all three varieties are considered free of gluten.
- 5-Hour Energy. These little shots of energy in a bottle contain a blend of B vitamins, amino acids and nutrients, plus about as much caffeine as there is in a cup of premium coffee. 5-Hour Energy also comes in a decaf version if you're sensitive to caffeine. All varieties there are eight flavors are gluten-free to 20ppm.
- Lifewater. These zero calorie beverages from SoBe, made by PepsiCo. are considered gluten-free to 20ppm, according to the company. Different flavors (there are nine in all) contain different formulations of antioxidants and electrolytes.
- Monster Energy Drinks. Monster puts out a wide variety of energy drinks in cans with scary names like Khaos and Übermonster. The company also distributes coffee-based drinks. All are considered gluten-free to 20ppm, according to Monster.
- NOS Energy Drink. This Coca-Cola Co. product, which advertises additives that provide "enhanced mental focus and high-performance energy," is considered to be gluten-free to 20ppm. Six flavors are available, including Original, Sugar-Free, Fruit Punch, Grape, Loaded Cherry and Charged Citrus.
- Red Bull. When many people think of an energy drink, they think of Red Bull. The products, which come in tall cans and can be found at the checkouts of many convenience stores, include caffeine, B vitamins and amino acids. All three different formulations of Red Bull Original, Sugar-Free and Total Zero are gluten-free to 20ppm, according to the manufacturer.
- SoBe. In addition to Lifewater beverages, SoBe also makes teas and "fruit-flavored elixirs" in such flavors as Citrus Energy and Strawberry Daiquiri. According to the company, all contain no gluten ingredients.
- Vitamin Water. With both regular and sugar-free flavors, Vitamin Water provides a literal rainbow of vitamin-enhanced energy drinks. Flavors range from Multi-V to Spark and Glow, and additives include vitamins A, B complex, C and E, along with minerals such as zinc. All flavors are considered gluten-free.
Most of these products can be found relatively easily on grocery store shelves and in convenience stores. Therefore, if you're looking for a mid-day pick-me-up (or even something that can combat gluten-induced brain fog), you should be able to find a reasonable selection.